Since Sirdal was knitted in the round, I had the hunch that it would be quick to finish. After all, all those knitters out there who eschew seaming are continually promoting seamless knitting as a way to have your garment done the minute you cast off. But finishing a stranded sweater, I’ve discovered, is every bit as challenging as seaming something you knitted flat. I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge (and it is making me long for something to knit in pieces just so I can seam it up), but the fact is Sirdal is still a WIP and likely to remain so for at least another week. By that time, I should be so proud of it that I may want to wear it inside out to display the finishing to one and all.
I started the finishing by attaching the shoulder seams. According to the Dale of Norway instructions, you have to overcast on the outside. To have a nice edge, the shoulders end with a row of purls, leaving a ridge on the outside. This is how I sewed them together.
This is how the finished seam looks.
Next up was attaching the sleeves to the body. I departed a bit from the instructions, and I grafted the sleeve to the body.
A noticeable difference between Norwegian sweaters and every other sweater I’ve ever knit is the use of facings. These cleverly cover the raw edges of the steek. The sleeves end with six rows of stockinette intended to cover the raw edges where you attach the sleeve to the shoulder, and once the facing is attached, it provides a nice finish.
I took a bit of a hiatus before working on the buttonbands. First, I had a long overdue visit to NYC to see a good friend who is sensitive to wool. And so I knit her a scarf from Soy Silk.
The pattern is “A Little Bit Bohemian” found on Ravelry, and it knit up quickly and easily. I made some modest changes to the pattern, elongating it because my yarn was slightly thinner than the yarn specified. It is a great pattern for yarn with a drape.
The second reason for not leaping into the buttonbands was my indecision about the buttonholes. I flirted with Lucy Neatby’s Magic Buttonholes and I knit a successful swatch, but I decided to save them for another day. These are done on a double-stockinette band, and the pattern called for a ribbed edge. The traditional way to finish the fronts is to knit a band and cover the steek with a facing, and tradition won out. So the buttonholes I decided to use are from Katarina Buss’s Big Book of Knitting, and they look pretty good in a ribbed band, although I have only the evidence from yet another buttonband swatch to confirm this. (The Big Book of Knitting also has excellent pictures and instructions for grafting sleeves to sweater bodies.)
For now I’m at work on the left (easy) side. I’ve picked up stitches just under the steek edge and am working on the ribbed band now.
There’s still more finishing to do: knit the buttonbands and facings, attach the neck ribbing, sew down the facings, finish the buttonholes, and sew on the buttons. But the end really is in sight--and I'm well ahead of schedule for a Rhinebeck sweater.