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December 2022



The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

I try hard to think about finishing even when I’m starting things.  One of the worst feelings when knitting is getting partway into a project and realizing, “Oh crap.  If I’d only done X when I started, I would have been able to do Y, which would have been virtually invisible.  But like an idiot I did Z, so I can’t do Y, and now that’ll be the only thing I see when I look at this project.”

You don’t have those thoughts too?  Just me then.

One of the places where obvious seams tend to drive me absolutely bonkers is within borders.  I don’t mind the seam between the thing-being-bordered and the border itself – after all, that seam is supposed to be there.  It’s the seam between where-you-started-the-border and where-you-ended-the-border that tends to get to me, which is why I spend a lot of time thinking about how to avoid that.

I was apparently spending so much time thinking about it, in fact, that I only remembered to take one picture of the entire process with Marissa’s Wedding Blanket border.  So for lack of pictures, I’m going to describe it, then I’m going to show you the results.

The border I decided to go with is a leafy edged border from Knitting on the Edge (an excellent book, by the way, although I’m convinced there’s an error in the particular pattern I chose).  It’s got a few stitches in garter stitch on one side to keep it straight, and on the other side leaves continuously form and taper off.  It looks really elegant, especially when executed in a cream colored yarn.

When I cast on, I decided that I would use a provisional cast on so that when I got to the other end I could join them invisibly with kitchner stitch.  And then I started knitting.

And knitting.

And knitting.

When I got to a corner, I figured out how to turn a mitered corner in pattern so I wouldn’t have to break there either.  And I kept knitting.

And knitting.

And knitting.

And eventually, after months had passed, and over a hundred leaves, and nearly two dozen feet, suddenly I was done.

Of course, I reached the end of the second ball of yarn exactly one leaf away from the end.  I was sorely tempted to just quit and fudge it.  The only thing that stopped me was the understanding that doing so would bug me until the end of time.

Now, you know all those instructions for knitting in the round that say “Join, being careful not to twist”?  And you know how difficult it always is, in that first round, to determine whether or not a twist exists?

You should try it with a varying width 22-foot-long knitted border.

I triple checked to be sure that I didn’t have it twisted anywhere and even though I’ve checked it twice since joining, I’m still not entirely convinced that there isn’t a twist in there somewhere.  But after checking and rechecking, I eventually decided enough was enough and used a regular kitchner stitch to join the beginning to the end.

Anyone want to guess what went wrong?  How about if I remind you that part of the border pattern involves garter stitch?

I ended up with what looked like three rows of stockinette within the garter stitch portion.  I quickly ripped that back, did a more advanced kitchner where one side ended up looking like purls while the other side stayed plain knit, and voila…

…we have a nearly perfect join.  A non-knitter wouldn’t even be able to find it.

Now, all I have to do is block it, seam it onto the blanket, and call it beautiful.  It’s like I’m nearly done (we’re going to ignore the fact that we’re talking about 22 feet of seaming, okay?)!

I just hope it’s not twisted…