Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Deja Vu

...in blue! This is the second Glint shrug I've knit. Same yarn (Rowan Summer Tweed), different colour (blue).

As with the first shrug, I only used 4 of the 5 skeins called for in the pattern. In both instances I had enough of the 4th skein left for finishing and some to keep for any future repairs.

While I was seaming the shrug I found myself contemplating the threads that pop up regularly in Ravelry and other knitting forums from people who hate finishing sweaters. And the general consensus from responses is that - yep - seaming sucks.

While I confess I don't like seaming as much as knitting -- I don't hate it. I do get a little (sad) thrill when I pull the yarn up on an invisible seam as the two pieces come together like magic. And I feel a frisson of pride when tackling a trickier seam (rows to stitches, curved edges or something that requires 'easing') successfully.

I pondered the finishing hate a little more and I think that largely it comes down to the TIME it takes to do it properly. I think it's ironic that although most of us have the patience to spend tens of hours on a project, we balk at spending a small fraction of that time getting it all together.

But seaming can't be rushed. I do a lot of checking and double checking while seaming, and will immediately undo a seam that doesn't look quite right. Sometimes I have to try two or three different stitching techniques before I find the one that works perfectly in the situation.

Finishing this little shrug took just over 3 hours. The side seams are mattress stitch, the shoulder seams are fake knit seams, and I used slip stitch to crochet the sleeve seams. When I picked up the stitches around the neck to knit the edging, there were a couple of loose stitches which I tidied up with a few duplicate stitches.

So what's my point? Who knows? I guess it's to accept that if you are making a project that requires seams - you have to embrace that part of the process. Take a bit of time to learn and practise the different techniques -- it will make all the difference between a sweater you wear all the time, and one you shove in the back of the closet because it never looked quite right.

Or - just make shawls!

Spring Break
For those of you who have been following my rollercoaster relationship with the Spring Shawl I have to report that we are currently 'on a break'. I don't know where we'll go from here, but following the drunken abuse and snappish behaviour I think we both need time to consider what we want out of this relationship.


Kate said...

Alternatively, just don't knit anything that isn't a steeked sweater. :-P

I hope you can patch things up with your Spring Shawl. I hate it when relationships turn sour. Maybe you need to look at the good times you had together and not focus on a couple of bad incidents. ;-)

fleegle said...

I just avoid anything that needs to be seamed. Hate it hate it hate it.

Poor Spring! Mine is still waiting until I have the energy to tackle the edging. Hate it hate it hate it...

Gale said...

Perhaps in a few weeks or months, the relationship with Spring can be renewed. Glint is a cute shrug.

Brenda said...

That 'fake knit' seam is a great lesson. thanks for the link.

Lin said...

I have learnt about seaming, that you can't rush it and that it is still part of the knit, not finishing!

Cinders said...

I also hate seaming but it has to be done. Thanks for the link to the knittiing shoulder seam. havnt heard of that one before. Mine all get back stitched or matresss titched.

LittleBerry said...

I think you hit the nail on the head regarding seaming :o)

Opal said...

You're absolutely right when it comes to seaming and I think that's why I've hit a brick wall when it comes to knitting up a certain sweater. I just don't want to commit to the finishing.

Anonymous said...

I agree a hundred times over on the seaming. It's not as much fun as the knitting, but I get a bizarre satisfaction out of doing it well.

I do find it puzzling that so many people seem to despise it so much.

blog-blethers said...

Glint looks wonderful, Soo. I reckon you'll get so much use from it and lots of compliments!

Willemtje said...

Quite agree with your comments on finishing garments. Used to hate it when I didn't know how to do it properly. But don't mind doing seaming these days because I know the finished sweater is eminently wearable and I get good feedback from friends. This is all thanks to you American knitters and the internet!! A big thank you from

A Dutch knitter