Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Finishing A Sweater

It's fall.Fall is one of my favorite times of year (right up there with winter) and I am delighting in the weather, the pattern of life, the hot tea (Hot Cinnamon Spice from Harney and Sons is delightfully yummy!), and the knitting.  And the Spiced Chai Honey, too.  It's disappearing rapidly.

I have been knitting a LOT.  For pictures of Filus' sweater, the Fair Isle Bag, and the yarn for the Williamson Shawl, you'll have to look at Ravelry.  Except for the last one -- I can't figure out how to add a yarn photo to something that's not cast on yetm so you'll have to go to Fleegle's store.  If you aren't buying yarn, don't go there.

The Fair Isle Bag was a quick knit for a friend.  It's not worked in the round, which means that one gets to either mess with a LOT of slipped stitches, or purl with two colors.  After purling with two colors for Skråtrøje, I figured I would purl with two colors.  The pattern teaches how to purl with two yarns in the left hand.  I now purl with two yarns in my right hand.  For Skråtrøje, I held the yarns similar to how one holds them for twined knitting, but didn't twine -- just popped the one I needed over my index finger and purled.  But for this bag, halfway through the first stranded section, I started figuring out how I could tension the yarns so as to have BOTH yarns on my index finger.  And that was a scary thing.  I worked the last 3/4ths of the bag with both yarns on my right index finger.  Even for knitting.  Except for the parts when there were 3 yarns, and then I held one in my left hand.

The door opening to the world of 3-color knitting just got a little wider. I tremble to think what I will choose for my next Latvian mitten pattern.

But, this post was supposed to be about finishing a sweater.  The sweater's not done, mind you -- I don't have the chart for the sleeve cuff, so it's currently sitting nicely in my knitting tower while someone is searching for the chart or a good photo of the cuff.  But the body is done, and I have lots of interesting-to-me documentation of it. 

Some project needs blocking more than others. Uncurled, this is 8". 
Original picot edging for slit
The pattern calls for a particular number of stitches to be picked up around the slit, and then a 4-5 row picot/folded edging to be worked.  I wasn't thrilled with how it looked.  Part of the problem was the stitch count, and the other problem was the color.  I like dark edges.  A row of crochet around the neck edge wasn't going to help control the curl there, either ... I tried two of the three one-row edgings suggested, and didn't care for either of them.  So I ripped everything out and put in a facing.  It needs blocking yet, but I am much happier with it. 

Revised edging for slit and neckline
Next, I turned my attention to the bottom edge.  Some knitters can work this k4p4 edging and transition into stranding with no problems.  Other knitters can't.  Me, well, you can see which category I fall into by looking at the wee sample sweater's ribbing. 
An uncooperative bottom edge
Since I had a handy sample, I thought I'd see what things would look like if I made a braid. 

Trial of a braided edge
I liked it, so I amputated the bottom edge of the sweater ...
Preparing for amputation

And replaced the uncooperative ribbing with a braid.  It still rolls, but it's not been blocked and the rolling of a curled braid is a whole lot less noticeable than a flipped-up swatch of ribbing.

The finished lower edge

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