Fab Finishing Course at John Lewis

I have just got home from this course with Jane Crowfoot – I am an exhausted but very happy and very humble knitter 🙂 Lots of piccies to show you!
I’d thoroughly recommend this course to any knitter – you are bound to learn something.

I’ve had Jane’s book “Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitting” for ages.

Mastering mattress stitch from this book improved the quality of my finished garments by a huge leap so I was already a fan.

I learnt heaps on the course – I thought I was pretty good at finishing – how wrong I was!

Among other things, the course covered mattress stitching, a fab way of using short row shaping in shoulder to make it neater to sew up, several techniques for sewing up shoulders (including a truly scary one where you rip the cast off undone 😯 ), neat button holes and the epiphany moment for me – how to pick up stitches neatly around the neck – I have been making a horrible error all these years…..

I spent much of the day muttering things like “that’s witchcraft” or how could I have knit for so long and not known that?”

Here’s some of my “work” from the course

A fabulous montage of squares…

My error filled attempt at a neckline (but I now know what I’m doing wrong)…

Apparently “pick up and knit” just means pull the loops through the fabric onto the needle….it’s 100 times neater and quicker than the way I did it and I don’t get an ugly ridge.

Front and back of how I used to do it…-ick! ugly! 😮 In case you’re interested, I would pull the loop through the fabric onto the needle, then do a knit stitch before pulling the next loop through the fabric. Useful it you want stability but just look at it – ughhh…

… my mattress stitch, sewn up with bright green yarn…

and simulated sleeve sewn in with mattress stitch…

And finally, my master piece! a mattress stitched shoulder, with the cast off’s pulled out! the brown line is my stitching – it looks like it was all knitted in one piece.

This was the point at which I started muttering about Witchcraft!! 😆

6 Responses

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  1. Maggie
    Maggie February 15, 2007 at 5:10 pm |

    Looks as if you had a very productive time. Does Jane’s book explain all these things you’ve displayed here? I’d love to see the wrong side of your mattress stitching, because I believe it is the way I was taught to seam, but I’m not certain.

  2. India
    India February 17, 2007 at 8:38 am |

    What do you mean in the bit about oicking up for the neck when you say ‘just pull the loops through the fabric onto the needle’?

  3. India
    India February 17, 2007 at 8:40 am |

    Ah, I didn’t read down far enough. Yep, that’s what I’ve been doing, too. Not now though!

  4. susan crowe
    susan crowe February 17, 2007 at 9:58 am |

    Thank you! I don’t feel quite as daft knowing at least one other person out there did the same thing!

  5. Diana
    Diana November 22, 2010 at 9:22 am |

    Hi could not agree more re Jane’s book and finishing course. However it all went so quickly I have signed up for another finishing course as I cant remember all I learnt. Mattress stich is just the best ever and short row shaping.
    On all this has anyone tried or knitted Debbie Bliss leaf jacket with ecco yarn? I am having trouble with numbers on the sleeve they do not match up and no erratta on her web site for the sleeve. Any comments appreciated.

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