How to find someone to finish knitting project that is very close to my heart

(18 Posts)
KidFears Thu 17-Nov-16 16:05:13

My mum passed away recently, very suddenly. She was a talented knitter and she had been working furiously to finish a pair of jumpers for my two DCs, ages 4 and 7. The smaller one appears to just be missing one sleeve, and the larger one is started but has a lot more to go. I have the pattern, needles, and wool, and I'd like to hire someone to finish them. I'm not necessarily looking for someone on here to offer, though that could certainly work, but really I'm looking for advice on how to find someone who is able and willing to do the work up to my mum's standards. She was a perfectionist about her knitting, and this is the last thing my DCs have from her. I just really want it to be right.

Another question: my mum always said that she knits in the "European" or "Russian" style. Is that going to make any difference for someone trying to finish her work and make it look consistent?

Also, what is the range of what I can expect to pay for this? I'm willing to pay the top end of the range for someone I can trust to do it well and have it done by mid-January.

Thanks so much. As you can imagine this is very important to me.

user1477282676 Fri 18-Nov-16 09:22:13

This is a lovely thing to do....if I were you I would visit my local knitting shop...they usually have more than one contact of local knitters who will take on projects for money. Some are cheap and others more expensive.

JoffreyBaratheon Fri 18-Nov-16 09:42:30

No, the style you use to knit doesn't matter at all - the end result is the same (I don't British or Continental style, either). Unless the style of knitting twists the stitches - like some Eastern techniques - then you'd need to use a matching technique. A knitter should be able to see if the stitches are twisted from a good look at the jumpers, or a clear photo.

I'd find out your local knitting group's stitch n bitch night and go along with it, and ask. ;o) Or ask the local yarn shop owners, if they can mention it. Look for a shop with modern looking stock, and lots of groups and activities going on as they'll have an active and loyal band of experienced knitters that someone else can vouch for.

Having had disasters with over confident test knitters, I'd also advise asking to see some of their work (or their Ravelry projects online if they're on the huge knitters' forum, Ravelry.com - which most knitters are), to assess if they're used to handling projects of a similar scope.

Local shop - but the hipster-y the better. They may even have their own test knitters if they have their own yarn lines, and they can recommend from long experience, people who are more than upto the job.

Good luck!

I got into knitting because my mum died, leaving some jumpers unfinished. I was too young to finish them, and my dad must have thrown them away at some point - but I never forgot them, and so went on an odyssey of becoming a competent knitter many, many years later, as I always felt it was 'unfinished' business.

One nice idea - I'd ask the knitter to maybe find a way to mark the last stitch your mum ever made on each (next stitch, just one stitch, a different colour?) And photo and record how far she'd got before you hand them over, so you have a record. Sounds like these will become treasured items.

Zipideedodah Fri 18-Nov-16 09:52:41

OP- could you tell us the rough area where you are? I suspect you'd rather not post the materials in case they get lost in the post. MNers may be able to suggest groups or shops near you. I'm in central Scotland and would be delighted to take on a project like this, again for family reasons.

Sorry for your loss flowers

AlanThicke Sat 19-Nov-16 08:29:03

Thank you all so much. This is so helpful. And I love the idea of marking mum's last stitch. I will definitely ask to see the person's work, although I'm not sure I will be able to tell what's "good." Mum did teach me how to knit but I can do it at a very basic level only. She did also teach me to crochet and I got pretty good at that so I'm planning on finishing the two crochet projects she left. (She had started a beautiful "Babette" blanket, if anyone knows what that is. I'm pretty sure the idea came from Ravelry, which was of course her favorite website, although I don't think she ever posted her own stuff. Sorry to digress, it's just nice to "talk" to people who understand.)

I'm in London. Zipideedodah thank you so much. I wish you lived closer. I may PM you if I can't find anyone local, though. I could always send it FedEx with super secure tracking and all of that.

Thank you all.

ChuckGravestones Sat 19-Nov-16 08:30:06

local WI?

AlanThicke Sat 19-Nov-16 08:31:42

Oops, name change fail, obviously. It doesn't really matter, I don't have anything to hide except my sad sappy grief thoughts.

