Rosemont KAL Week 7: Finishing

We're delighted to be hosting our very own Rosemont Cardigan Knit-A-Long on the Kelbourne Woolens Blog. The Rosemont Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, features Terra in Nettle, and is a great way to stay warm during the last few months of winter.

Last night I bound off my Rosemont Cardigan with a huge smile on my face. There's something so refreshing about binding off a large project. I was so excited that I immediately put on my cardigan, strings and all, and sat in my finished, yet unfinished, Rosemont inspecting my bind offs and coloration attributed to the silk noils found in Terra. After a good half an hour I came back to reality, knowing that I still had to weave in all of my ends and block my garment to measurements to truly call my Rosemont finished.

When I was in high school I worked at my local yarn store, where I was mentored by a lovely 80 year old woman from Belgium who had been knitting her entire life. To this day I still think about the small grey hair bun atop her head, with a long straight needle perched under her arm using the English method of knitting and showing me different knitting techniques. One of the best things she taught me was the importance of finishing. To this day I remember her saying, "What's the point of knitting something if you're not going to finish it properly?" So blunt and yet so true. So, today we'll be sewing in the ends and blocking our Rosemont Cardigan to measurements. To start you'll need: your almost finished garment, a darning needle, and a pair of scissors. 

Rosemont Cardigan 1

If you were to ask a room full of knitters their preferred method to weave in ends, you'd probably hear a selection of different, yet similar, techniques. During my garter stitch scarf days I would break the yarn, thread it through the back of my garter ridges, cut and pull on the area to "assure" me that the end was woven in place. Boy, was I wrong. It wasn't until my mentor showed me how to weave in my ends properly that those pesky little ends would stay in place. So, let's begin. 

With the wrong side facing you, and holding your needle at a 45 degree angle inserting it into the purl bumps, weave in the end for 5 to 7 stitches. Then turn the needle so it is pointing in the opposite direction, still at a diagonal, and weave it in for another 5 to 7 stitches. These stitch counts can vary based on the length of yarn you have to weave in, but nothing less than 4 stitches, otherwise your end might come undone. 

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Next, I trim my ends and give the area a small tug to ensure that my yarn end is securly woven into my finished Rosemont and that's it! I also enlisted the help of an old blog post from The Purl Bee, discussing different methods to weave in your ends {you can check it out here}. With my ends taken care of, it's time to wash and block my cardigan.

Blocking is a tricky beast, but it pays off significantly. Stitches relax, the yarn blooms and your finished object, in this case my Rosemont Cardigan, is ready to be showcased to the world. Wet blocking is my preferred method of washing my knitwear - it's just what I grew up with, so to say. However, there was a great discussion featured on The Fringe Association in regards to blocking, and if you have a moment I would highly recommend reading it

To start you'll need to fill your sink/ bathtub/ fancy washbasin with cold to lukewarm water and some form of woolwash. 

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Submerge your garment in the water, then  "swoosh" it around to ensure that your knitting is completely covered with water and leave for about half an hour. Drain the water from your sink/ bathtub/ fancy washbasin and press your knitting against the walls to remove some of the water that was soaked by your knitted garment. You're then left with a wet piece of knitting that looks something like this:

Are you my sweater? 

Are you my sweater? 

Next, lay the sweater out onto a large towel that is specifically used for blocking (trust me, it's worth it), and roll the towel into a log shape.

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Then walk along the top of the rolled up towel, squeezing out as much water you can. Sometimes you might need to use more than one round of "towel walking" to get the excess water out of your knitting. Once you're convinced you've removed a good portion of the water, unwrap your cardigan from the towel and place on a blocking board. 

Using your schematic as a guide, layout your finished piece making sure that the stitches lay flat and that's it! Now's the hardest part: waiting for my Rosemont to dry. Stay tuned, on Friday I'll be posting the final pictures of my Rosemont. Speaking of final pictures, how's your Rosemont coming along? 

Also, don't forget to show us your progress with the #RosemontKAL tag on your social media sites! 

-Leah