Category Archives: Knit Technique

Archer Mitts

Archer Mitts shown in Officer Grimes/Daryl Dixon and Michonne/Hershel Greene

Archer Mitts shown in Officer Grimes/Daryl Dixon and Michonne/Hershel Greene

If you get my newsletter, you received a link for the Archer Mitts last week.

If not, here’s your link now!

They’re fun mitts, and — unusually for a free pattern — this involves techniques that are a bit beyond basic.

Provisional cast on? ICord Bind Off? Short Rows? Grafting? Creating a Thumb Gusset?

These are all techniques that you can try out with this simple pattern. Note that I said SIMPLE, which is not the same thing as EASY!

IMG_0810I’ve fallen in love with mitts; they’re not just fun to knit, they’re warm and allow full movement for your fingers. These are worked up in ModeLuxe, but to be honest you can use any worsted weight yarn (although ModeLuxe IS killer soft and delicious to knit up…)

I’ve been quiet because I’ve been dyeing up HUGE amounts of yarn, it’s selling like crazy, and I have more yarn waiting for me at home to dye up when I get back.

IMG_2406Where am I? I’m in Cleveland, preparing to tape a few segments of Knitting Daily TV tomorrow, and looking forward to seeing old friends!

I’m excited, but this evening is devoted to sitting still so my nail polish can dry, and figuring new ways to suck in my chins.

And now, MORE pictures of the lovely Archer Mitts (I can see Daryl wearing these during one of these Georgia snowstorms, right?)

Downton Abbey In Process

Tomorrow I’ll announce the winner of Kristin Omdahl’s book, Knitting Outside The Swatch.

Today, though, I thought I’d share some in-process images from my recent pieces in Downton Abbey Knits.  It was a BLAST to work on that issue of Piecework – I adore historic clothing, I’m a fan of Downton Abbey, and – well – we all know that knitting is my life.

Louet Yarn for several projects

Louet Yarn for several projects

So here are some of the in-process pics that I took.  I take a lot of these as I work through designs, but I don’t often publish them. I can’t let them loose before the issue I’m working on is released, and often by the time a magazine is out I’m onto other stuff and going back and revisiting the design process is low on my priority list.

But today I’m celebrating the release of some cool stuff (more about that tomorrow…) by sharing images of past work – enjoy!

Wedding Kimono & Hat

Wedding Kimono & Hat

Wedding Kimono Closeup

Wedding Kimono Closeup

 

Oval Garden Hat

Oval Garden Hat

Cricket Sweater

Cricket Sweater

PU Sts for Cricket Sweater Armhole

Picking Up stitches for Cricket Sweater Armhole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mourning Blouse

Mourning Blouse

Footman's Vest

Footman’s Vest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, the obligatory pic of one of my kids wearing a design!

I’m lucky to have two great fit models living in the same house!

Footman's Vest

Footman’s Vest on Max

Cricket Sweater on Max

Cricket Sweater on Max

 

 
 

 

And can I take this opportunity to remind you to tweet #CaribouKnits – you still have a few more days to add some inches to a scarf for a person fighting Breast Cancer!

FREE Twisted Float Scarf Pattern!

IMG_2277So you like using the hashtag #CaribouKnits, but you’re thinking, “Hey, what about some HAND knitting action?”

I hear you. Or I hear your internal thoughts. Yes, scary.

So here’s a free pattern for all of you!

Knit up a Twisted Float Side Knit Scarf and use up some of that worsted weight or bulky yarn you have lying around!

This scarf uses the twisted float technique that I like so much, but in this case it’s worked over 2 sts, not just one.

Closeup of the TechniqueIt’s a pretty simple technique, but the effect is very striking.

By working this technique in one direction for half the row, then working it in the opposite direction for the other half, your yarn will twist, then untwist itself, making the experience much more fun!

Knit this up, enjoy the free Twisted Float Side Knit Scarf pattern, and use it to create charity garments (or just a great gift for a friend!)

And have a cup of Caribou Coffee (or tea) while you knit – keep yourself warm, too!

Well, I SAID I was a Heretic…

I recently recorded an interview with the KnottyGirls Podcast, and we had an absolutely AMAZING time! I twirled around my backyard in my Sky Chair while we talked about many things.

