Persistence, or The Knitter Triumphant

May 05 2011 – thisisknit

We've all got them, those projects that lurk at the bottom of the WIP pile, muttering. Some of them are large, some small; some our own idea, some from a famous designer's pattern; some are for babies who have done very nicely in the Junior Cert. It's easy to think that they're doomed never to be finished, but that's just not true. Some projects have a longer gestation than others, and here's two of them. First, this is the Tuesday Dress, from Blue Monday by Louisa Harding. It's made in Willow Tweed, a delicious blend of alpaca, merino and silk, and it's a terribly versatile piece. You could wear it over jeans or leggings, or by itself as a mini-dress. The booklet also includes instructions for knitting a shorter, hip-length version. Lisa started knitting this just after Louisa Harding's visit to This Is Knit last July...and now it's all finished and lovely and on display in the shop. Tenacity rewarded! A garment which has taken even longer to come to fruition is Lisa's latest design, the Winterberry Shrug. The earliest version of this dates from the summer of 2009, and it's been getting prettier and more cleverly designed ever since. It's an ideal cover-up for summer frocks and party dresses. It's knitted in DK weight yarn, so it's a fast knit - the suggested yarn is Louisa Harding's Merletto which has a lovely subtle sheen to it. This shrug is the ideal introduction to top-down garment knitting (in fact, it's going to be one of the teaching projects for our top-down classes). It's got short rows for clever shaping too, so our Short and Sweet blog post might be useful. So what's waiting its turn in your WIP basket? Why not tell us in the comment section, and then see if you can't triumph over it!


  • Deirdre: September 16, 2020
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    I have a few pieces that are stalled.
    The Brown cardigan in sock yarn is stalled a little because the sleeves are too small and I have to restart them. And I was so nearly finished them.

    My Purple Bikers jacket is stalled while I try to get my courage together to put the zip in…

    There’s a waistcoat I’ve been working on, for many, many years, it’s the Leafy Waistcoat by Sasha Kagan that I got at a Knitting & Stitching show, someone robbed one of the balls of yarn out at some stage…

    My sister-in-law has a bag I knit to line, I must nag her about it!

    There’s a modular bag in Noro that’s paused until I find the second ball of yarn for it.

    There’s a belt in hemp yarn that is about 18 inches long and needs me to go back and finish it.

    There’s a Writing Pad Cover that needs lining.

    Sounds like I have a problem with finishing and missing yarn!

  • Anne: September 16, 2020
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    My mother started a cardigan in the late 70s. It’s a brown chunky knit. The back, sides and sleeves are done but she never finished it. I have it now and keep meaning to design a collar for it as the pattern is long lost. Is is around a size 10, which would not fit me, so the incentive keeps escaping me…

  • Siobhán: September 16, 2020
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    I once met someone who had recently finished a matinée jacket for her first grandchild. It had been started thirty one years before, for the child’s father.

  • Jenny: September 16, 2020
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    I’ve been working on a Dahlia top for, oh, the last 9 months or so. I bought the yarn last August, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Then I did a project help class last September to help me figure out the pattern, which I did with the help of Dixie. Then I swatched and swatched again.

    Then I cast on several times as I cast on too tight and couldn’t get the m1s on the base row, so eventually I got my Mum to get me going.

    So then I was on a bit of a roll and got the point where I cast on for the bust-line and got to knitting in the round. I tried it on and it was too big, so back to Mammy for help with the ripping. I EVENTUALLY got around to casting on the neck-line again but still too big so ripped back again and cast on again last Tuesday. We’ll see how it goes this time.

    My main problem is the fear. This is my first wearable and I’m terrified I will spent (maybe) years working on it and it won’t fit, or won’t be flattering and I’ll have wasted time and money and have to rip it out again. I’m a size 18 so finding flattering clothes that fit can be a chore, but committing the time and money to something I haven’t even tried on it terrifying. But I will persevere and finish it. Some day.

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