Ugh!  Super-ugh!!  As it turns out, seaming sweaters is hard…

…or maybe it’s the part about learning to seam sweaters that’s hard. 

So here is how I am doing with the Raglan Sleeve Topper so far.  All parts turned out lovely.  I was happy with the project.  I was excited to have it come together in the height of winter here in the Midwest. 

I followed the steps in the pattern like a champ.  (For those of you new to my blog, this is my FIRST sweater.)   After all of that work, the pattern said, “sew the shoulder seams on all pieces”.  That was it.  Sew it up. 

Surely, there must be more to it.  This IS knitting, after all, where everything is about math and graph paper and gauge.  So I checked a few resources I had lying around the house, and found no help (okay, I should have looked harder).

SOOOOO, (experienced knitters, prepare to gasp…….NOW!) I whip stitched that entire bad-boy together.  I was happy doing it.  It took me 3 hours.  I checked my seams from the right side to be sure they looked okay, and they did, so I kept a-going…..for 3 hours….until it was done.  I was excited.

Then I tried it on.  Then I realized the seams didn’t look okay on the right side.  In fact, they made the entire sweater look like some cheap, homemade, art project.  Yay me!!

What’s even better is that I wanted MY first sweater to survive Armageddon (c’mon, I’ve been working on the thing on and off for almost a year now…), so I broke the first rule of knitting and made some KNOTS where I felt they were necessary.  Yay me, again!!!

So this brings me to my new, enlightened state.  (Let’s look at the bright side, shall we?)  As it turns out, one should NOT whip stitch one’s toiled over sweater pieces together.  In my late night fury, I searched the house for a book with a section on proper finishing techniques and found a really nice one in Stitch N Bitch

Stitch N Bitch, where were you when I needed you?! 

As is turns out, I was right the first time, and seaming is HARD!!!  Or at least it’s hard to learn.  Apparently, to do it and do it well, there are different seaming techniques that exist for seaming shoulders, others for seaming sides and sleeves, and still others for seaming tops of sweater parts to sides of sweater parts.  I KNEW there would be math and diagrams and physics!!!

To be completely honest, I really should have been more aware.  I actually do know how to seam stockinette from my experiences seaming mittens (after having a similar situation as this, just on a much smaller scale, many years ago), and the thought did cross my mind more than one time: “I wonder if THAT’S how I should be doing this?”.  I couldn’t remember from which book it was that I learned to seam like that.  Additionally, being a crazy, crazy sock knitter, I can kitchener till the cows come home, which according to the finishing chapter in Stitch N Bitch is a form of grafting, which is considered to be much more difficult than seaming.  Go figure.

This brings us back to the present issue at hand.  When I have recovered from my late night whip stitch party of one, I get to go back and attempt to carefully remove all of those seams (complete with knots because I’m so awesome …) so that I can start all over again and hopefully salvage my sweater. 

Front: Pretty sweater, not so pretty seaming


Back: more bad seaming

 I know this is good for me, but I can’t deny the fact that it sucks.  When the process is this painful, you have no doubt you are learning, right?  The good news is, I’ll never be the same knitter again.  I’ll be a better one!