Chief among them was my irritating insistence on using non-traditional knitting terms. On good days my odd thoughts are the sand in the oyster shell. On bad days, they’re just poison ivy.

In the early Summer I finished a marathon session of designing, which meant a marathon session of tech edit conversations back and forth this month.  I think I must be the average tech editors worst nightmare — a designer who uses different terminology, and has (what she thinks) is a logical reason for doing so!

It’s true, I do use some unusual terminology, but not in a stubborn or non-thoughtful way.  If a publication is set on their own style, I’m happy to back down and have their terminology laid over my design.  But I feel it’s incumbent on me to mention to editors some of my reasons for using a more logic-based approach to knitting terminology.

The first thing is to divorce tradition from useful definition. I know, I know, knitting is full of tradition, and much of it is fun and cool and quirky.  I don’t want to change every oddball thing that knitters do, but I DO feel that a few well chosen technology updates could make knitting more intuitive (and thus more joyful) for every knitter!

Some folks will cling to the terminology they’ve grown up with, and that’s fine. I’m not demanding that anyone change, but be warned that when you purchase a pattern from me, I may use terminology you’re not used to (always with an explanation of the term, and how it relates to a more traditional term if necessary).

I began using these alternative terms because in my classes I realized that different knitters will achieve techniques in different ways. Most knitters are Western, some knitters are Combination, a very small number are Eastern.

Combination Knit Stitch

Combination Knit Stitch

Terminology
Here’s what I mean when I mention the following two terms

Western Orientation Eastern/Combination Orientation
A stitch which is seated on the needle so it wants to be knit through the front loop. A stitch which is seated on the needle so it wants to be knit through the back loop.

Note: You’ll know the stitch “wants” to be knit a certain way because when the needle is inserted that way the stitch opens up big and fat and wide.

Within these basic styles are then further differentiations in how a knitter holds their yarn, their needles, and how they actually form their stitches (wrapping, picking, scooping, etc).

For the most part I find labels more divisive than helpful, although they are sometimes necessary. I prefer terminology that is universal — more democratic — and can apply to ANY knitter regardless of their chosen knitting style.

In short, I prefer to describe the outcome of a knitting technique, rather than insist that the knitter get there in a specified manner. Here are a few examples of terminology I’d love to see changed.

Traditional Term What Is Meant Alternative Term
Knit 1 Tbl (knit 1 through back loop) Twist this stitch as you knit it Tw1 or Twist 1
How To Achieve This
Basically knit so that the stitch is "unhappy" – doesn't open up fully – so that the little legs of the stitch are twisted as you enter the stitch.
If you knit Eastern or Combination knit into the front of the stitch; If you knit Western knit into the back of the stitch.

Traditional Term What Is Meant Alternative Term
K2tog (knit 2 together) Knit 2 stitches together so they slant to the RIGHT K2tog-R

How To Achieve This
Insert the needle into the 2nd stitch on the LH needle; then into the 1st stitch on the LH needle and knit these two stitches together.
If you are a Western Knitter your stitches should already be seated to receive the LH needle without twisting. If you're a Combination Knitter you'll want to re-orient the stitches so they sit on the needle in the opposite direction THEN knit the stitches together.

 k2tog_r_on_needle

Annie’s Hint:
The tip of the working needle will be pointing to the RIGHT when making this decrease!

Traditional Term What Is Meant Alternative Term
K2togTbl or Ssk or Skp (knit 2 tog through back loop OR slip slip knit OR slip knit pass over) Knit 2 stitches together so they slant to the LEFT K2tog-L

How To Achieve This
Insert the needle into the 1st stitch on the LH needle; then into the 2nd stitch on the LH needle and knit these two stitches together.
If you are a Combination Knitter your stitches should already be seated to receive the LH needle without twisting. If you are a Western knitter you will want to slip the first two stitches (either knitwise twice; or knitwise then purlwise) and then knit these two sts together as an Ssk.

k2tog_l_on_needle

 

Annie’s Hint: The tip of the working needle will be pointing to the LEFT
when making this decrease!

 

Traditional Term What Is Meant Alternative Term
Wyif Hold the yarn toward you WyRS if the Right Side of the work is facing; WyWS if the Wrong Side of the work is facing.
Wyib Hold the yarn away from you WyWS if the Right Side of the work is facing; WyRS if the Wrong Side of the work is facing.

