So I finally realized a quirk about myself that’s been lurking for years but I’d never quite
accepted identified it specially before. I am afraid of finishing things.
I am an awesome starter. There is little in this world I love more than starting a new project. Browsing for patterns, fondling the pretties and imagining them as a finished object, gathering up all the supplies and taking that first stitch. I love everything about starting. I excel at starting. Doesn’t matter if it’s a new quilt or a new knitted object, the exhilaration is the same. And I have a pretty impressive collection of PhDs (Project half Done) to prove it.
The thing is, I fear finishing. Not actually having a finished object. I LOVE having something new for show & tell. But the steps required to get there often give me a case of the proverbial hives. And the reason for it is probably even more insane than the fear itself… I let other people’s views of finishing techniques scare me off of attempting them myself.
The SOEG is the first piece I’ve knit that required honest to God seaming. And to wander the boards at Ravelry, you’ll quickly reach the conclusion, like I did, that seaming is the antichrist of the knitting world. The cardigan I finished back in January has seams, but I cleverly avoided the actual seaming process. I did a 3 needle bind off on the shoulders instead of an outright seam. I also did a knit set in sleeve rather than knitting the sleeves separately then seaming them into the armholes. Clever avoidance on my part since I’d really not done either technique and, it turns out, both probably involved a lot more effort on my part than just learning to seam.
So here I was after the sweater fell off the needles on Monday night facing the finish line. And as much as I wanted to cross it so I can wear my sweater, I wasn’t looking forward to the finishing. By the by, I should include in finishing the final step- actually putting the garment over my head, praying to God and all that’s holy that it fits. You may recall a previous sweater attempt we do not talk about where said garment was something more akin to a circus tent than an actual wearable object. So the heebie jeebies are at least not FULLY unwarranted. Silly, maybe, but not unwarranted.
In a logical bit of procrastination, I started with the neck edge. I believe it was on the 4th attempt to pick up a butt-ton of stitches that I finally got close enough to be satisfied. And I suppose 103 stitches really doesn’t qualify as a butt-ton, but when you have to pick up that many stitches to knit exactly 2 rows before binding off, it seems like a butt-ton. But I did it. Well, I picked up 99 anyway, and decided that was close enough. So I knit a row, I purled a row and I cast off knitwise. Neck done. Now for the really scary part…
Sweater, tapestry needle and yarn in hand, ready to sew up the sides, I needed a bit of education first, so off to YouTube for a tutorial. This doesn’t look so hard. Why am I afraid? But OMG what if I screw up and completely ruin two weeks worth of knitting and all that yarn? ACK! But you never know unless you try, right? So I channeled the power of my favorite purple tapestry needle and I went forth with trepidation and fear.
In through the V, in through the bar, tug. In through the V, in through the bar, tug. OK, looked a little rough, but the general idea seems logical enough. In through the V, in through the bar. This is getting better. In through the V, In through the bar. Wait, what’s that? I’m done with the first side? OK, it maybe looks like my first attempt at seaming, but it’s not horrid. So with a tad more confidence, I dove straight in to the other side. And a short while (well, not that short. Spike was feeling particularly playful last night and I had to keep putting down my work because Mr.Me couldn’t be bothered), it was DONE. Honest to God finished! Which made my knees quake just a bit. Because this meant time to try it on. The sort of “I’m going to stab my eyes out with my sharpest set of interchangeable needles and never knit again” fear settled into my bones as I headed for the bedroom. And I put one arm in. Then the next, pulled the whole works over my head, dusted the full length mirror off with a sock from the laundry basked (hand knit of course!) and, HARK the Herald Angels sing, IT FIT! Honestly. I swear I heard them sing! I couldn’t be more excited! The Sweater Of Epic Greenness is an actual, wearable garment! I should probably give it a nice bath and a trip across the blocking boards before displaying it on my person for more than a quick size check, but it’s done. And I can wear it with pride and say I MADE THIS! I conquered my fear of finishing, I didn’t farg it up beyond all recognition and Ima do it again soon! Different yarn, different pattern, but I am going to knit me another sweater. Soon. I can’t wait