I recently finished a few big projects and found myself weighing up casting on a new project versus finishing up a few longer standing WIPs. In a virtuous fit, I decided WIP finishing was the way to go, especially as I’ve got three cardigans on the needles, all of which I love the look of — and I’ve been feeling a lack of cardis in my wardrobe of late. I was excited about my plan until I realized, with horror, that all three cardi WIPs were at or near a certain point. You know knitters talk about getting stuck on sleeve island? Well, I’ve spent some time there for sure, but recently, I realized there’s another bit of sweater–well, cardigan knitting–that I get bogged down at every time … button bands. And thus, I’m adding a new location to sweater geography … button band isthmus.
Button Bands. Those little strips (see, like an isthmus!) … trying to pick up the right number of stitches, inevitably having to redo it multiple times, all just to knit a few tedious rows to make a band that’ll join (also like an isthmus!) your two cardi halves.
I really don’t like them. Sleeves might take awhile, but at least they can often be done as a bit of mindless knitting. Button bands though, require focus and concentration, without being interesting. And the fact that the knitting itself can be quick just makes them worse, in my book … as soon as you get into the swing of one side, it’s already over, you have to cast off a ton of stitches, and do it all over again on the other side, blergh!
I inevitably find myself slowing up when I know a button band is around the corner. I finished the yoke decreases on my Carbeth cardigan, for instance, on Sunday, then abandoned work on it til this evening, when I worked up to making myself pick up those stitches.
Knowing that button bands often catch me out, I resolved some time ago to always do them before the sleeves on a top down cardi, so I wouldn’t be faced with them at the tail end of the project. That was my plan when I set down my Southwell cardigan when we moved last summer … that I would next attack the button bands. That poor cardi is still waiting:
And I’ve already resolved to do button bands before sleeves on my gorgeous Incunabula. With the back nearly done and just two small fronts to knit, I can already feel the button band bogey man looming large:
So, this weekend’s plans include spending some time trying to cross button band isthmus. Wish me luck. It will be tedious, but at least, in the scheme of things, it will be brief … I’ve already got stuck in this evening on Carbeth (the low hanging fruit), so I’m going to try to keep the momentum. And then, with two of these WIPs, it’ll be time to set sail for sleeve island. Do you have any big knitting plans this weekend? And ss there a particular point in projects that always stalls you out …. I’d love to hear about it in the comments!