When we decided June would be Finish That Project Month, it wasn’t just for all of you. It was very much for us. We each have abandoned projects that we know we should finish. Sometimes we cringe away when we see them in our knitting baskets. Sometimes they just sit in the back of our minds, making us feel guilty. Here’s what we’re working on this month.
I discovered Hooked on Sunshine on Facebook and was amazed by the beautiful crocheted blankets people were crocheting from cotton. We had no cotton in stock at the time so I chose Sirdar Baby Bamboo, a lustrous and richly coloured bamboo and wool blend.
The thing about blankets is they get larger with each row and therefore heavier and when crocheting through summer, hotter. Much hotter. Sitting under the blanket in the heat as I crocheted it was not fun and so I put it to one side.
Then life happened. A hat here, a shawl there, a baby jacket and a jumper or two, and the blanket got pushed as far into the back of the cupboard as it was to the back of my mind. Now, in the middle of winter, it’s a great time to finish the last few rows while I sit under the blanket.
I have a wear-with-everything, cheap, nasty black cardi, that was slowly adding “shapeless” to its list of descriptors. And I realised that there was really no justification to not knit a replacement rather than buying another cheap, nasty cardi. Although knitting with black was never going to be straightforward!
So I cast it on in about 2017 and had almost finished the body when I broke my arm and basically didn’t knit for a year. And then it took me ages to pick it up again afterwards – because I suspected that it wasn’t going to fit and I would need to rip a whole lot out, and what is more demotivating than picking up an old project than to pick it up to rip it out.
But after many moons I decided to bite the bullet, and I picked it back up again, finished the last two rows of the ribbing so I could properly try it on, confirmed it didn’t fit, ripped it out from waist to bust, changed the shaping and redid the body, added the button bands to ensure the bodice fit was ok, and got ready to start on the first sleeve. It was a glorious burst of finish-itis.
But picking up stitches in black in artificial light is basically impossible and as I was mostly knitting at night it languished yet again, until I sat down one Saturday afternoon and got the sleeve picked up! However I also decided to extend it from elbow to bracelet length. I made the adjustments to do so, and carried on knitting until it was time to change needle size for the ribbing. I tried it on for length and…I am not convinced I got the decreases right as it is pretty tight through the forearm.
And to add insult to injury I had mucked up the little lace inset that starts on the cuff and goes up the sleeve. I had painstakingly dropped it down and picked the lace up correctly, which I was super proud of doing, so possibly ripping out all that lace again to redo the decreases is not something I am looking forward to! Back to the naughty corner while I worked on other projects.
So what I have left to do is:
I am going to finish the left sleeve, which just has ribbing to go, and then wash and block the one-sleeved cardigan. I know that this particular yarn relaxes a lot on washing, and maybe the sleeve will actually be just fine after it is wet? Only one way to find out! Then I can decide what I will do with the first sleeve, before doing the second to match.
The plus side is that at the end I will be able to toss my cheap, nasty, wear-with-everything, shapeless cardigan and have a 100% ultra fine merino, hand-knitted, custom, perfectly fitted wear-with-everything black cardi instead!
Alas there are few progress photos. The only thing harder than knitting all black is photographing all black!