Wednesday, January 24, 2007


As I slowly return to what passes for reality in these parts, I've been on a finishing spree.

I am notoriously bad at finishing projects, particularly when they involve the sewing of seams; the setting in of sleeves or the turning back of hems. This partly explains my love of shawls, wraps, capelets and so on - as those who have been following have heard me say many times - "It doesn't have to fit." In my debilitated state, I really am only just getting back into knitting mode (three attempts at knitting a square of "Herringbone Twists", three goes at "Dotted Triple Slip" stitch and three at "Staggered Brioche Rib" revealed the true state of my brain - "Absent".) I thought a quick bit of finishing might fit the bill.

I had a few adventures with the Japanese Kimono Jacket from Vivian Hoxbro's "Shadow Knitting". Naturally, I did not use the Harrisville yarn recommended in the book but found a suitable alternative in Rowan's Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply. I bought the yarn last January and started the jacket in March. What with one thing and another (six blue wraps might have had something to do with it) I didn't pick it up again until this January (and feeling slightly wobbly, at that). It wasn't long before I realised that I was going to run out of yarn; it seemed like only a split second before I realised that Rowan have discontinued it. Panic phone calls to Nicky at Shipston Needlecraft revealed none of the right colours there. The day was saved by Colourway, which Nicky put me on to. They specialize in discontinued lines and just happened to have a few balls of the relevant colours on hand. The yarn arrived in very short order and I was astonished to see that the dye lots matched! I hadn't even checked that, thinking that the nature of the pattern would even out any slight irregularities.

Knitting over, I embarked on the finishing. Grafting together the centre back seam was an endurance test:

I don't think it looks too bad (even though it took me two episodes of "Desperate Housewives" to do it).

Here's the front:

Slightly wonky (technical term) on the fastening, I'm afraid. My stylist (#1 daughter) was so busy wielding the camera that she failed to notice I had done the equivalent of fastening the top button in the second button hole - be assured the fronts really are the same length and match perfectly if you do it right.

There are, in fact, no buttons. The jacket is fastened with a "brooch, pin or short knitting needle" (or in this case, a hat pin):

I'm going to have to come up with another solution, though - the hat pin keeps falling out. Any suggestions?

While all that was going on, I thought I might use up a bit of stash, so quickly made this:

The Charlotte Wrap from Rowan Magazine #38. Three balls Rowan Ribbon Twist, 12mm needles (amazingly, for me, the ones recommended in the pattern!). Took about three hours. Another reason I like knitting lace - much more bang for your buck. Months of fun to be had with a cone of skinny yarn and some skinny needles. Big, fat yarn + big, fat needles = all the fun's over in no time.

And as if that weren't enough - a scarf for #1 son:

Red ACK-rylic, black eyelash, his own design.

That's the lot for now, although there is another project in the last stages (setting in of sleeves - Aggh!), and one in the very early stages of simply floating about in my fevered brain.


Marie said...

Congratulations on finishing the kimono jacket. It's beautiful!! For fastening perhaps you could try one of those big safety pins the Scots use on their kilts (whatever they're called). I have used one of those on my Mermaid jacket, and it does keep things in place.

Susanne said...

All very lovely! What, if I might ask, is in the "shadow" of the jacket? Can you spread the back open and show us??

allisonmariecat said...

Wow, that's a lot of finishing. Impressive jacket. The seaming must have been dreadful, but it looks gorgeous. I have a wool cloak for winter, and I'm thinking that a cloak pin might suffice for a closure on the jacket.

Lovely knitting all around, really.

littlelixie said...

Jacket looks awesome and what an excellent scarf!