 

How To Achieve This
In some techniques (Double Knitting) you will want to hold the yarn toward you while working on the Wrong Side of the piece. This can be confusing when the term is "With Yarn in Front"; I've had many students email me with questions about this. Using the RS/WS as the point of reference seems natural and more clear.

 

BONUS
Knitting In The Round / Knitting Garter Fabric

When Working as a Combination Knitter

When knitting in the round, or back and forth in garter, you must do one of two things:
1) Either knit through the front loop of each stitch (the tip of the working needle will point to the RIGHT as it enters the stitch) in the traditional Western Style, or
2) As you wrap each knit stitch, wrap it in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION than you normally do.  This will cause the stitch to be seated in the Combination manner in the following row/round and will set up the stitch to be entered through the back loop, in the Combination Style.

At this point I hope I haven’t confused you too much! I just want folks to THINK about their knitting logically, not be slaves to outdated or inexact terminology which makes full comprehension of complex techniques more difficult. I am the G.B. Shaw of knitspeak.

UPDATE!

After writing this piece, inspired by some questions tech editors had for me, I discovered the reason that I’ve been receiving emails from folks trying to knit my Paisley Shawl from Jane Austen Knits.

Well, the reason was that the tech ed on this project decided they didn’t like my own chart, so they rewrote it, making significant changes that make knitting up the edging of the chart practically impossible.

If you’ve tried to knit this up and have failed,

Here is the IK Jane Austen Knits chart (changed from my original)Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 4.55.02 PM

…and here is my own chart,

annie paisley chart

 

Symbols aside (I never expect anyone to use my own symbols, these are just what I use when writing up the pattern to send in to the editor) there are some significant changes.  All of the ‘non stitch’ sections were removed – but these are NECESSARY to create the lace the way I designed it.

Also, the VDI’s were removed and some VDD’s were changed to K2togs.  I don’t know why, but there it is.

The faggoting between the green and blue sections won’t look the same, either, as in my chart they’re worked as a kind of lace/garter, but in the IK chart it’s St st, and thus not as sturdy and the holes will collapse easier.

Below are some of the terms I use for those of you who may not be familiar with them:

  • St st – Knit on RS, Purl on WS
  • Rev St st – Purl on RS, Knit on WS
  • Sl 1 wyRS – Slip 1 stitch with yarn held to Right Side of work
  • Sl 1 wyWS – Slip 1 stitch with yarn held to Wrong Side of work
  • YO – Yarn Over
  • K2tog-R – See above (aka k2tog)
  • K2tog-L – See above (aka Ssk)
  • P2tog-L – Purl 2 together so the dec slants to Left when viewed on the RS of the work (same as K2tog-R when worked on WS of work)
  • VDD = Vertical Double Decrease: Sl 2 sts as if to work k2 tog-R, k1, pass slipped sts over (decrease of 2 sts)
  • VDI – Vertical Double Increase: K into front of st, YO, k into back of same stitch.
  • Inc 1 Right: Knit into st immediately below next st on needle, then knit next st on needle, creating a right-slanting inc.
  • Inc 1 Left: Knit next st on needle, then into st immediately below that st, creating a left-slanting inc

Giveaway for the Holidays!

I know I’m a bit late for Hanukkah, but I’m in time for the other solstice mid-winter gift-giving extravaganzas!

I have a few books to give away – none of them mine – but all of them very nice!

I’ll give away one every few days so I can get them shipped to you by Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate!)  Ideally, if you win one of them it will be a lovely gift for YOU!

ONE + ONE HATS

This is another one of Iris Schreier’s books which use her lovely Artyarns and focus on projects which use a limited amount of yarn.

The specifications for these designs were hats which use ONLY two balls of yarn.

I have two hats in the book, which makes me very proud and happy!

The first is a color work toque (square top) shape.  The lighter color is variegated, the dark is a semi-solid, with a squarish top and garter / i-cord trim at the bottom.

The second hat is inspired by a military hat, and because the side flaps can be worn up or down, I used a reversible cable technique.  It was my first time using it in a design, I feel that it worked very  nicely.

I created the reversible cable by working cables over a 2×2 rib, and being careful with the placement of the yarn as I form each cable.

