The only other part I can't stand is sewing up seams. I don't like it when my seemingly beautiful knitting suddenly becomes my enemy as I struggle to find just the right place to bring the end of a toe together or to attach arms and ears to an elephant. I love the finished products, but sometimes those elephants remain earless, armless, and eyeless for far too long.
It was knowing this about myself that I put off ever knitting a sweater. I tried, once, to knit a bolero for my son. It's cute but huge, and the arms are lumpy where they attach to the shoulders, and I also don't usually take the time to block things very well, so the whole thing seems a bit off. This experience, combined with my accepted lack of enthusiasm for all things involved in finishing, made me regretfully put down some lovely yarn I had in my hand when I realized the pattern for an adorable baby sweater said, "sew underarms."
I was in the store with a friend of mine, and we both spotted the sample at the same time. It was a beautiful green variegated pullover and I even already had the book the pattern was in. There was a wonderful blue version of that same yarn that would compliment the blue of my son's eyes and who knows how long that may last. The project would supposedly only take 4-6 hours and I already had the needles it called for. It couldn't be more perfect, but there were those words and I knew. I would never be satisfied with how the sweater looked because inevitably my lack of finishing finesse would sabotage the final product. I waited another two weeks, went back with another friend who had knit at least one other sweater and took the plunge.
I decided to set myself up for success I needed to do everything right, include knitting a gauge swatch. I knit one on the size needles called for in the pattern and low and behold, it was far too big. I went down a needle size and still too big. So, 1 hour later, 2 needle sizes smaller, and the realization that this was probably why the bolero didn't work out, I finally managed to get gauge and I was off. It knit up quick and beautiful, but I don't think I've ever counted all the way to 99 so many times before without the triumphant, "100!" that is ingrained in us from childhood.
I bound off the neck two days later, and wove in my ends. It's beautiful and amazingly it's the right size. I think. I still haven't kitchner stitched the underarms, but I don't think that will change the fit too much. And, I still need to attach the buttons, but it looks really cute even without them... ...