If you’ve spent much time in the knitting blogosphere, you’ve probably picked up on the seam or not to seam debate. There’s a lot of tradition around each approach, but in recent years the knitting culture has been largely influenced by the work of Elizabeth Zimmerman (proponent of bottom-up seamless knitting) and Barbara Walker (proponent of the top-down approach) as our modern day knitting matriarchs. And while I think they’ve brought a lot of innovation to the craft of knitting, I think a lot of us have forgotten the magic of seamed sweaters.
Until recently, I’ve considered myself to be a seamless knitter. Top-down, bottom-up, didn’t matter as long as I didn’t have to pull out the darning needle for anything other than weaving in ends, and even that was a chore. What’s funny about that is I actually do have a pretty solid sewing background, so it’s not like sewing needles scare me. I think I just loved the simplicity of seamless knitting. You just cast on and knit, pull off a couple of cool maneuvers and before you know it, and entire sweater is sitting on your needles. It’s kinda fun to show off when knitting in public. And when you bind off, you’re done! That’s it! Very little finishing work to do.
But I think I’m broadening my horizens a bit with this current project. A while back I was reading the Yarn Harlot’s blog, and I don’t remember what project she was working on, but it was a sweater knit in pieces. And it was just so fun to check her blog every few days and see exactly what she’d accomplished. She’d finished a piece of the front, or a sleeve, or the back. She was always hitting a very significant milestone in the production of her sweater. I reallized that that was something I was missing in seamless sweater knitting, the milestones. So I decided to take a stab at knitting a sweater in pieces.
I’m in love.
There’s nothing like progress to create motivation. Especially in the life of a young mom who has very limited time to work. Feeling like there’s forward momentum can make it so much easier to carve out an extra 5 minutes here and there, because you feel like that 5 minutes will actually make a difference in the progress of the garment. And guess what! That means your putting in extra time, meaning the sweater gets done even faster! It really is exactly the sort of knitting I need right now.
What’s even more fun is that I feel like a more balanced, well-rounded knitter. I like seamed knitting for it’s virtues, and I love seamless for it’s set of wholly different virtues. 🙂
Which approach do you prefer?
July 3, 2012 at 8:25 am
One of the things I gave my husband for Christmas was a hat. A simple and plain hat, but it was a special hat. In December he hinted at asking me for a hat because his ears were freezing when he went on his daily walk at work. Chuck is so delightfully supportive of my knitting, yet never ever asks me to make anything for him that the fact that his cold ears had driven him even hint made me dig up a pattern and cast on almost immediately.
I’ve knit a lot of things in the last few years, lots of them being gifts. I don’t think any of them have been as gratifying as this one though. Every time we walk out of the house, Chuck grabs his hat out of his pocket and puts it on. I don’t think anything I’ve made has gotten so much love, at least that I’ve witnessed.
I finally remembered to take a picture this weekend. Isn’t he sweet to pose for me?
Pattern: Lorne’s Hat by the Yarn Harlot. Yarn: Liberty Wool by Classic Elite (I told you it was my new favorite). Raveled here.
February 7, 2011 at 2:00 am