Thursday, March 8, 2012
Finishing and Fitting
I have a Wednesday night knitting group with a roster of 45 ladies and an average attendance of 20+ We meet to knit together, learn new techniques, share projects, participate in KAL's, drink a little wine, eat a little food, and enjoy the companionship found in the sisterhood of knitting. We have been meeting for over ten years now, and it is the high point of my week. I even schedule my travel around that meeting when I can. I have friends in that group that know my heart and my twisted mind! However, they keep coming back?!
Last night I taught a finishing class. I have found that my adventurous knitters are not afraid to try challenging patterns - yet often are not happy with the finished result. So we start at the beginning. When you find a pattern that sparks your interest- that is the beginning of planning on finishing strong with a garment you will be proud of and happy to wear. Your yarn choice, how you will join the new ball a yarn as you proceed, the tails of yarn that need to be woven in or used to pick up stitches, or seam a side; all can be preplanned and help to make your garment a wearable work of art.
We covered the 3 needle bind off, picking up stitches, and excellent vertical and horizontal seaming. I brought in my ironing board and trusty Rowenta iron to demonstrate blocking with steam and how the blocking makes your knitwear take on a professional patina.
I recommend that all knitters take the time to finish strong. You should all own a reference book of finishing techniques that you can carry in your bag. Remember to read through your pattern and if you are making a copy to carry with you- be sure you copy the special stitch instructions at the end of the pattern or in the magazine glossary. Remember the internet. Google your question just as you would ask it. When you hit the search button- the resultant information will usually be a help. Do not forget youtube for the visual and auditory learners. You can replay and attempt in the privacy of your home any new technique (such as the moebius cast on as taught by Cat Bordhi) without the tension of someone over your shoulder.
There are excellent on line classes popping up over the internet and I can personally recommend Craftsy. The caliber of the teachers is excellent. Again, once you buy in and own the class, you can replay it over and over until you are confident in the new skill. knitty.com has many excellent free tutorials and helpful articles to increase your skill sets. Remember that even master knitters need to reference resources as we go along our knitting journey. Yes, I do a beautiful Kitchener stitch. I do not have it memorized so whenever I need to Kitchener, I pull out my trusty instruction found in my Interweave "The Knitter's Companion". When all else fails, find a trusted knitting teacher that will walk you through and help you master the details. Paying a good teacher to help you is never a waste of money. Time, care and money spent on quality finishing are well spent! Have fun...