Skill + 1UP - 2KCBWDAY2

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I am going to cheat a little bit with today's topic because looking over last year's projects, I was struck by how safe my knitting choices were. There were a lot of repeat knits and easy (but enjoyable) projects which required no new skills on my part. Although I did learn to knit with beads and made this bracelet for my mother-in-law for Christmas.

The skill that I am most proud of was achieved in February of this year. First, a little background. My aversion to sewing seams and various other finishing tasks is quite extreme and mostly have to do with past failures such as this one:

Notice the bulkiness of the "set-in sleeves", which were backstitched, overstitched and every darn way stitched in. Over the years, I have compensated for this fear of finishing by learning the art of avoidance. My preferred method for knitting sweaters is top-down or bottom-up, with little to no seaming involved. So the above failure was eventually frogged and turned into this:


Still, the fact that the majority of the patterns that I coveted was automatically dismissed because of the amount of finishing involved bugged me. I was living a knitting life of fear.

                                                      But then came Donut.

Donut the Sock Monster

Knitting this little guy taught me so much. As anyone who has made a toy knows, oftentimes there is a lot of fussy finishing and seaming involved. Assembling Donut to my youngest niece's exacting standards required the patience of Job. But look at those seams, properly mattress stitched in.

Never again will I be put off by the amount of seaming a project requires. Fear has turned into exciting possibilities!


  1. Stunning bracelet! I had the same aversion to seaming as you did. I prefer seamless knit construction, but I'm glad I learned how to properly seam. Donut is a cutie! =)

  2. Donut is fantastic. I had trouble with the set in sleeves on the cardigan I made. I hate backstitching on the wrong side, can't see a thing till it's too late!

  3. Anonymous3/29/2011

    Donut is so cute I love him, and the bracelet is really pretty too

  4. Hurray for fearless knitting! I need to start challenging myself with seamed items too, instead of avoiding it.

  5. Knitting with beads is something I want to achieve by this time next year. Learning how to mattress stitch has transformed my finished knits!

  6. The bracelet you knit is amazing. What a lovely gift! I'm terrified of seaming. I've done it successfully a few times (and unsuccessfully much more than that) but it's just so much work. And I'm lazy. Donut is very cute, though, and I have wanted to try some of those monster patterns, so I may have to give it a go.

  7. My mattress stitch was rubbish for ages until I did a finishing techniques course - wow what a difference. Now I will happily seam away and love how the magic works when you pull the yarn and the seam vanishes!

  8. Your bracelet is incredible! Donut is wonderful. It must feel great to finally master something that been bugging you for a while.

  9. Your bead knitting is quite lovely. And Donut is so cute!

  10. Hurray for Donut! Mattress stitch is magic!

  11. Gorgeous bracelet!

    Finishing often leads me to loads of worrying that seams will be uneven and the like. But hooray for trying again, and rocking the mattress stitch!

  12. Whoa, knitting with beads...totally cool.

  13. hey great bracelet and also i totally love that sock monster

  14. Who knew a Donut was the answer? Love it!

    I know what you mean about needing a confidence project to get the excitement going.

    Your bracelet is amazing.

  15. Anonymous3/30/2011

    OMGosh, Donut is adorable! And you did a fantastic job with him.

    I agree, finishing isn't always fun but it makes such a big difference. Congrats on overcoming your fear of finishing!


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