My least favourite thing about knitting is finishing. To clarify: I like getting to the end of a project and knowing how close I am to casting on the next project (I love starting things!), but I hate the finishing process – weaving in ends, blocking, sewing – that lies between the two. Especially sewing. Which is why, having finished my Alexus tunic back in July, it took me til this past weekend to sew and block the thing. And then I only did it because it was taking up space, I had a shawl to block anyway, and I resorted to bribery.
The first problem is that I rarely knit things big enough to need much in the way of finishing, so I just don’t have much practice. Secondly, I hate sewing. It’s dull and repetitive, and my sewing never looks neat. Third, and this is probably my biggest problem when it comes to finishing knitwear, I just don’t have much space. Certainly nowhere to put things to dry flat without having to move them repeatedly.
Alexus was knit in Rowan Handknit Cotton; good because it’s machine washable, bad because it really needed to dry flat, which took forever. And, even with it hidden away in the corner of my bedroom, the Tiny Tyrant still found an opportunity to parade up and down the length of it (by her logic, clothes lying on the floor are destined for the laundry).
The point of finishing is to make the final product look polished, and that is definitely not something I’m achieving with any consistency. While I’m happy with the fit of the tunic, I’m probably not going to wear it until I’ve done a little embroidery over the seams to neaten things up. I guess I’ll probably get to wear this next Summer?
I do intend to persist – I will only get better with practice – but I think I had best practice my finishing techniques on smaller things for now. My Lopapeysa is teaching me how much I enjoy seamless projects in the round, and one of the new books which arrived last week was The Art of Seamless Knitting (Simona Merchant-Dest and Faina Goberstein). It not only explains the techniques and construction of seamless knits, and provides some example patterns to try, but has step-by-step instructions on how to convert patterns for seamless knitting. The latter will come in handy for adapting a couple of sweater projects for which I have yarn but not enthusiasm. I’ll let you know how I get on.