It's coming on Christmas, and I've got a go-to red sweater to keep me warm through the holiday festivities. It's my Larch Cardigan, which I finished knitting last year and then promptly stashed away, unable to bring myself to sew the pieces together. Like a lot of knitters, finishing feels like a chore to me. The knitting's the thing. All I want is that sweet click of needles in hand and rows of tidy stitches manifesting themselves from a simple twist of yarn. Pull out a sewing needle and things get wonky (and whiny--I turn into Paul Rudd so fast).
But--and I wish I had realized this sooner--I don't have to sew up seams to finish things. I can crochet the seams! I like crochet, and it doesn't feel like a chore at all, which makes it my ideal finishing technique. I didn't actually look up how to crochet seams (see Paul Rudd attitude above). I just pinned the pieces together with stitch markers and seamed them with single crochet. It took a while to get right (maybe an hour per sleeve), but in the end I have tidy sleeve seams and, best of all, a finished sweater.
This cardigan has become a wardrobe staple and has made me want to be more intentional with my knitting. In the past I've made things just because I feel like making them, but moving forward I want to consider how the finished product, particularly sweaters, will work with my existing wardrobe. I'm interested in the idea of growing a minimalist wardrobe, and I want to work toward that goal through my knitting. If I'm going to spend hours and hours (and hours!) making something, I need it to be a piece of clothing I can wear for years to come. I think this cardigan fits the bill.
* * *
Do you have any handmade wardrobe staples? I'd love to hear about your tried-and-true pieces.