30 Day Sweater Challenge: Week Three

We’re three weeks into the 30 Day Sweater Challenge. The needles are clacking, the yarn is flying, and the sweater is growing. I’m not on schedule, but I’m far from behind at this point.

Thanks to my phone acting up (anyone else having issues with the iPhone after the most recent update?), there are no pictures this week for the challenge. That being said, there’s definitely some progress. I’m probably a third of the way through the front piece, which is the last big piece. I might be able to still finish it this weekend, but if not, I still have 13 days before the month is up. I think this will still work out.

Overall, I’m loving this pattern. The 12-row repeat is easy to memorize. In fact, by the time I started the front piece, I didn’t need the chart at all. It’s made for great TV knitting. I can just sit down and let my hands do the work.

The next challenge will be the blocking. I’m not new to blocking, as long as we’re talking about basic shapes. I didn’t do a great job with my mom’s circular shawl last year (and I’m thinking of stealing it back and re-blocking it). The sweater piece shapes are completely new to me. I’m very glad I decided to get those blocking wires a few weeks ago.

After that, I need to sew the bits together. That’s also a little nervewracking. I don’t have a lot of experience with seams. The monkey a couple months back was my first endeavor. The seams for the sweater are a bit different, though. Should I hand sew them with the yarn I used for the sweater? Should I use the sewing machine? I have no idea.

Have you made a sweater before? If you have, what seaming advice do you have? If you haven’t, which sweater would you want to try for your first?

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9 thoughts on “30 Day Sweater Challenge: Week Three

  1. I use the mattress stitch. There are several great reference books out there the Vogue Ultimate knitting comes to mind. Take you’re time sewing you will be glad you did.

  2. Good job keeping on track!

    I would hand sew with the same yarn. I am pretty sure that you can find some you tube videos that will show you the best way to put it together, how to seam so it looks professionally done.

  3. Yes to the above, hand sew with the same yarn, and I generally use mattress stitch. Take your time, work in good light, and know that some of the imperfections in your seaming will block out (but you still want to make the seams as good as possible).

  4. Hand sew with same yarn. Every time. It’s a good clean finish. Definitely take your time, and don’t worry if you mess up a little. You can undo it easily.

    Something I do to help, especially on the sleeve caps – I have two needles per seam. I start one at the bottom and make a knot so the pieces stay together, then at the middle of the seam. (There will be two threads hanging from an otherwise open seam). This way, I can make sure my pieces line up right while you are seaming instead of getting to the end and realizing one side is an inch higher because if the way you seamed in the beginning.

    Other methods are using binder clips or those little claw-like hair clips to hold your pieces together while you work. Whatever method ends up working for you, I highly recommend finding a way to hold your pieces in place.

    Avoid a sewing machine though. I used a machine once to sew clasps in place, and it distorted my cardigan and was difficult to rip out. I actually gave up trying to rip it out and have accepted that one side of the front clasps will be a centimeter longer than the other, and will never go near my knitting with a machine unless I’m steeking.

  5. Hand sew them with the yarn you used for the sweater. If you have stockinette at the seams…definitely the Mattress Stitch. Easy and undetectable. Great finished look.

  6. There’s probably a ton of free information out there, but if you’re more into books, I recommend “The Knitter’s Book of Finished Techniques” by Nancy Wiseman, which has an excellent overview of not only different ways to sew a seam, but also the basics of sweater construction — i.e., which bits to sew together in what order.

  7. Yes, sew the seams with the same yarn.
    I confess I have never blocked a thing and most of my early knitting was sweaters. That will have to change as I am knitting a lace shawl, and it will NEED blocking.
    I bought Deborah Newton’s ‘Finishing school’ to tech me how to block, and it also covers everything else needed to make your knits look just right.

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