Mrsmorton Sat 19-Nov-16 08:41:58

I used to go to a lovely yarn shop in Lambeth / Waterloo. But London is a big place. Good luck.

piraterach Sat 19-Nov-16 08:53:15

OP what a wonderful thing to do. They'll be wonderful lasting memories of your mum. As Joffrey said the different style doesn't really matter (European is just a different way of holding the yarn). I knit and crochet lots of kids jumpers for family members and if you don't find anyone closer I'd be willing to help you finish them (I'm in Sheffield).

One thing to look for would be if people do test swatches and are able to match the same gauge as your mums work. Everyone's tension on the wool is different and if they can't adapt the sleeves would end up different lengths/widths smile

InfiniteSheldon Sat 19-Nov-16 08:53:45

European style probably means knitting into the back loop which gives a slight twist to the stocking stitch most people in the UK knit through the front loop so that's going to make it trickier I knit both ways but was taught the European way as a child. Look up local knitting groups, your local library may have one and then pop along and ask if anyone can help. Alternately go into a wool shop there's a fab one in Shoreham-by-sea and ask the ladies who work there they will be quick, professional knitters. I'm in the South East but I have too many on going (two new dgc this month!) projects to take on another one or I'd help.

AlanThicke Sat 19-Nov-16 09:09:00

Thanks so much. I feel awkward making someone essentially "audition" to do this. Do you think they will understand?

Saucery Sat 19-Nov-16 09:15:14

Of course they will! I would, anyway. You need someone with the skills to complete them as well as the wish to help.
I hope you find someone who can complete them for you flowers

Helenluvsrob Sat 19-Nov-16 09:18:45

Register with ravelry on line. It's an amazing site for yarn crafters.
Find your local knitting group and either just go and ask or pop a message on their forum page. No group is the same but I bet they'll have someone or know someone.

If perchance you are anywhere near Birmingham my knitting group meets in the startbucks on Victoria square 11-1 Saturdays. We have the people and the skills to do this for you (we can match tension etc ) - I have contacts in Coventry and maybe Witney too .

Ravelry is probably a better way than the local wool shop. We tend to be adventurous so can tackle most things

TheInimitableMrsFanshawe Sat 19-Nov-16 09:23:34

OP Loop in Islington or iKnit in Waterloo are not bad places to start looking. Both are modern shops with lots going on around the edges. I'm sure between those two you would find someone to help.

JoffreyBaratheon Sat 19-Nov-16 13:02:05

No, I don't think anyone would object to being 'auditioned' as it is so, so important. And it would be a privilege to help. I'd offer, but knitting is my 'day job' and I have a stack of things already commissioned, and know, being realistic, I couldn't complete for you in the time frame. But in a way I think it might be better to find a loyal yarn shop and/or a stitch n bitch meet-up, locally via a yarn shop, so you can meet the potential knitters in person. All you're doing is checking they have knitted something in the past that looks 'as challenging as' - in an actual group, you can see from the projects the have with them and/or ask to see their Ravelry Projects page (which also gives date started/completed so will give you a sense, at least, of how fast they are).

Maybe, just possible - you could go along and with the help of the knitters there, pick up the skills to do it yourself, as well? That would be a lovely legacy from your mum. (No pressure, just a thought as I also took up knitting - although I didn't realise it at the time - because of my mum's unfinished projects).

Whatever you decide on, will be right, for you and your kids will end up with something very, very special.

JoffreyBaratheon Sat 19-Nov-16 13:02:32

doh! loyal = local

Zipideedodah Sat 19-Nov-16 18:06:41

AlanThicke if you would like to post photos of the part-finished garments here, or tell us the pattern numbers (e.g. sirdar ab1234), we could give you advice on how realistic it would be for you to attempt this yourself. If this was something you'd be interested in, joining a local knitting group could be a good source of real-life support.

Without seeing the pattern(s), I would suggest that with a few weeks' or months' practice, you may feel confident enough. For children's patterns, it's pretty common to use multicoloured yarn (the type which "changes colour itself") with simple patterns, and to use a single colour to show off fancy stitch patterns.

Whichever

I

Zipideedodah Sat 19-Nov-16 18:08:36

Whichever route you want to take, either finish the garments yourself or look for help, keep posting and we can help smile

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