Finishing Tips for Fair Isle

You might have seen my post last week where I admitted that I have a horrible time starting the final finishing touches on almost any project I do. Yes, I know it isn’t hard and it really doesn’t take too long. I can’t explain it but once I bind off, my mind just classifies the project as done. Which is why I was thrilled when Kerin showed me a clever way of finishing yarn ends for fair isle projects!

This method is so simple, it makes me wonder why I hadn’t stumbled upon it before. Instead of painstakingly weaving in each yarn end from all of the color changes, simply make sure to leave a good length yarn for your ends and you will be able to braid them together! After you get to the end of your yarn strands, all you have to do is finish
it off by tying all the strands together in a knot and trim the ends. Brilliant! Kerin also mentioned that by braiding all of the longer yarn ends together, you can use those ends to easily mend any small holes or loose stitches that might occur throughout the life of your sweater.

So, for any knitters out there working on any fair isle gift knitting – check out our video on how to braid yarn ends to save yourself a bit of time (and sanity, in my case!).


Less than 2 weeks!

That’s how much time I have to finish up the knitted gifts for my family’s Christmas celebrations!  Eek!

Luckily I was smart this year and started my biggest project first, which was a vest for my mom – I made Talia, a free pattern by SweaterBabe but I haven’t got a good photo of it yet.  So with the big project out of the way, I’m left with a lot of smaller knitted gifts for 4 nieces & nephews.

A month ago, I was told that my 7 year old nephew really wanted some fingerless gloves to match his new green & black bike. I really love the pattern Knucks - I’ve made a ton of them over the years so they’re easy to whip out.  I used Swish DK in Black & Peapod.



Seaming & Grafting

It’s officially one week into December, and like many people, I have a few projects that are just about ready for finishing – things like seaming, weaving in ends, blocking, etc. This year, I will be trying to work on the finishing touches as I go along, which means I will hopefully be able to avoid the mad dash of sewing and seaming.

For one reason or another, as soon as I bind off my last stitch my mind instantly categorizes my project as done. But! There is still so much to do after binding off, I know this yet, I try to avoid it. Once I get into a good workflow, I can spend the weekend finishing up projects and blocking out shawls with no problem. Like everything, starting is the hardest part – even if it is the finishing that you are starting on.


Gift idea – Toys!

So how is your gift crafting coming along?  For myself, I’m a little over halfway on my handmade gifts – I have 4 nieces & nephews and each requested some sort of knitted item (yes, I’ve trained them well).  They run in ages from 5 to 12 and all of them love silly little toys – which is good because I love making them!  So I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite toy books & patterns if you need some gift ideas!

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you may remember that I’m a huge fan of Rebecca Danger and her monsters.


Advanced Cabling Techniques: Closed Cables

Over the past month, we have posted all kinds of cabling technique tutorials – everything from a beginner’s guide to cabling to unique and unusual cable textures for more advanced knitters. Not only do cables keep your knitting interesting, but it adds so much classic texture to the finished piece. Cables are also a wonderful way to dress up simple patterns that you might have laying around. By choosing a cable panel that works with your stitch count, you can easily transform your favorite basic hat or scarf pattern into your very own cabled creation.

So to finish off our Advanced Cabling Techniques video series, we saved a very unique cable for last – the closed cable! This is a cable that creates a completely closed ring without pulling in your knitted fabric, unlike many other cables. Check out the video to see how you can create closed cables!


Advanced Cabling Techniques: Increasing & Decreasing Cables

So far in our Advanced Cabling Techniques video series, we have covered how to add a splash of color to your cables with intarsia cabling and how to create interlocking cable textures with multiple crossing cables. And just what else can you do with cables? How about adding in a bit of shaping!

For our third video in this series, we show you how to create both increasing and decreasing cables. This technique allows you to shape your cables to grow larger or smaller, letting you create unique and interesting cable patterns. I think increasing and decreasing cables have a lot of potential as interesting design elements on a hat or sweater. In addition to their distinctive look, there are also many clever ways you can incorporate increasing and decreasing cables into your knitting! If that cabled cardigan or Aran sweater is a bit too boxy, simply add in a few increasing and decreasing cables for a bit of clever waist shaping, and voila! A nice, flattering cabled sweater!

Check out the third video installment of our Advanced Cabling Techniques to start creating cables with shaping!


Race to Wrapped – How to Choose Buttons

Buttons can be one of the last finishing details that you put on a sweater or cardigan, and it is just as important to choose the right buttons for your project as it is to find the right yarn. And if you have recently checked out our selection of buttons, you know just how many options, styles, materials, and shapes of buttons there are to choose from. So in the spirit of all the holiday knitting I’m sure everyone is busy with, we put together a handy tutorial on how to go about choosing a button style that works best for your project and yarn so you can put the finishing touches on all of those WIPs with confidence.


Advanced Cabling Techniques: Intarsia Cables

In the second installment of our Advanced Cabling Techniques video series, we add color to our cables! In last week’s video, we highlighted how to create multiple crossing cables, which are cables with a three dimensional appearance that makes it look as though you are creating interlocking rings.

This week, we shine the spotlight on intarsia cables! These eye-catching cables are combined with the colorwork technique known as intarsia, allowing one section of the cable to be in a different color than the rest of your knitting. The best part is, with only the help of a highlighter or marker, you can easily transform any cable chart into your very own cabled, colorwork creation.

Check out the second Advanced Cabling Techniques video to start adding intarsia cables to your projects!