Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Knitting "F" Word

(kids cover your ears) F-F-F-Finishing, yes, there it is, I said it, out in public for all to view. The one word we all live in fear of and say with disgust. How many times have you called your knitting buddy excited to share with them “Finally, I cast off that sweater, but now I have to “F” it.”

But really, what does that word mean and why are we so negative when we speak it. So what if it means you have to weave in all 36 ends in that Fair-Isle Sweater, sew miles and miles of seams, pick up and knit the endless button band. We need to stop cursing under our breath and realize that Finishing is a good thing and when done properly your project will be taken from Homemade to Handmade. That sweater in the boutique window is knit the same as yours, with the same materials, and is finished using the exact same techniques we all know and hate.

One of the first steps to ensure the project is finished properly will begin even before you cast on, by reading the pattern completely, and ensuring that you have the right materials for the job. And never underestimate the power of swatching and blocking, both will become your instant finishing friends. Swatching is going to let you know before even casting on the project if the yarn and the fabric it creates will even be what you imagined it to be. If not don’t fear, the project will still be made, you will just need to find another yarn and re-swatch to ensure you have the fabric you desire. Once that is all done and you have knit up all pieces, blocking will be the next important step in the process, this will allow you to size the pieces to match the schematic, as well as flattening the edges to make your seaming easier to complete.

If you don’t already own a good set of reference books I would suggest you go to your local yarn store and spend some time to find the match for you. The one that I can’t live without is the Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. This is my reference for all things in the knitting universe including finishing, which is explained very clearly, covering seaming, buttonholes, etc, with detailed photographs. I also have on hand Shirley Paden’s Knitwear Design Workshop: A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits, when you look through the pieces in this book, each and every one of them could be gracing a fashion runway, and that is was drew me to this book. The detailed instructions in both these publications will help you to achieve your Boutique ready finishing. Another very comprehensive guide is Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters by Deborah Newton, well laid out and packed with user friendly information as well as amazing patterns and a great section on embellishing with non-knitted items.

With the amount of time and money we invest in our knitting projects those few extra hours spent at the end are equally, if not more, important, so Just take your time and enjoy the “F”inishing journey.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Louet North America - Spring 2014

What would be more inspiring to look at when the tempurature is dipping to -31 with windchill than a lovely collection of Spring Knitwear. Louet North America released their Spring 2014 collection today and I am very excited to be a part of this amazing collection. The photoshoot took place in Boston with the very talented Caro Sheridan behind the lense.

The Selway is feminine pullover featuring Art Deco inspired lace will compliment many body shapes whether worn loose or with a belt cinched at the waist. Top is knit flat with armhole and neck edge detail knit as you go which means minimal finishing.

You can see the complete collection at: Louet North America - Spring 2014

Individual patterns are available at: Ravelry: Louet North America - Spring 2014

Friday, November 15, 2013

Shhhhh. . . . its a suprise

So, it is that time of year again, when the secret bags of yarn get tucked into the corner, hidden from view. When I have to knit under the darkness of night while everyone sleeps. Yes the gift giving season approached and this year my goal is that in the boxes are finished projects, not those with needles still attached as if my gift to them is to have them knit their own gift.

I have designed a sweater for my husband, I had him spend hours going through the men's cardigans on Ravelry telling me what he liked and did not like. Running through the Cascade website choosing colours. He knows I am knitting for him, but his surprise will be when he opens it (hopefully one he smiles at).

I also have a little something special for my son, one that has more to do with November 23rd than December 25th - and yes the fellow nerds will know what I am talking about.

And for the first time ever, my father emailed me just minutes after I released my Pop Rock Vest and told me he found his Christmas Gift!!! In exactly those colours, and here are my measurements - I like it when a man makes gift giving easy.

So, we will get through the busy Christmas season . . . I will keep you updated on my progress and then the real fun begins!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Name . . . Same Game

The name has changed, but the games the same.  Still knitting up a storm.  Although I do want to share with you my latest as my boys would say "Epic Fail".  Ever work so diligently that your concentration can't be broken, not even noticing an error, working past it without seeing it, then seaming in the sleeve, again, without seeing it, then 10 times you go past it while working on the button band, again, without seeing it any of the 10 times.  Then off to be washed - without seeing it, then lay it out flat on the drying board look down and go WT*. 

Yup - happened just last week with a lovely Raglan Sweater in Cascade 220 in a lovely wine colour.  Now as I looked down at the Epic Fail I did have an "Aha" moment.  Magic loop on the sleeve, one loop pulled itself into the sleeve, I promptly pulled it back out, apparently not making sure I was at the right spot.  Obviously not as the increases were down the centre of the sleeve not under the arm.

So okay - nothing to panic about, simply pull out the sleeve, pull down to armhole, re-centre and knit away. oh, yeah, have to pull out the button band first - there goes a few hours, unweave my ends (man, why do I put them in so well), unseam sleeve, pull down, centre and reknit.  But of course it is soaking wet right now so I have to stare at it for days while it drys kicking myself for not noticing an . . .


Friday, January 25, 2013

Post Holiday Knitting Sweet Spot - Yes ME time!

What is on your needles right now?  Hopefully you are not still rushing through a gift to be delivered late. 

As with most knitters I know, after months of agonizing over what to knit for gifts, wondering whether or not they will like it, then the last minute knitathon that leaves you wondering if your fingers will ever uncurl; arrives that sweet spot in the year when you can go through your stash and actually wonder what project you want to make for yourself.

Perhaps the yarn beckoning you is that lovely alpaca lace weight you picked up at the show 2 years ago, or that amazing hand painted sock yarn you bought on that summer road trip with the girls!  What ever it is, yes, go ahead, pluck it out of your stash and cast on.  Enjoy knitting every yard at a leisurely pace, feel the texture as it slips through your fingers, look at amazement of the depth of the shades in that hand painted yarn as your socks begin to spring off the needles.

And enjoy every moment, because you deserve it!

Sweet & Simple Lace Socks

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall into knitting

Ahhhh, my favourite season has arrived, one where you can be wearing all your wonderful hand knits. But also that time of year when you are happy to have a big huge afghan in your lap as you work on it.

And one of my favourite events of the fall season is the Port Elgin Pumpkinfest.  For this years event, I have crafted these lovely hats for all to wear,  our family will definately be easy to pick out.

Goal was to have 8 hats made up, so far I have 3 completed and #4 underway. Not quite where I should be, but there are still many hours left before it begins!

The hats are my own design, and each pumpkin is a little bit unique, just like each family member.  Crafted with Cascade 220, sure to keep our pumpkins warm!

Another favourite family stop is the Williamsford Pie Company located in Williamsford, Ontario on Highway 6, worth the drive anyday.  They have a Lemon Buttermilk Pie that is the best thing you will ever have on your plate.  I would suggest calling ahead if you are doing a drive by pick up as they sell out quite quickly, but are more than happy to accommodate any special orders.

And to get you in the Christmas Spirit, I have 2 new pattern releases at Knitpicks which I am sure you will enjoy:

Brava Holiday Tree Skirt

Brava Holiday Afghan

Happy Fall Knitting!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2013 Knitting Pattern A Day Arrives

Received a very exciting package today, copies of the 2013 Knitting Pattern A Day.  Two of my patterns are featured:

The Gambler (September 9 & 10) and

Kobi~your eReader Cover.  (November 15, 16 & 17)

Along with over 100 other amazing patterns as well.  I hope you will pick one up to enjoy throughout the year, or as a special gift for the knitter in your life.