Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year 2009: A Fresh Start with Finishing

Happy New Year 2009 Knitters!

Yes, 2009 is almost three weeks old but greetings are still in order. I rang in the New Year finishing up old business. Really old business. I looked back at my posts and realized it took me over a year to knit the Artful Yarns Mohair and Ribbon cardigan. The cardigan from Post # 5 The sweater from my January 18, 2008 post is now complete and it was worth the wait!

What took me so long? I decided I was going to learn to finish the garment myself. I decided that I would not continue in my knitting life until I learned how to finish a garment properly. This from the woman who had trouble binding off her first scarf.

Artful Yarns pattern 92082 for a cardigan was suggested to me by my teacher (see Dedication) and was a good start in "good" yarn for me. The pattern is easy to read and uses two Artful Yarns: Cinema (cotton/nylon ribbon yarn) and Portrait (mohair, viscose, and polyester).

I did not want to ruin a perfectly knitted sweater (I can hear you snickering) with a bad finish. So, I learned my Sensei's technique of the flat-seam finish. The book from Japan, Ondori's Basic Knit book proved invaluable.

It took me so long that my knitting buddies who would see me slaving away at my sample swatch (see post"What is Wabi Sabi" from October 8, 2008) from at the yarn shop would say, "Are you still working on that same sweater?" For months (literally) the answer was yes.

What kept me going for the miles of stitches? The following list gave me inspiration to keep at a repetitive task, and multiple unravelings (yes, my own neologism) of incorrectly joined seams:
  • Listening to the Yarn Harlot's audiobook of At Knit's End: Meditations for Women who Knit Too Much
  • Target's Archer Farms Label Dark Hot Chocolate
  • The Joy of learning a new task (the process not always so joyful, the result? Pure joy!)
  • The knowledge that I would always treasure the sweater as the first I finished

OK, regarding the last item on the list: technically, I didn't finish the whole garment. Sensei set in the sleeves. You'd be waiting another six months (minimum) if I had attempted that myself. That's a task for another day.

I urge you to learn a finishing technique or two in 2009; It'll make you feel smart, powerful! Go knitters, no matter how long it takes, I know you can do it.


Jame said...

Looks great! I hope it is satisfying to wear...and warm!

My 2009 plans include learning better finishing, too. Will you be my sensei?

Wabi Sabi Knitter said...

I am not worthy of Sensei status!I will work along side you to perfect the technique. The sweater is amazingly warm and cozy!!

Penny said...

Oh, you are VERY sensei about a LOT of things.

word verification: ulticani

"Christine is ulticani about many topics, including being an amazing friend. In fact, you could say she's a Friend Sensei."

Wabi Sabi Knitter said...

You are too kind! Right back at you!I bet Jame could come up with a title like, Sensei Friends or Sensational Senseis.