Fine Finishing: One Piece or Many?

Filed in Uncategorized by on June 19, 2010 0 Comments

One thing that I think must be guarded against as a learner in the great cosmic knitting classroom is forever limiting oneself to a particular method solely on the advice of a passionate teacher. One must always try and then choose for one’s self. Whenever a trusted advisor says that anything is “the best” or “the only” way to do something in knitting, please translate that, most appreciatively of course, as “This is my favorite way” to do such and such. And then go find out what the next teacher’s “favorite” way is. It will most likely be the polar opposite and yet, still true. (knitting is awesome that way)

Here’s the example that I was thinking about today, while knitting on the largest part of the Mellow Sweater. I’ve joined the sleeves and body and am working around a ponderous amount of stitches every round, and the whole sweater is with me at all times, getting larger and larger and heavier and heavier. Now, this is not a bad thing or a good thing, it just is. I tend to choose a lot of seamless sweaters like this, so I’m used to this part of the seamless sweater process. But it really is rather ponderous and slow moving at this particular point. It’s hard to see that I’m making progress. I tend to look out the window often during these rounds and wonder if I should go water the hydrangeas or take the dog for another walk.

In spite of that, I am comforted during this dangerously languorous phase by the fact that I’ll only have about 1 hour or less of finishing to do and then, VOILA! this sweater will be completely ready to wear. I do like that when I’m in a mellow sweater mood. But this is not the only or by any means the best way to make a sweater.

It occurred to me that there is merit in knitting a sweater in pieces. There is comfort in having that tangible sense of moving forward. The back is COMPLETE. The front is COMPLETE. One sleeve is COMPLETE, etc.. For me and the Mellow Sweater, nothing will be complete until the whole thing is complete. I don’t really have a list I can check off. I’m in progress for a very long time, then suddenly, I’m done.

Sometimes it is very nice to have a neat stack of finished pieces to which one can add, then spend a cozy afternoon with a familiar movie or book on tape in the background and do the finishing, slowly, pleasantly, without rushing, and realizing that seams are not inherently evil, as is sometimes promulgated.

So, choose the kind of sweater YOU like and don’t worry about prevailing trends. Let your mind be opened by fabulous, opinionated teachers, but as has been said, let us not be so open-minded that our brains fall out. You’re still in charge of your knitting and if you like seaming your sweaters, fabulous. If you can’t stand seaming, then isn’t it great that there are so many options?

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