Knitting Around

I hate knitting flat. This is mostly because I just plain hate to sew up sweaters.

I have been doing some reading on knitting boards lately and it seems that people are passionate about whether or not to knit sweaters flat and then sew them up, or to knit them in the round. One lady commented that she only knits flat because she is a seamstress and simply cannot imagine constructing a garment in the round.


I found that really peculiar. You see, I am also a seamstress. The only thing I can figure is that the person discussing this tends to follow patterns exactly. I’ve noticed people who prefer to knit in the round have a high tendency to be their own designer as well. I’m sure there’s some Elizabeth Zimmerman influence there!

So, yeah, I prefer knitting in the round. I can add design elements for shaping, make choices about yarn, gauge and other things to control how the garment ultimately hangs, and just like the classical look of sweaters knit in the round, anyway. Oh, and I suck at seaming sweaters, as you can see from the pic at the right! That was the last sweater I knit flat. It was six years ago!

However, there are genuine advantages to knitting flat, if that’s your fancy. Your project is more portable. Since you’re working in a minimum of four pieces you don’t have to lug the whole thing around with you. Yes, you can knit the sleeves separately up to a point when knitting in the round, but there’s no doubt that ultimately the project will become a bit heavy and cumbersome come the finish. You can block your project before you sew it up to get a neater look. If you screw up, you might very well only have to correct one piece. Makes frogging easier without having to chuck the project.

Not that those advantages are enough to make me switch from knitting in the round, but they might be for many!

Knitters: What’s Your Thing?

I’ve started a sweater and I was perusing some knitting blogs when I noticed something cute about knitters. They tend to gravitate to specific types of projects. Me? Sweaters are definitely my thing. Oh, the first thing I ever knit was a scarf, same as most people, but my fondness for knitting really took off when I found a way to make sweaters I like.

I have another friend whose thing seems to be hats, especially hats that show off especially fine or elegantly-colored yarn. Sure, she spins and I think that’s part of what influences it, but she’s been into knitting hats for close on to ten years that I know of, and that was before she started spinning.

I know of another knitter who loves making lace shawls, and still another whose obsession seems to be socks. (My own secondary obsession. Hey, I live in Northern New England!)

But the common thread is that they’re all knitters and tend to have their knitting thing that they go back to and it makes them happy.

What’s your thing?

Do You Wear Shoes in the House?

I don’t.

I never really did. When I was a child, Mom had a mat by the most common entrance to our home. We kicked off our shoes (and at some point were reminded to bring our shoes to our closets) when we came in the house.

When I was nearly grown, Mom had the carpeting replaced with some lovely hardwood floors. Then shoes in the house went from something we generally didn’t do to utterly verboten for couple of years while the finish cured.

Even so, it wasn’t this big deal. We just… didn’t wear shoes in the house. I never gave it a lot of thought until I was in sixth grade and we were studying different cultures. A big deal was made, when we got to Japan, about the fact that they didn’t wear shoes in the house. I remember thinking that was weird. No-one in my family had been to Japan or had an opportunity to pick up any other Asian customs.

No-one wears shoes in my house now that I am adult, either. It’s not really a rule, per se. I don’t tell a guest to remove her shoes. But I do have a shoe shelf in the entryway, and yes, I’m often asked by guests if shoes should be removed. I leave that to individual discretion and comfort. I’ve yet to have someone track mud in, and in New England it’s pretty common to remove shoes in sloppy weather.

So, do you wear shoes in your house? If not, is it a household rule that shoes be removed?