That final step

It’s an odd thing sometimes with project finishing. If I haven’t got a deadline attached to something, then often my brain will check out and move on once the bulk of the actual knitting is done, and final things like weaving in ends or sewing on buttons will sit there waiting to be done until the very last possible moment of, “oh wait, I need to actually wear this now, so I’d better go ahead and do that.” I think it’s the product of my knitting brain looking for the next challenge, and it usually craves starting a new project altogether over the tedium of finishing. Or maybe I get tripped up on having to go to a separate store to find the buttons, because for some that seems exponentially more tedious than buying the yarn.

But the truth is I don’t actually mind the finishing, because you get finished clothing out of it. And when it comes to sewing up pieces together into a sweater, then you get to see it transform into a collection of flat pieces into a 3-dimensional garment, and that’s pretty great. And then you get to wear it.

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Uji6-Small

In other words, back in September I finished knitting my Uji cardigan. A few weeks later I even bought buttons for it. But knitting brain had done the aforementioned thing and moved on, and somehow, even though a sweater + buttons isn’t exactly the same thing as a sweater with buttons on it, in my mind it totally was, so I went and did other things. Also, this is a gorgeous and totally bulky, warm, furnace-like sweater. This is not something one casually reaches for when it’s November and still +8C outside. That’s still DK-weight sweater time, and I could wait.

And then, December came. And lo, when December arrived, it brought cold. Last weekend we had snow and daytime temps of -10C, and I finally saw the light and went and took eight minutes out of my life to sew on the frigging buttons. I AM SO GLAD I DID. This sweater basically rules, and I will now promptly spend all winter wearing it for my couch time in the evenings, or maybe for a quick dash outside if it warms up to, you know, freezing.

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I knitted my Uji in Knit Picks Cadena (which I have learned is now sadly discontinued! woe.), which is a bulky-weight wool/alpaca blend. This is pretty much the warmest possible combination of yarn descriptors you could possibly get. Regular wool would be pretty great too, possibly even more ideal since the alpaca content makes it drape more heavily, but I’m happy with how mine turned out. I knitted a size for about 5 inches of positive ease, which I also like for a bulky cabled sweater that is meant for a warm outer layer.

The main modifications I made to the pattern were to shorten it – I removed about 3 inches in overall length, which probably reduced to about 2 inches post-washing and blocking. I also changed how I worked the sleeve cap shaping to use decreases instead of stepped bind-off. I like being able to sew vertical seams when I sew my sleeve caps into my armholes, so that was basically just a personal choice of how I like to construct things. And finally I reduced the number of armhole decreases at the back & front pieces to make the cross-shoulder measurement wider than written, to fit my shoulders. Other than that, I worked it as written. It’s a nice comfy sweater, thanks for the pattern, Ann Marie!

Uji4-Small

Happy knitting this fine Thursday! Hope you’re staying warm wherever you are.

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “That final step

  1. uh oh. Broken link in this post;-)

  2. Mary Lynn

    I have the same problem (I am sure we are not alone). There is a basket, in the familyroom, with items that need to be finished. I start with saying, finish one item a night, then one a week and so forth. Maybe tonight is the night to get started? Our weather went from a low of 10 and snow last week, to an expected high of 69 and rain this weekend. Maybe I don’t need to finish those knitted winter items just yet.

  3. Sue

    So do we get to see what it looks like???

  4. That is gorgeous and beautiful and I want one too :)

  5. Laura s.

    Great sweater! I am in the same finishing boat. What is about being finished?!

  6. It is absolutely beautiful. I really like that stitch pattern and the way it looks so three-dimensional. You did a great job!

  7. Yep, I was just having some trouble with WordPress and photos!

  8. I’ve double-checked the links and they both work from my end! :)

  9. Absolutely, drop dead, stunningly perfect. Love that red!

  10. Emily

    Wow! It’s stunning.

  11. jengolightly

    Haha I have two finished cardigans to sew up too!

  12. Stunning! Love the colour!! x

  13. I, too, am a starter, not a finisher; I have finished a lot of things, but still there are dozens of all sorts of things in various states of existence. Not only knitting, either . . . I mean to finish, then get excited about some new project / technique / material and off I go again. Some in our family call it:

    “Oh, look, a blade of grass!! . . .” because my sisters and I even get distracted while talking (but we do keep track and eventually go back and finish the thought).

    Maybe for New Year’s I will resolve to finish at least one project a month . . . anything more would be nice, but not likely. lol ~ LInne

  14. That’s a beautiful sweater! Great length too!

  15. What a fabulous knit. You should rightly be extremely proud of this beautiful cardigan. Superb. Well done.

  16. Tiffanie

    Beautiful! And I love that color.

  17. Beautiful. You are going to have such a cosy winter.

  18. Suzanne Monaghan

    What a beautiful cardigan and in such a warm colour. It looks professionally finished, expensive and fits like a glove. Also lovely pattern. I have just completed a cable stitch yellow cardigan. Having just learnt mattress stitch, I finished it well, apart from the button holes which I will aim to complete properly on my next project. Again, very well done!

  19. Sharon in Surrey(Can) thetwistedsock@blogspot.com

    Oh, I can relate to the unfinished sweater! My mother could tell you about the beautiful hooded jacket I knit for her. It came in a lovely box & just needed to be sewed together. hahaha It’s gorgeous. It fits you perfectly. And you had it finished for when you needed it. Nothing wrong with that.

  20. Hillary

    For some reason I am just absolutely in love with the zig-zaggy collar bind-off. I studied the picture and I’m thinking it’s just a regular knit/purl bind-off, but it is just so pretty!! Is that what you used, or did you use a different bind-off? Thanks!!

  21. What a gorgeous creation! I love it :)

  22. What a beautiful garment! The color is stunning.

  23. Pingback: Seven days, seven links | Knitted Art

  24. What a marvelous sweater; you will be dreading the return of warm weather and having to tuck it away for a season. I think there are many of us who have issues with finishing …. the inspiration of the new project already pulling us in a new direction.

  25. twistedsticks

    Spectacular!!

  26. Your Uji looks deliciously squishy and warm! I am guilty of the same types of finishing procrastination you described. I don’t know why I struggle building the motivation to weave in ends or sew buttons. I hope your sweater is keeping your toasty warm now that it’s complete.