Sunday, April 25, 2010

Knitting and Finishing

Sometimes the change of seasons never seems to come and sometimes it happens so quickly you are caught unawares. This has been a year when we had a relatively mild winter compared to other parts of the eastern US, and we are experiencing the most glorious spring. Which means I have already mowed the lawn twice!

Some years the lawn doesn't get it's first mowing until mid or late May. The forsythias are almost done and the lilacs are opening. So it seems the project I'm working on this month is seriously out of step with the temperatures. I am on the last steps of the Central Park Hoodie and am itching to start work on a summer sweater. As I finished the knitting and began the piecing together, it was a real struggle not to just put it aside and wait for the fall to get this done. But I am determined to adhere to my new resolutions of sketching out a very modest To Do list for the month and sticking to it. This month was finishing the CPH, starting a lace project, another sweater and finishing one pair of socks.

Socks are done. These are the socks for the Toe Up sock class I took this month. I am glad I didn't try these by myself. I have a really good grasp of top down socks and maybe because of that, this was a little bit of a struggle. Quite a different process. It was good to have someone to walk through the steps with me and a nice group of knitters, who were having the same problems as myself. I may not be as proficient with this technique as I am with top down, but now I know I can do it and can make any sock pattern that appeals to me. Before I was automatically eliminating a pattern I liked just because it was toe up.
I started the Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn Clark and the plan was to work on this during the hockey playoffs. The Sabres are flirting with elimination in the first round, so it really has been too intense to work on it during the hockey games (I'm too busy pacing and maybe swearing a little? how can you lead in every game and then lose?)

The sewing together of the CPH is complete and I must say it really is a very well written pattern. I love how well the cap sleeves fit into the armholes. The whole project has been a pleasure. I generally don't get on the bandwagon for the really popular knits on Ravelry, but there is probably a reason so many people have made this cardi.
I know a lot of knitters complain about the finishing of a garment. Sewing up is not something they want to do with their time and they will choose top down sweaters only, to avoid the process.
Me, I love sewing up a garment. I used to do for customers when I worked at the knit shop, many years ago. I understand the reluctance. It is an entirely different process, takes up a good deal of time that you could have been mindlessly knitting, takes patience and skill to do it right. And it can make or break the look of the finished project. Just like learning to knit, it really isn't something you should just jump into, without acquiring some knowledge through a good book on the subject or by taking a class at your local knitting shop. If you have friends who can share the techniques with you, so much the better.
It actually was good for my fingers to stop knitting for the last few days and just sew. My hands were hurting from the weight of the yarn, I think, and the workout I was giving them with the weeding in the garden.
Now I am off to finishing up the button band on my CPH and figure up what I'm going to start next.

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