A few weeks ago, on an absolute whim, I decided to do some polls on Instagram to find out what bits of knitting people hated the most. You know, all those fiddly little bits that we just really can’t be bothered with because inherently, it seems, a lot of knitters just like knitting and hate all the other bits that come along with it.
What started out as my being bored while trapped in the playroom turned into a bit of a contest where I pitted all those fiddly knitting skills against each other until we’d found the worst part of knitting. The thing everyone hates. The absolute pariah of the yarncraft world.
Why do so many knitters hate seaming?
OF COURSE it’s seaming that knitters hate the most. OF COURSE it is. There is nothing worse than finishing knitting a garment and then realising that you still have to spend bloody hours sewing the whole thing together before you can wear it. That sense of achievement at casting off is immediately ruined by the realisation that you still have a metric butt-tonne of work to do before you can block your work, let alone wear it.
Trust me on this. I have many a project that has been abandoned somewhere in a pile of yarn because it had the audacity to require a bit of seaming.
I mean, if I wanted to sew then I’d sew, wouldn’t I?
We’re all kind of lazy knitters
If there’s one thing that did surprise me a bit from the results though, it’s the realisation that almost every knitter is, at heart, a bit of a lazy one. Nobody seems to universally love all parts of knitting. There’s always a corner that you want to cut, or a technique you don’t want to do, or a bit of the process you’d rather just avoid.
It goes back to something else I said on my Instagram stories; my driving instructor used to say you had to learn to drive two ways. The way that means you pass your test, and the way that people drive in the real world. I swear knitting is JUST like that. There’s how you’re meant to do it, with swatching and mattress stitch and using the suggested yarn, and then there’s how a lot of us actually do it.
Erm…I thought this was about the Day Off Badge Tee?
It is. For it occured to me after I’d finished posting these polls that I’d accidentally done a bit of a guerrilla marketing campaign for my newest design, the Day Off Badge tee (Ravelry link). For this pattern is the lazy knitter’s dream.
When I was designing the Day Off Badge tee, I basically did it in a way that avoided all the bits of a project that I hate doing. Obviously, since I hate seaming, it’s knitted in the round (although, fun fact, it’s very easy to convert to knitting flat if you fancy because as well as being full charted, the lace panel is written out for knitting both in the round, and flat).
Going the extra mile to avoid seaming
But the technique avoidance didn’t stop there. I get annoyed by seaming shoulders, because…well, it’s sewing again, isn’t it? So I decided to join the shoulders on this one with a three needle bind-off. I could tell you that’s because doing it that way gives a lovely stable seam for such a light and floaty garment to hang off. I could. But while the statement about the stability of a three needle bind-off is true, any claim that that was why I used it would be an outright lie.
Another thing that came up a lot as being absolutely awful to knit: picking up stitches. I know from chatting to people on my online knitting workshops, and in my Patreon knit nights, that people really hate picking up stitches. Knowing how to space them is a nightmare.
So I minimised that as much as possible; the Day Off Badge tee has a lovely wide boat neck, where almost all of the neckline stitches are placed on hold while the shoulders are shaped. Then you just have to put them back on your needles, pick up a measly 6 stitches on each of the tiny little sides of the neckline, and then do a bit of garter stitch.
Because 1×1 rib is also annoying to knit.
And there’s definitely no picking up stitches to finish off the armholes; you just knit the garter stitch edges at the end of each row as you work the main top.
You see? Super lazy knitting. But I’m not done yet.
How will you wear yours? (Answer: however you happen to put it on)
Because – and here’s the truly genius thing about the Day Off Badge tee – that boat neckline means that the shaping of the front and back are totally identical. Yep, you don’t even need to bother working out which side is the front and which is the back; you can just throw it on whichever way it comes and wear it with that statement lace panel in either the front or the back.
Which means you can get two totally different looks from one top, thus enabling you to wear it on consecutive days without anyone even realising.
And when you’re a lazy knitter, things don’t get much better than that.