Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hey seams!


Dude. Seams. Who doesn't hate 'em? Freakin' everybody hates seams.

Those who know me in my knitting life are acquainted my 400 pound gorilla. She's red, tweedy, and cabled. She's lovely. Most importantly, she has been sitting in a plastic bag, a big hairy pile of disconnected pieces, for roughly 8 months. For 8 months, there has a big red tweed gorilla crouched next to the couch, slobbering on my neck as I stitch away on single piece projects. The Central Park Hoodie!

Oh man. As soon as the Fall '06 Knitscene came out, I knew I had to make this sweater. You know that feeling when you see a project and you get a little lurch of longing in your gut?

Maybe I am the only person who gets that feeling. Now that I say it out loud, it sounds sort of weird. But I sure had it, and I acted accordingly. I got me some Karabella Soft Tweed and I knitted that sucker right up. And then....ugh.

I did start the seaming. I did the grafting on the hood and the shoulders, but I'd never done grafting before and I thought it looked awful. I just couldn't bring myself to undo all the sweat and tears that were in those bumpy, ugly-ass seams, and then--Oh Holy God Almighty--reseam them. So progress halted. I realized during this period that years of avoiding seams at all costs--converting anything and everything into the round, downright abusing the three-needle bind off--had landed me in an ugly spot. I couldn't seam!!!

I didn't want to ask for help, because I was embarrassed: I worked in my LYS for 2 years, I have a knitting blog, I go to a knitting group every week, and I am a freaking knitting teacher for the love of God.

But, you know, I finally took the sweater to KPH, and I asked my friends for help. And they told me that my grafting was just right except for one or two spots which I could fix pretty easily. (The gorilla lost about 200 lbs at that moment.)

Then Jess sat down with me and showed me a super cool trick, which is way simple and takes much of the horror out of set-in sleeves. Watch!

You take the very bottom corner of the cap of the sleeve, and you match it on up to the bottom of the arm hole. Match up the two corner stitches as though you were about to seam them together, and then tie those stitches together with some scrap yarn. Do it again in the very middle, tying the center stitch of the sleeve cap up with the shoulder seam. Do it again at the other corner! Then do it in the middle, between the shoulder cap and the corner! Do it over and over!

And then when you finally get around to seaming, you will have a nice bookmark every inch or so to make sure you are on track. (This means you are able to correct a mistake well before you end up with an extra inch of fabric at the end of a seam, i.e. a big clump you will later try to hide in the armpit.)

So I seamed, starting at the shoulder seam and going down one side, then the other, just like Jess said. And it worked! Voila! A by-god set in sleeve. Thanks Jess!

Hooray! So the moral of the story is, I made a mistake that I am always telling people in my classes to avoid, which is to assume I was doing something wrong, and to avoid a technique because I was sure I would screw it up. In the end it was super easy and I did just fine once I sucked it up and asked for help. Hey seams, you ain't so bad, but you're sure misunderstood.

In other news, I went to the farmer's market yesterday, and there I found beautiful things. I bought them and put them in bowls.

Then I tried to photograph one of the bowls, and this happened:

I was wishing you were here this morning--it is the kind of day where, back on East Oakland, we would sit on the porch and drink coffee and knit together until about 1PM, when we would switch to white wine. Stupid ch-ch-changes!


1 comment:

Karen said...

turn and face the rain, d-d-douchebag!