Finishing elves wanted

Oh, this shawl has been a satisfying knit the last couple weeks. The sort where I find myself thinking “just one more row” each time I try to set it down. Because, this next row is a plain one. Or this next row is a fun one. Or this next one is a green one.


So even as the rows grew longer and longer and longer, they kept getting ticked off. And then, nearly a week ago, I was to the end. Already! I started to think about how fun it would be to get it blocked and take some pictures. And then I realized the pattern called for a sewn bind-off of 423 stitches. Which means guessing how much yarn that will take (three double-arm spans, maybe 17 feet?) and cutting the yarn and threading it on a needle and then pulling that through each stitch as you sew the final bind-off.

So it sat in my basket for a few days while I contemplated that task. I finally got started on Wednesday and managed to get all of about six inches done. Last night I decided I was ready to tackle the rest so I set myself up with a couple podcasts and sewed and sewed and sewed… and managed to make it to the halfway point (and made several mental notes about what to do the next time a pattern called for a sewn bind-off). Finally this morning the second half got bound off. I had about 8 inches of yarn left, or about 2 inches to spare.

The next task is to tackle the ends, all 140 or so of them:DSC_3886

Sigh. Maybe next weekend? I really appreciate good finishing of knits but I can’t pretend that I love any part of that finishing work. It’s so tedious! All that work just to tidy things up and make them right when it feels like it should be “done” already. This may also explain a certain state of my housekeeping. I need elves that want to do the dishes and dust and weave in all the ends and whistle while they do.

While I wait for the elves to arrive, I’m distracting myself by learning the very basics of crochet. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I am utterly worthless at crochet. I’ve learned a couple stitches a few times but never managed to retain anything more than rudimentary chain-making. Which is annoying, because crochet comes in handy in all sorts of knitting projects. And I desperately want to make crocheted covers for stones like these:

credit: Margaret Oomen

Here is the progress I’ve made, which I’m optimistic is only like twelve short steps from being one of those intricate designs in fine cotton:

DSC_3888I’m inordinately proud, and not just because I’m managing to avoid dealing with those ends.