Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Finished the Baby Velvet Adult-Sized Afghan

Wow, it's finally finished!  This was a LOT of short-rowed shells to knit.  I've been knitting on it a little almost every day for a couple weeks.

I love doing these.  This was the child's pattern with a different yarn an a looser tension, only 12 stitches).

It's very, very soft.  It's pet-able!  Chenille is sure quirky, though, as you'll see as I describe finishing, below.

I used the same edging I used on several of the shawls - an extra wide I-cord made by latching the inside ladder by hand every few rows.  I just love this edge, and it really gave a needed reinforcement to this afghan.  The chenille is a somewhat floppy, and the sturdy double edge helped.  That edge eliminates all edge curl and looks good on both sides.  It went on tighter, though, than I expected.  I had to turn up the tension to #10 (the afghan was knitted on T9), and I had to use weight and be sure to pick up every side loop along the sides (just the loops, not the knots - the idea is to get every other row) and every stitch on the top.  I didn't have a problem with it going on tight with the other yarns.

The afghan has a hem at the bottom, and the pattern says to put a hem at the top.  Because this was chenille I knew sewing a top hem would be a problem.  Chenille is hard to pull through with a needle, likely to break, and loses its fur being pulled through over and over.  Binding off the hem with the latch tool was going to make a lumpy line at the bottom of the hem.  Instead of using a top hem, I did this:

  • Made the final row of "finishing shells," which are shorter than the regular shells.  End that row of shells with one row of the same color over all the needles so there are no double loops from short-rowing to pick up.
  • Put on 6 rows of waste yarn with a contrasting color of worsted weight yarn.  
  • Do the I-cord edge, picking up one stitch from the top edge along the waste knitting each time.  Be sure to use the looser tension for this, T10.
That top edge is beautiful, straight, sturdy, and not lumpy at all.  The smaller pic is that top edge. 

The next photo is the detail of an inside corner at the bottom - it shows the hem which curves along the shells, gives you an idea what the purl side of the seashell stitch looks like, and also what the inside of the I-cord edge and bottom hem look like.  If you want warmth and to not snag fingers and toes, this pattern has no holes and no floats.  

I took a bunch of photos, walked away, and only then decided to steam the edgings only.  I wanted to stretch them a little, just gently, as the corners cupped a little.  I also wanted to make sure the curved bottom hem was flat.

I suppose that if you wanted a straight line at the bottom, you could start with one row of the shorter finishing shells, but I prefer the curves. 

I did not steam the seashells at all, just the edges.  The chenille made a flatter seashell than any other yarn I've tried, and I wanted texture.

Another warning about the chenille - yarn ends do not want to stay hidden!  I keep tucking them in and the tip ends keep working out.  Fortunately, I knitted almost every end in by e-wrapping six needles on the wrong side.  

Here's the afghan spread out on a bed for steaming.

That's a queen-sized bed, and you can see what a BIG afghan this is.  I wanted it big, and it turned out wider than the mid-gauge needle bed.  It's not very often you get an adult-size afghan with just one width of the knitting.

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