Here’s the chart (you may find it helpful, or it may make your head spin!) so you can get an idea of how I think through the reversible cables.

WIN THE BOOK!

YOU could be the happy recipient of this book – all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me about your favorite hat of all time!  It doesn’t have to be a knit hat, or even one that you’ve owned – just a hat that has meant something to you!

Leave a comment below, and I’ll select a winner and send the book off on Friday.  If your name is chosen and you live out of the USA, I’ll ask you to split the shipping charge ($5 from each of us), otherwise the shipping will be on me!  (When you put your email in the specified field, no one can see it but me!)

I’ll have two more books to share with you over the next few weeks, now tell me about a great hat!

Isn’t that Special…?

Click to download your own 5-page Special Techniques section to peruse and share!

History on Two Needles is moving along VERY well, amazingly well, and I’m astounded at how the outpouring of support (financial and moral) from the Kickstarter was able to kick ME in the butt and get this thing finished!

I have photos from the book up at the HoTN website, and I’ve begun integrating the new  individual pattern layouts from the book into my pattern-for-sale website.

The Black Prince Hood is the first one.  The next time someone buys that pattern from my site, they’ll get the HoTN version of the pattern PLUS the Special Techniques Section.

Did Someone Say Free?

In the Special Techniques Section I include the information necessary to create the patterns in History on Two Needles.  I feel it would be helpful to all knitters (especially those who knit a bit odd) in that I have a – unique – way of looking at some basic techniques.

So as my gift to you, I’m giving you a pdf of the Special Techniques Section.  I hope you’ll enjoy it!  Please bear in mind that EVERY designer/teacher has their own favorite way of doing some techniques, I am not alone in this*

The way I describe certain things may seem odd – not mainstream – to some knitters, but these are the ways I’ve found that work best for me.

*Knitting is not a dogmatic, theoretical endeavor.  Like any practical pursuit, it’s open to interpretation and improvement.

 

Knit & Crochet Blog Week – Photography Challenge Day!

Well, I missed Day 1 of the Knitting & Crochet Blog Week, but here I am to participate fully in DAY 2!

I used to publish a lot more photographs of my work in progress, but limits on energy and fears about releasing some editorially-secure information have made me less photo-happy.

This is a shame as I ADORE photography almost as much as I love yarn and fiber crafts. This is probably why I was an early adherer to Pinterest (check out my boards under modeknit) and LOVE to see what other folks put in their flickr accounts (I’m also there under modeknit)

I use my photography as part of my job, to tell the story of my work, and to ‘sell’ a design.  I usually take a LOT of in-process photographs (which usually never see the light of day and are hidden away in my iphoto album) so I can recreate a technique or use it to create a line-drawing illustration.

To be honest, by the time a design is published I’m generally so involved in current projects that I have a hard time getting excited about digging up those old process photos and publishing them – but that’s exactly when I should be making them public!

A current sleeve stitch pattern, Hazel Knits Lively DK

I’ll often photograph or scan a swatch so I can isolate a repeating stitch pattern, shrink it, then ‘wallpaper’ it into one of my electronic sketches to present an eerily realistic vision of how I see the final garment.

But generally I’m relegated to tight little closeups of a garment (no revealing full body shots) or beauty shots of yarn.

For instance, I don’t think I’d be giving TOO much away to show how I’m using an all-0ver cable/trellis pattern to create a framework upon which I build a rose-garden of decorative chain embroidery & french knot roses.

Original Trellis Fabric

Here’s the fabric, with the trellis being worked over the center front and center back of the garment (the sides, where the shaping is taking place, are worked in stockinette stitch to prevent a murder-suicide in the knitting community)

Vines in Hazel Knits Woodland

Once the trellis pattern is established, it’s relatively simple (remember, simple does NOT mean easy) to work a decorative chain using a crochet hook along the trellis grid.  I’ve tried to wiggle the line, making an irregular vine pattern here.

Rosebuds worked as French Knots

Then I add French knots along the green vines to create tiny rosebuds.  Some of the knots are formed using 5-wraps, some are as small as 3-wraps (not all roses are the same size!)

The result is a lot of bang for the buck, and a chance for knitters to expand their horizons in a non-threatening way.

