There are many key benefits to enrolling in the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program but what no one ever tells you is that it is an epic formula to overcome the dread of seaming your knitting. I will be the first to admit that the program has massive benefits, too many to list, but for me, it has been monumental to no longer dread the finishing process of putting together a sweater.
I won’t deceive you, going through the program sometimes seems like a mammoth task, one I occasionally wish I could just quit. I will set it aside for several months at a time and think I won’t finish but then I remind myself of how much work has gone into it thus far and tell myself I need to cross that finish line. It is well worth the effort.
I finished the last swatch last week, swatch 19 although I am quite certain I will re-knit a few of my swatches before I mail my submission. I made an inset pocket! I’m not sure I will ever knit an inset pocket on anything in the future but it sure was fun to knit. I’m definitely a process knitter.
This week I am working on a book report and I’ve started one of the three projects required in Level Two, a vest. The book I’m writing a report on is Seven Things That Make or Break a Sweater. It is a great little book packed with information on techniques that if not done properly will do just that – make or break your sweater. The vest I have chosen is Arenda Holladay’s Icy Pink Vest. The original pattern was knit in tweed which is an unaccepted fiber choice in the program so Ms. Holladay has re-written the pattern with a more appropriate fiber. Apparently, so many knitters were using this pattern in the program that the rewrite was to avoid knitting the vest and having it rejected because you used a tweed. The reviewers need to see all your seaming, how you pick up the neckband and check for gauge issues, tweed makes it more difficult for them to do so.
The program was revised this last year for procrastinators like me. There are time limits:
- Level 1 – 1 year
- Level 2 – 18 months
- Level 3 – 2 years
Now you can still take your time if you want to but you will be charged a fee every time you download a new revision after the time limit. I’m glad they have done this because it was just enough to get my rear in gear again.
With the recent revision of the Master Knitting Program Level 2, I have decided to start afresh. It seems like a primary focus in this level is seaming. With nineteen swatches to knit the first nine swatches all have to do with seams. Although I cringe right now when it comes to finishing a project involving seaming I know that the purpose of this part of the program is designed to give me the confidence to tackle properly any project I take on.
Right now the quality of my knitting most definitely does not match the quality of my finishing techniques. I look forward to the day that, instead of dreading the finishing, I will instead enjoy it. So without further ado, I will get going on the program and share my progress in mind. Please keep in mind that all the swatches I share in the next months may very well need to be resubmitted to the Review Committee because they may have been done incorrectly.
Whenever you seam a knitted garment you encounter three different type edges that must be sewn together. Side seams, shoulder seams and the way the arm is sewn to the garment may all employ different techniques depending on the type of pattern knit in the garment. Knowing these techniques and knowing when to use what kind of seam can greatly alter the appearance of the finished garment. Case in point – for years I have been slipping the selvedge stitches thinking that gave a smooth edge to aid the seaming not knowing, bad idea. Instead, you need a nice sturdy edge so instead just work the stitch just as the pattern indicates.
Reverse Stockinette Seam
Seed Stitch Seam
I have critiqued these three swatches to death and have decided, for my sanity, that it is time to move on. I am really bogged down in this section. These three seams have been worked and re-worked. I have changed the color of the yarn from lavender, to beige, back to lavender and then on to soft sage. They need to be DONE!
I know this isn’t the most exciting of posts but I wish I had known more about seams in my early knitting years. If I had I might actually be wearing those sloppy looking garments. If you are currently about to seam any project using the above stitch patterns just take a few moments to research and that time will be a great investment for you.
Next up……seaming ribs!
Monday is a laundry day for me. It is also the day I iron shirts. Sounds mundane, doesn’t it? I think I will need to throw in a bit of knitting to work on between those loads of laundry and what sounds like a perfect fit for that knitting are the many Master Level Two swatches that must be knit in the upcoming months. After a couple rounds of resubmissions I passed the first level of the TKGA Master Knitting Correspondence Program and Level Two has commenced.
Swatches to Seam
I picked Cascade 220 in Lilac as the color I will knitting my Level Two swatches with but I have already grown weary of the color. I’m not sure if this weariness is truly related to the color or the simple fact that I have knit six stockinette swatches to seam together with the mattress stitch and am not happy with any of them. My daughter tells me colors evoke emotion. I wonder what emotion purple evokes? I ordered some Cascade 220 in beige to play it safe and I am hoping it brings about feelings of neutrality.
Figure 8 Start
After three swatches I am still working on the Figure 8 weave to begin seaming the stockinette swatches. I’m using the Mattress Seam one stitch in from the selvedge.
I have a row of wonky looking stitches on this first swatch. The second swatch has the figure 8 tail showing in an early stitch and the third swatch, well I can’t remember what I didn’t like about it but I know it didn’t measure up to my critical eye. Sigh. I will try again with the BEIGE Cascade 220 yarn and see if I can get better results…………. time to throw in another load of laundry and after it gets going to pull out the BEIGE yarn and cast on again.
(Don’t feel sorry for me. I may sound like I am grumbling but I can assure you, being a process knitter I am thoroughly enjoying this endeavor)