Friday, September 23, 2011


I do knitting/crocheting finishing and repair work for our local yarn shop, Knit. My favorite kind of finishing job is when a client gives me a sweater that Grandma intended for someone, but left only partially completed before death overtook (no doubt I will be leaving a closet full myself). Sometimes there is just not enough yarn to complete, sometimes the pattern is long gone and I just have to wing it. I love this kind of challenge!

My least favorite kind of finishing job is when I am handed a project only barely started, especially if the client is using cheap acrylic yarn. I hate cheap acrylic yarn! Once I foolishly agreed to complete a baby blanket for a client. It had been cast on and knit very tightly in garter stitch for about two inches with Red Heart Baby Clouds. And it had a short deadline! Oy, how I struggled with those Clouds, but completed the blanket with days to spare. And then the client "forgot" to pay me. Sheesh!

The past two weeks I have been knitting a baby blanket edging for a client who is also a friend. The yarn is a soft cotton of unknown origin, and she gave me free rein to choose an edging pattern that would look good. I enjoyed making the edging, although it seemed incredible to me how long it took to get around a rather small blanket. The pattern for the edging is a variation of one I found in Nicky Epstein's book, Knitting on the Edge. I gave it a bit of whimsy by adding the bobbles. Today I sewed it on, and it is done and looks great!

Now I can get back to the two cable knit sweaters!


Friday, September 2, 2011


It's always been difficult for me to tell the size of a garment knitted on circular needles. So about six inches into the Byzantine Millbrook sweater, I slipped it onto two circular needles so I could spread it out a bit and measure it. It's SIX INCHES TOO SMALL!!!! AAAARGH!!!

I've made gauge errors before, even some very big errors. But not for a long time. For this sweater I made up an especially large gauge swatch, as I always do, so I could get a very accurate gauge. The swatch was in stockinette stitch, so I calculated about how many extra stitches I would need to add for the cables: about 30. (For example, if you have a 6-stitch cable that crosses 3 by 3, you must add 3 stitches for that cable). I FORGOT TO DOUBLE THE ADDED STITCHES FOR THE CABLES IN THE BACK! I should have added 60 stitches: 30 for the front, 30 for the back. I knew this. I really did! I just forgot! Thirty stitches translates to six inches, according to my gauge.

Now, I am WAY to stubborn to rip out six inches of a perfectly beautiful sweater because it is six inches too small. So I am plunging ahead, hoping against hope that I can block (stretch) it out by at least four inches. It will shorten the entire sweater (but I can knit it longer to compensate), flatten the cables, and will probably look bad stretched tight over my fat behind. Depending on how bad it looks, I may even have to give it to a smaller person as a gift- I've done it before! Besides, I am having such a fun time making this sweater that it wouldn't kill me to make another, larger one for myself and my fat behind.

P.S. The Manly College sweater is spot on.