I don’t mind seaming things up. I think there are tons of knitted items that benefit from the structural integrity of seams, and some things just aren’t possible to knit without doing some sewing. The Sunrise Circle Jacket is like that, on both counts. The yarn is firm and a little heavy and the seams will keep it from drooping at the sides, although it’s not like you could really opt out of them considering the construction. By necessity, there are two raglan seams to sew up, two sleeve seams and two side seams. Then (unless you are the sort who knit up all your hems – which I am not) then you have to sew down the hems at the cuffs and around the entire perimeter of the sweater.
This sweater has a lot of sewing… and baby that’s saying something because I knit sweaters in that time of fashion emptiness, the eighties. Give just a moments thought to dolman sleeves and oversize sweaters that came down to your knees (over your stirrup pants) and try to recall some of the long, gathered shapes of those enormous sweater coats Kaffe Fassett thought were a good idea back then and I’m telling you, there has to be a lot of sewing before I’m going to think it’s a lot of sewing. Last night I finished the twelve puny rows standing between me and being finished, and then I started the finishing.
I sewed the sleeve and side seams first so that I could try it on. This took a good long time. A whole glass of Shiraz sort of a long time. Babies have been born in the length of time that it took to sew these seams. Treaties have been settled between warring nations in less time. Hell…Politicians have made up their minds in less time than I spent sewing. The sun set. The moon rose. Time passed indeterminably while I plied my needle up those seams. I finished those seams and that glass of wine about the same time, and it was a good thing too, because I discovered that I remain absolutely freakin’ whacked a little bit off base about the real length of my arms and that due to my continuing belief that I am much, much taller than I am, the sleeves were two inches too long, and if I’d have figured that out before I had the glass of wine I would have needed one anyway. (Let this be a lesson to you. Drink early, drink often. Just for the efficiency of it.)
I took a deep breath, I unpicked my seams, chopped off the excess, picked up the stitches and knit new hems back down. Then I resewed the seams. Then I sewed the cuff hems. Then I tried it on to make sure that I was having a reality based knitting experience (I was.) and decided to forgo the second glass of wine. (One glass fortifies. The second can really begin to effect sewing accuracy.) Then I put on all the taped episodes of The Bionic Woman and started the hems.
( A word about the new Bionic Woman? There is no bigger fan of the original Bionic Woman out there than me. I loved that show. Loved. It. I used to play Bionic Woman all the time and if I hadn’t had a brother named Jamie I would have demanded a name change. I equally loved The Six Million Dollar man, though that was just a respect thing. I didn’t think he was hot. That said, and accepting that whoever this new chick is might be doomed in my heart anyway…since I don’t see how anyone could really be Jaime Summers except Lindsay Wagner…that’s bloody clear… I’m having trouble getting into the new series. I mean, have you seen it? We could talk about the plot and the characters and stuff but I’d rather gloss that over and go right to the big issues. Have you seen how they show her going really fast? They make her go REALLY FAST. That’s dumbass. Totally dumbass. I mean, everybody knows that you can tell the bionics are working and they are going really, really fast when they go REALLY REALLY SLOW. This new fast bionic woman just looks like a hamster. I mean seriously. It’s an insult to Bionics. I have to avert my eyes it pains me so. )
Dudes. This is a fair bit of sewing. Quilts have less sewing…No, that’s an understatement.
…CHER has fewer seams on her than this sweater. It is a fantastical amount of fiddly sewing. It goes on and on and on until you beg for mercy. Beg. It went on for so long that when I was finally finished (at 2AM and after a second glass of wine after all because holy cow I practically had to bribe myself to stick to it ) when I finally fell into my bed the sewing had so invaded my brain that there were immediate consequences.
I had a dream that I got a message to go to a coffee shop and sew up a sweater. (I have no idea why I would go to some odd shop to sew up the seams of a strangers sweater, but you know how dreams are. These aren’t things that seem like choices. ) In the dream, when I got to the coffee shop there was this big chesterfield there, and the shop owner was some evil sweater- knitting blogger and she chained me up with these crazy iron i-cords and told me that I had to sew up all of her stuff before I could go. ( As scary as that was, she also gave me coffee…so it wasn’t all bad.)
It was a really traumatic dream, except for that the evil sweater-knitting-blogger type had really good taste, so the sweaters I had to sew up were fantastic… That and she forgot to take away my cell phone, so I could call for help, and somehow, out of all of the people in the world I could call to rescue me, I picked up the phone and called my good buddy Rick Mercer (whom I have never met, in my waking life ) to come to my aid. Rick did come and unchain me, but not before we had brownies and he told me I was stunned as an arse for getting myself locked up to sew sweaters in the first place. Then we blogged it and we left… In a red pick-up. (I have no idea why my inner psyche thinks Rick Mercer drives a red-pickup. Some residual scarring from the Liberal convention perhaps. No way to know. ) Anyway, Rick was really great about it, but he didn’t knit in the dream.
The seaming might have got to me a little.
It still needs buttons, and blocking, but it was worth it.