Friends, this right now is 100% my favourite time of year for knitting. It’s just after Christmas, which means holiday knitting has passed, and selfish knitting time is fully welcomed. If you live in the chillier parts of the Northern Hemisphere, as I do, this is also the perfect time for sweater knitting. If you started some sweater knitting in the fall, now is when you may be casting off those sweaters, or are perhaps wearing them already.
Also – and this is the best part – winter still has enough time on the clock that you could still conceivably cast on new sweaters RIGHT NOW and wear them in the current season, if you play your cards right. I am about to inhabit all three of these states of being at the same time. I have a sweater on the needles that I started on Christmas Day (Smoky Lake, whirring along nicely with very little effort), and am now just a few seams and a button-shopping excursion away from wearing the Exeter cardigan I started in November.
Last weekend I blocked all of the sweater pieces and lined them up for seaming. I don’t love seaming, admittedly, but I do enjoy the process of seeing all the pieces come together to make a complete garment. When you knit sweaters in pieces it’s very easy to focus on one piece at a time (dividing it out into manageable chunks, sub-goals, etc), but then you put it together and it’s sort of glorious. OH RIGHT, these pieces make a sweater.
This sweater uses a lot of reverse-stockinette as background, which means most of the seaming is done on reverse-stockinette. (There are some nifty tutorials from Twist Collective here, and Knitting Help here.) It’s a bit of a learning curve when you’re used to doing mattress stitch on the knit side of stockinette, but I’ve sort of come to enjoy it now. It keeps me on my toes in a good way.
I am, however, still not ready to say the same thing about kitchener stitch. I keep doing kitchener stitch when needed, my friends, I really really do. Admittedly I am still sewing up my toes on socks by binding off all stitches and then sewing a horizontal seam later, rather than do kitchener stitch. But in all other instances where a pattern calls for kitchener stitch to finish it off, I cross-my-heart promise I am making myself do it. I will not live in hiding from a technique just because I don’t like it. Yeah. GRRR, come at me kitchener stitch, I’m ready.
Except this time i was not ready. On this pattern you are directed to join the two collar pieces at the back of the neck using kitchener stitch. I did so. Then the next morning I took one look at it, saw the wonky places where it was not at all going to lie flat and pretty like a collar should, and started trying to pull it out. The pulling it out did not go well (no photographic evidence of this has been retained). I ended up resorting to snipping it, re-knitting the last couple of rows of each of the collar fronts to re-set for the ends, and then re-did the kitchener stitch.
The second time went much better than the first, I’m pleased to say, and now all that’s left are a couple of sleeve seams and a bit of button shopping. Here’s looking forward to wearing this sucker within the next week! And then the next sweater cast-on adventure lies ahead.
Happy Friday, and happy knitting this weekend! May your knits have no finishing disasters in them whatsoever.