You don’t have to be a mistress-embroiderer to make this look good, and if you’d decide to just forego the embroidery you’d still have a lovely cardigan with a nice cable/trellis pattern strategically placed to be very flattering.

TKGA, Right In My Own Backyard!

I know a huge percentage of the knitting world is at Sock Summit this weekend, and I sort of wish I were there, too!  I think what Steph and Tina have created is absolutely amazing, and the more established knitting conventions would do well to study the success of this new event!

I definitely want to throw my hat in the hopper to teach some classes next time – I’d hesitated to apply because I’m not really known for socks (hillbilly that I am, I rarely even wear them…)

MTM statue in Minneapolis & my bike

But I’m not in Portland – I’m here in Minnesota, working on some new projects, and drowning some of my missing-sock-summit-sorrows by attending TKGA market and participating in Steven B’s Fiber Fest

I’m teaching 2 new lace classes this week –

  • Lace for Absolute Beginners on Thursday at 4pm
  • Lace Principles/Chart Your Own Lace on Tuesday at 4pm

at Steven’s Minneapolis location.  I wonder if Rhoda & Mary knitted?

So although I’m missing seeing some good friends out in Portland, dinner with full-out belly laughs with Lily Chin, a lovely short visit and good hug from Vicky Howell, reconnecting with so many friends from local yarn shops and a nice sit down visit with Shannon from Shibaguyz made everything better.

Most exciting was having a chance to show off the new dvd I’d worked up for Claudia of YarnSisters, the US distributor for Zealana yarn.

I’ve been working on some videos for this company, combining “how-to” segments with shots of the yarn in action, tidbits about the feel and usage of the yarn, etc.

I’m releasing the first video today, because Claudia said I could (she loved it!)

That is, she said I could releasre it right after
I corrected the company name in the video.  D’oh! 

I hope you like it!

Lovely Left Decreases by Annie Modesitt
Are you tired of left decreases that don’t quite live up to the expectations of their right leaning siblings? Here’s a great way to create balanced, good-looking left decreases!

Ride, Hot Girl, Ride

The Mississippi - our own muddy 'Seine'

Best of all was my ride to the convention center this morning.  I love to do the West River Parkway route, along the Mississippi.  There’s a wonderful downhill coast, but of course I have to pay for it by riding (walking) my bike back up the hill on the other side of the university.

Tough on a hot, humid day – but not so bad this morning because I went early!

I got home in time to rest up a bit before two friends stopped by for yet ANOTHER bike ride (this time a short one down to St. Thomas University) 

These two friends are folks I met in Rome last year – the happened to sit next to a few of us at an outdoor table at a cafe and it turned out they were from St. Paul and love to bike!   But it’s taken us almost a year to actually GET OUT AND BIKE TOGETHER!

I feel awkward biking with other folks because my asthma can be so bad on a hot, humid day.  I know I’m trying hard, I know my own limitations, but going at someone else’s pace can leave me red-faced (for lack of oxygen and embarrassment) When I ride alone I can coast when I need to – which may not be when someone else needs to.

But this was a short ride, a lovely ride, and it’s always good to see friends!

 

So it’s going to be one of THOSE days…

…you know, the kind of day when EVERYTHING I do turns into a treatise?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 By Rick Levine


Virgo
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

Your ruling planet Mercury conjuncts grandiose Jupiter, mischievously turning every little thought into a long treatise. It may not be easy to keep your ideas in perspective or your words to a minimum.

Unintentionally, you can turn the simplest task into a complicated project that becomes very inefficient. Your day doesn’t have to run out of control if you remember to keep bringing your message back down to earth.

Okay, to keep myself sane I’ll eat my oatmeal and get back to work!

SHELTER

Work today involves swatching up a magnificent new project (not for a mag, just for me!) with some of the loveliest yarn I’ve EVERY touched.  It’s Jared Flood’s Shelter and I didn’t want to love it as much as I do.  Why?  Because the boy is a friggin’ GENIUS and I am feeling very jealous.

Or maybe I mean envious?  I’m usually not a jealous type,
but everything JF does is so beautiful and I would love to be so gifted!
But, jealousy aside, this yarn is a revelation and a dream.

The color, the feel, the weight – it’s all there, kids, and if you are able to work with wool you NEED to touch this.  If you visit your LYS, mention this to them because it needs to be where folks can fondle it.  If you trust me, go ahead and order some online.  It’s magnificent.

