Thursday, 15 May 2008

I am not stitchy and I will not sew a seam

Oh horrid words:
FINISHING
Block all pieces to measurements. Sew Shoulder seams.

Left Front Band / Neckband
Note: to ensure a perfect fit, sew piece AS YOU WORK IT to Left Front, Back neck shaping, and Right Front neck shaping.
Attaching the band as you work it is really the only way to make a neat job of Bridie's asymmetric front detail. Still, the idea of knitting one long snaky strip of ribbing and simultaneously wrangling needle and yarn sounded too fiddly to me: as soon as I read that part of the directions, I knew that I just didn't want to do it, and realised that unless I worked out a sew-less way of getting the band in place, poor Bridie would be going back into the knitting bag with sad naked fronts.

Luckily, I have learned some things in my time knitting (even if I haven't learned not to be a baby about seams). Remember Matilda Jane? Remember my delirious joy at her seamlessness? And remember that she has button bands? Knitted in button bands, no less. Adding a chain selvedge by slipping a stitch purlwise at the neck edge is a minor alteration of the pattern - but when you are the sort of pouting child that I become when faced with a bit of slightly-challenging making-up, it's an alteration which makes the difference between ending up with a wearable garment, or ending up with a sorry heap of knitted pieces.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Pick up stitches

Ever since I first bumped into Bridie on Anna Bell's beautiful, eloquent blog, I've been anxious to knit it. The pretty stitch pattern, the striking shape of the fronts - the details of this design make it both pleasurable to knit, and lovely to look at, while its quietly classic beauty mean it is likely to play a regular part in my wardrobe for some time. Anyway, KnitKnit arrived as a Christmas present, the mountain of Wool Cotton I'd been collecting urged itself as a summery sub for the Karabella Aurora suggested by the pattern, and I cast on.

In the world of some knitters, casting on at Christmas would mean a cardigan by, ooh, Easter. Not me. I made it almost all the way up the back before filching the needles for another project:

Meet Quilty. Quilty is bottom-up tank knitted in twisted rib and smocking stitch. Quilty is the product of my own beknighted brains. Quilty was racing along to the shoulders until the moment that my husband said, "so, what are you wearing to the wedding in two weeks time?" At which point I remembered Bridie, hunched in the knitting bag waiting for someone to supply fronts, bands, buttons, sleeves etc etc. So the plan for the next fortnight it to finish her - not a wildly overambitious plan, but still pretty daunting given that she'll be my first major seaming job.

In other news: my knitblogging skills are now in the pay of Yarn Forward Magazine, where I'm posting behind-the-scenes news and work from readers. If you're reading this post after my massive internet hiatus, do come over and say hi...