Liv is all done—except for weaving in the ends. And this is the point where my enthusiasm for finishing wanes. Like Sherlock Holmes between cases, the lack of a challenge induces torpor. Unlike Sherlock, I don’t resort to narcotics to reactivate my energy. I either leave the project at this point or somehow muddle through the dreary night of tucking the ends into the seams. Part of this is my own doing. Aside from some ends that must fall in inconvenient places, such as the one dangling from the slit at the center front, I always attach my yarn at the seams. So it is an easy but boring matter to put the long ends on a wool needle and hide them invisibly. This tedious business will take most of tonight’s knitting time to give Liv true FO status.
Occasionally I have abandoned a project just at this stage. In one case it turned out to be lucky. I had a scarf with only about three or four ends that weren’t woven in, and it stayed in the scarf box in my closet for years. I subsequently needed a gift and finished off the scarf. I didn’t feel guilty about this borderline regifting because even though I didn’t knit the scarf for the recipient, I never wore it.
There were a few more interesting bits of finishing on Liv. The reinforced edge that I showed in my last post was at the join of the bottom slit. I needed to do something similar on the neck V, and overcasting didn’t look invisible. I used a duplicate stitch on the inside, but then I made four chain stitch links on the inside of the V. I think this tightens up the loose, stretched stitches originally at the V (photo in my prior post) and reinforces the neck edge.
Getting the ribs on the sleeves to match the shoulder seam also required concentration. The first side aligned so perfectly, I couldn’t believe my
skill luck. The second side took six tries.
I’m happy with my choice of crocheted seams for Liv because the seams give the sweater the shape it needs and they will keep it from stretching when it is washed. In the interests of fair disclosure, I want to point out that not everyone is as enthusiastic about crocheted seams as I am. I did find a discussion of them in Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook (p. 255). She claims they are not as neat as ladder stitch (her name for mattress stitch). I disagree. They are not as flat initially as ladder stitch, but if you are neat and take the same loop on the edge stitch consistently, they look fine. She also says the seam is bulky, and it is certainly thicker than mattress stitch, but conscientious steam blocking (on both front and back of the seam, as the final finishing step) makes it as flat as a three-needle bindoff. Montse then suggests using a thinner yarn for the crocheted seam, with the caveat that it will produce a weaker seam. I’ve always used the same yarn as I knit with, and I have sweaters that are more than 30 years old that have seams as strong as the day I constructed them. So the choice is yours. If you do try it and don’t like it, ripping is fast and easy.
The modeling shot will have to wait for a haircut. I don’t want my shagginess to be broadcast through cyberspace. There seems to be one day that separates my hair from looking good to its collapse into an unmanageable mess. And despite the countless haircuts I’ve had in my life, this day is always a surprise. At the end of the week, DH has promised to take me to another scenic spot and take my picture (contingent, of course, on some evidence that his sweater is back on the needles).