The devil is in the details, part I

As is true for many knitters, I don’t enjoy all the finishing steps that come at the end of a project. Weaving in ends, seaming, blocking, sewing on buttons – to me these things are all just obstacles to my being able to slide into my new hand-knit garment. I know logically that the opposite is true, but once the last stitch has been knit, I’m so eager to wear my new piece that I resent all those unwoven ends and open seams.

But no project is without some amount of finishing. And though I know it would be in my best interest to avoid projects with a lot of finishing, I’m often so enamored with the picture of the final product that comes with the pattern that I don’t read the instructions carefully enough. So when a pattern for a baby blanket says, “There is a total of 16 quilt squares, each formed by putting together four matching color quadrants …” I unfortunately don’t do all that math right away and think, “Holy cow, that’s 64 individual squares I’m going to have to sew together … and I won’t even be done at that point!” Instead, I think, “Gee that’s a really pretty blanket. I wanna make it!” And I did, but boy, did I hate all that finishing.

And unfortunately, I have not yet learned my lesson. When choosing a pattern for a knit-along I’m currently doing, I made some adjustments I thought would make completing the item a bit easier. The pattern called for nine different colorways that would alternate in ways I initially read as being too complicated. So I instead chose to work with only five different colors of yarn, but it turned out that reducing the number of colorways meant more color changes. So, whereas I could have simply carried the yarn during most of the color changes by following the pattern as written, I’m now faced with yarn tail spaghetti.

img_1675The moral of this story is – read the pattern carefully. Take note of all necessary finishing, and when making adjustments, pay close attention to whether you’re actually streamlining your project, or making it unnecessarily complicated.

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