Work in Progress

On the go #9

I had hoped that if I planned to blog at least monthly about my works in progress, this would provide some kind of counterbalance to my eternal indecision and doubt, and therefore encourage me to make decisions a little faster. Unfortunately, I don’t really notice much change in my behaviour as of yet, so I’m afraid this is going to be a boring, repetitive post, lol.

In my previous update of the granny square vest, I mentioned that I was struggling with procrastination when it came to knitting the edges. That procrastination is actually mainly due to doubt and uncertainty, which is ridiculous, because it’s only by trying something that I’m going to be able to decide what the best course of action is going to be.
Finally I gave myself a kick in the ass and started trying a few times to find the best way to pick up stitches along the edge: What size knitting needle suits my crochet work best? Do I include 1 or more knitting stitches per crochet stitch? Or should I pick up stitches between the crochet stitches? And what about the spaces between clusters of double crochet stitches: 1 knitting stitch or several? Etcetera.
The photo above is what ultimately seemed to me to give the best result, namely simply 1 knitting stitch per crochet stitch and per space between clusters with a 3mm knitting needle.

Then it was just a matter of knitting and at first I made quite some progress. However, I had already knitted quite a few stitches and rounds for the hem, when the doubt suddenly reappeared.
Because I suddenly remembered that the inspiration vest had splits along the sides, which means that the hem was not knitted in one circle, but in two pieces. So, erm, wouldn’t it be better to also make slits in my vest? Since I don’t want to end up with a straitjacket?
So yeah, then the work just lay around untouched again for a couple of weeks, while I kept jumping between either starting over or just keep going to see what it gave.
Finally, I have now ripped out the hem and will restart knitting it in two pieces, so with slits up the sides. So again to be continued!

I am also still working on the vague knitting project, but I have now completely finished phase 1 and I have two basic pieces in two different sizes that I can now continue with.
For one of the two, phase 2 has already been completed!

In sewing class I finished the project I was working on, so there will be a separate message about this soon.
I’m still trying to figure out how I want to organise myself here. Sometimes a message of a finished project is just a few photos without me having much to say about it, besides showing it off. On the other hand, I don’t want to also include my finished projects in my “on the go” posts, because they’re not “on the go” and my brain wants to keep things well organised. So yeah, for now, you’ll see another blog soon with the finished sewing project.

Furthermore, in sewing lessons we are now working on small projects for a charity auction. Think of Christmas napkins, pot holders, little bears, bags, etc.
I am working on a slightly larger project, a handbag made from houndstooth fabric I previously used to make a twenties style flapper dress for one of my nieces.

Speaking of sewing class, fellow student C. asked me if I would be willing to finish a knitting project her mother started but wasn’t able to finish, before her unexpected passing earlier this year.
The project is another vest she was making for her granddaughter, C.’s daughter, who had been asking about the possibility of someone else finishing the garment for obvious sentimental reasons.
Even though I found the request a little intimidating, due to the sentimental value, I of course said yes.

In the bag with the project I found a fully finished back piece, the cast on for the front piece on straight knitting needles, three balls of yarn and a print of the pattern.
I started by going through the pattern and quickly realized that the pattern had not really been followed, but rather been used as a guideline.
The yarn used was different from the one mentioned in the pattern and the number of stitches cast on was considerably higher than the largest size described. So this became a matter of arithmetic and counting, but ultimately not that difficult, using stitch markers and a marker thread on the back piece to decipher stitch and row count.

The hardest part turned out to be the knitting tension.
I knit quite tightly by nature, so I knew before I started that I was never going to be able to knit with the same knitting needles. On the one hand, I never knit with straight needles, so I would use circular needles anyway. On the other hand, I was definitely going to need a bigger needle.
Unfortunately, even with my largest knitting needles I was unable to imitate the loose knitting stitch of the back piece. Based on a small sample, there was clearly a difference, but I thought it wouldn’t be too bad in the end, since you can pull knitting into shape a little bit.
But when I had cast off the front piece and placed it on top of the existing back piece, the difference was much bigger than I had expected. What’s bizarre is that the difference mainly lies in the stitch density, because I have knitted the same number of rows each time as in the back and in terms of length I am pretty much on track. So it is mainly the width that’s a problem and yes, you can also feel a difference in the fabric between the two pieces.

I’m now going to try to see if I can pull the front piece into shape by wetting it and blocking it to the dimensions of the back piece. The wool used is 100% wool, so that should normally work, right?
If it doesn’t work, I think I’m going to have to unravel, procure some bigger knitting needle and start over. However, I also fear this yarn will not take unraveling well.

I have presented the problem to C. who did not immediately want me to have to knit it again, but yes, I still want to deliver a nice job, especially with its emotional value. Difficult, difficult!

And that’s all for now. Still a longer post than I expected when I started writing. So hopefully it won’t be as boring for you to read as I predicted 😉

Cheers and until the next time,
Charlotte

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