No Assembly Required!

Warmth, from Finish-Free Knits, by Kristen TenDyke
Honor, from Finish-Free Knits, by Kristen TenDyke

Knitters who don't enjoy finishing, rejoice! Fabulous designer Kristen TenDyke's new book Finish-Free Knits is coming out in December.

Kristen got a round-about start as a knit and crochet designer—she started as a graphic designer at Classic Elite Yarns, with lots of crochet experience but very little knitting experience. Her skills improved as she immersed herself into the knitting culture at Classic Elite, and she soon became a technical editor and then a published designer.

Her first published design was intended for Classic Elite, but they felt it wasn't for them, so Kristen submitted it to Vogue Knitting. It was accepted, and even found its way onto the cover of the 2006 Vogue Knitting Holiday Issue. Since then, her patterns have also appeared in Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, Knit Simple, Twist Collective and

Delight, from Finish-Free Knits, by Kristen TenDyke
Light Bolero, from Finish-Free Knits, by Kristen TenDyke

Here's an excerpt from an article about Kristen, which appears in the Winter 2012 issue of Interweave Knits:

The Coincidental Knitter: Kristen TenDyke

Kristen says she pulls inspiration "from anywhere." In some ways, editing the patterns others design informs her ideas. She explains, "My boyfriend is a musician. He listens to music, gets inspired, and writes music. My tech editing is my listening." She also listens to "whatever my body is telling me it wants. When it gets cold out, a lot of my designs are warm cardigans. If my hands are cold, I put in pockets."

The lacy cotton Light Bolero (pictured below left), one of twenty designs in Finish-Free Knits, was Kristen's response to an over-cooled office. "I wasn't dressed for air-conditioning. I wanted something to throw over me to keep me warm, so I drew up a sketch as I sat there. Then I came up with a yarn idea. Once I had the sketch done, I started swatching different stitch patterns."

As with all of the designs in the book, the Light Bolero requires no finishing. Like the Greek goddess Athena, who sprang full grown from Zeus's head, the book's projects spring from the needles fully formed. "I wanted to challenge myself to see how many ways I could create a seamless sweater. There are top-down, bottom-up, and side-to-side patterns—a lot of interesting constructions," Kristen says.

The concept of seamless garments might sound daunting to knitters accustomed to knitting fronts, backs, and sleeves separately, then finishing. But Kristen is reassuring: "I tried to make the patterns as easy as possible. In general, only one thing happens at a time!"

Still, some of the patterns definitely provide fodder for knitters who want to improve their skills. "There are some techniques I understand will challenge some knitters" she says. "Some garments have pockets, hoods, set-in sleeves. I like to remind myself that anything can be done, really."

—Spike Gillespie, from the Winter 2012 issue of Interweave Knits

I agree with Kristen—anything can be done in knitting. It's just a matter of patience, practice, and perseverance. Thank goodness Kristen has all three traits or we wouldn't have this wonderful new book.

Order your copy of Finish-Free Knits today so you can get started on one of Kristen's fabulous sweaters!


P.S. Do you dislike finishing? Leave a comments and tell us why!

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