GARTER

For years I had eschewed the humble garter stitch.  I prefer stockinette stitch, and I am afraid that I looked down on garter.

This was wrong of me, and to make up for it I’m doing an entire KIMONO in garter for Interweave Knits.  It’s a modular piece, worked so that it is put together like a puzzle (but with – hopefully – no seams)

The yarn is lovely (BSA alpaca silk), but thinner than I’d hoped so the knitting is going on forever.  And the deadline is shortBut I am tall, so I can do it. With my Signature Needles, it really is flying by.

I can’t show you much about the piece since it’s for a magazine, but here’s a process photo showing the first step of the garment – the collar/placket piece upon which the entire garment is built.

I’m hoping to make it a universal pattern, meaning it can be made in ANY size by adjusting the number of rows in this first step.  That may be wishful thinking…

OATMEAL

I freeze bricks of oatmeal on Sundays

My favorite breakfast of all time is oatmeal.  Almost a year ago our family trip to Ireland (the best vacation decision we ever made!) introduced us to good, honest steel cut oatmeal, and I’ve been a convert ever since. 

Microwave brick for 2 minutes on high

Rolled oats, I love you for baking – but for eating I am loving Irish or Scottish cut oats.

I am becoming an oatmeal connoisseur, and have dreams of attending the Golden Spurtle someday.

Add sugar, nuts & raisins & microwave 2 more minutes

But who has time to cook oatmeal each morning.

Well, actually, I do – I work at home – but I don’t do it daily.

Mix well

I make a HUGE batch on Sundays, then pour it into a loaf pan and when it sets up I cut it into slices, wrap each in press n’ seal (it doesn’t stick to the oats) and freeze it.

Add milk and mix again

It takes about 5 minutes to warm up each morning, and it’s the best use of 5 minutes I can think of!

This, and a cup of Lady Grey tea, and I’m ready to take on the world (or a multi directional kimono on size 5 needles…)

The Process

I tell my classes that I love to swatch, and I’m not just whistling Dixie! (does anyone use that expression anymore?)

Like Clara Parkes, swatching is a large percentage of my job, it’s more than just getting gauge – for me it’s sketching in yarn.

When I get an idea for a sweater or new piece, it doesn’t entirely complete itself in my mind until I can work up a bit of the concept in fiber.

The times that I sit and swatch feel like I’m being lazy and not working.  I enjoy these days, I love the swatching, and I can’t help but feel a little guilty that I’m having so much fun.  Yesterday I re-knit one swatch over 10 times (in various yarns) but another swatch just popped out in 20 minutes, fully formed.

Of course, it all has to turn into something for my swatching to pan out, and here’s how I work with my swatches.

1. Ideas come to me in various ways, I’m often inspired by an existing garment, or by an idea for a cool stitch motif.

2. If I’m working from a swatch, the first step is to get it to work well, which may mean re-knitting it many times.

original swatch

3. Once the swatch is finished I need to record it.  I like scanning the swatches because it makes the image more usable.  For a while I was photographing swatches, but this can be inexact with iffy results depending on the lighting, distance from the camera, etc.

I use my trusty scanner, to which I’ve applied some measuring tape (to the left in the image) so I can easily record my gauge as I scan.

"trued" swatch

4. Once the swatch is scanned I ‘true it up’ using photoshop so that it’s squared (or rectangled) and can become a repeating pattern.

save as pattern

5. I isolate, and reduce the size of, the repeating area, then I save it as a “pattern”

6. Now I’m ready to use this as “fill” in sections of my sketch.

When I’m working off of a schematic (I do this sometimes for unusually shaped garments) the fill is pretty easy to use.  When I’m working off of a sketch I have to fiddle with the different sections of the design so the fill makes sense.

divided sketch

7. I divide the sketch and align the parts so the direction of the pattern will be the same.  Also, if there’s a point at which the patterns must match (in this case, the underarm point) I align those, too.

fill tool

8. Then I fill all the areas with the pattern I’ve created using the fill tool.

And I have a reasonable fascimile of what my actual garment may look like.  I’ve actually found these measured, filled sketches to be pretty right on target when compared to the final garment, which is gratifying!

Finished 'sketch'