Done! Except buttons. I set in the sleeves. This was effortless–despite my vague worries, they went in smoothly and cleanly. I used a new technique: I folded the sleeve in half to find the middle top and bottom, then clipped these to the shoulder and underarm seams with small binder clips, and clipped the sleeve in place all around using more binder clips–the same idea as Knit Klips, but with cheaper* and more versatile tools. I removed these as I mattress stitched around the armhole. Yay, no distressing sliding or bunching! I used the long tails from the sleeve bind-offs to sew the sleeves in place. I wove in the ends, and reinforced the buttonholes by whipstitching around them with some of the ends I had to weave in. I mostly did a pretty good job finishing, but noticed some unfortunate lumpiness where I wove in some ends in the back ribbing. I’m hoping this will block out and be unnoticeable.

I’m soaking the coat in some Eucalan now, in preparation for the wet block. I’m concerned about the curling stockinette at the bottom, as this was the main issue with the jacket’s appearance when I tried it on pre-blocking–I may have to work crochet around the bottom. Ooh, or I could try EZ’s picked-up afterthought hem! I had vague ideas of sewing in a chain Chanel-style, but this will probably make the duster just stretch like hell.

I’m not sure how this idea will seem once I get the buttons sewn on, but my idea was to sew a button and button loop, or hook and eye, into the underside of the center of the bust. Then I could fasten it there and wear the collar folded open. It looked cute when I tried it earlier, but again, the collar may have quite a different look and drape once the buttons are sewn on.

It took a lot of willpower not to take and post progress pictures with the sewn-up coat, but I think I should really block it first, even if I have to take a picture with binder clips holding it together instead of buttons.

Here’s a picture of the cabled purse I made for Serena.

cabled purse

Also: I am paralyzed with indecision about what to cast on next. I need something pretty mindless to work on for Thursday night–it would be a good opportunity to crank out tons of stockinette. I want to work on knitting my shawl pattern, but I need to think about that one, it’s not mindless. I have a few projects I’ve swatched for so far that are candidates. I guess I should rule out projects I haven’t swatched for yet.

– Cargo, from Rowan Denim People. Good: cute, lightweight, good for fall. Obsessed with denim right now. Bad: I didn’t get gauge and would have to recalculate stuff. Or just start knitting, and hope for the best. Also, it might not be useful for long enough, since the weather’s getting chilly.

Lara, from Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. Good: Elegant, super-soft and warm, and I’ve been lusting after this sweater forever. Bad: If I knit this now, the denim might have to wait till next year. Actually, I can’t think of much that’s bad. I did buy another dark gray sweater recently, a shawl collared sweater coat, so maybe that’s the bad–this wardrobe niche is already being filled, so it might not be as useful.

Felted clogs from Fiber Trends. Good: fast, stashbusting. Bad: would probably have to pay a lot of attention to the pattern.

– Rowan’s Butterfly. I haven’t swatched for this, actually, but trust that nothing too awful would happen, since it’s lace and it’s stretchy. Good: really beautiful. Bad: not very useful, and cold weather’s coming soon. Would have to pay a lot of attention to the pattern.

I swatched my organic cotton yarns, too, but lost my enthusiasm for making Bianca’s Jacket and Picovoli, so I’m ruling these out.

I am also considering a few things not requiring swatching:

– Cat Bordhi’s cashmere Moebius Cowl, using Artfibers Ming. If I cast on beforehand, I’m not sure how much attention this would require. Or maybe the feather and fan cowl from Knit 2 Together.
– A cashmere scarf in a simple knit/purl pattern, for an early Christmas present. The problem with this might be that I’d be excited about using it to whip up a “quick present,” and then get bogged down with the endless boring scarfitude.

and I’m also tempted to cast on for a pair of Selbuvotter, but again, these require lots of attention.

* It costs $7 for 5 Knit Klips. Dude!