Picking UP Stitches, OMG!

I am just about finished with a summer tunic. I started it a year ago, and had hopes of wearing it for summer and the fall last year. But for some reason I just couldn’t get into knitting it. After completing about half of the back, it has sat dormant.

A couple of weeks ago it started bugging me.  I have about 6 or 7 projects on my needles and want to get some objects completed so that I can start some new ones, without feeling guilty about the old ones. So, I targeted my White Tunic Top. The pattern is Crisp Rectangle Tunic by Stefanie Japel, from her book, ‘Fitted Knits, 25 Designs for the Fashionable Knitter’. This  top is made from side to side and the random striping really caught my eye along with the tunic length. 

Completing the front and back did not take me long. However, this pattern is deceptive. It looks simple, and for the most part it is, but it ends up with a fair amount of detail. Picking up stitches is something I really, really do not like. It seems that no matter what little tricks I try, there will be gaps or it just does not look smooth. This garment became my challenge. I tried knit pick-ups, purl pick-ups, knit through back loop, picking up from right side, then wrong side, and lots of ripping out. Really, I mean a lot of ripping. And, in the end, it all looked about the same. So, I picked-up stitches to do the sleeves, (both sides, and front and back). Then, I picked-up stitches to do the neckline, front and back. Did I mention, that I hate picking up stitches! Last I picked-up stitches around the bottom to finish the garment. If someone wants practice picking up stitches, this is definitely the project for you!

I started sewing up the side seems, and just did not care for the look, so I thought I would try a crocheted finish. Have I told you that I do not like crocheting.  Well, it is right next to picking up stitches. My mother taught me as a child. I am left handed and she taught me right-handed. Thus, it has always been awkward for me. Plus, that little hook really does not do what you want it too. It splits the yarn, gets caught on the wrong threads, drops the loop you are trying to make and I am doing this with my right hand. Enough, I said to myself. I am a fairly smart person, and being left-handed in a right-handed world, I have had to learn to adjust. So, I should be able to adjust and crochet backwards, right?

So, I am getting the hang of it. I know I could have checked out you tube for a video, but I like a challenge and the struggle gives me something to complain about. It took several hours and some ripping, but I DID IT! You are now asking me if I am ready to take up crocheting, ABSOLUTELY, NOT! Doing it left-handed was a bit simpler, with fewer dropped loops and splitting of the yarn, but still very frustrating. I will stay with my two straight needles, thank you very much. That hook is just evil.

I do like the look of the crochet side seam. It blends in nicely with the design of the garment. I am patting myself on the back that this one. 

I’m only putting two buttons on each side. I decided to sew the neck to shoulder closed and just leave the sleeve open. I also did stockinette stitch on sleeves and bottom, instead of seed stitch. And I left a slit on each side at the border of the tunic. 

I love the buttons. They are from a company in Henniker, NH, called Favour Valley Woodworking. I have also used the buttons on another garment I made. The website is http://www.favourvalley.com.

I really like the end product  and can’t wait to start wearing it.



2 thoughts on “Picking UP Stitches, OMG!

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