Many knitters don't like knitting garments -- or maybe even haven't tried to knit a sweater or top -- because they don't want to have to seam up the pieces and do all the finishing work that's often required.
Knitwear designer Kristen TenDyke found she isn't that good at seaming and didn't really like the results she got when she pieced garments together -- if she finished them at all. So she wrote a whole book of patterns that don't require any finishing after binding off other than weaving in ends and sometimes sewing on buttons.
Finish-Free Knits: No-Sew Garments in Classic Styles will help knitters of all skill levels work garments in the round (or sometimes from side to side) so when they're done with the knitting, they're basically done.
About the Book
- Pages: 160
- Format: paperback
- Number of patterns: 20
- Skill level: none given, but range from adventurous beginner to more intermediate patterns
- Sizing: all projects are garments for women and come in a range of seven sizes
- Illustrations: full-color photographs
- Knitting lessons: a glossary in the back covers techniques like cast ons and bind offs, while instructional sections within the patterns add more information
- Publication date: November 2012
Finish-Free Knits offers a nice range of patterns using a variety of skills that take the finishing out of knitting garments. There are projects worked from the top down, bottom up and side to side. Pockets and belts are worked as you go, and bands and edgings are worked as part of the garment or picked up and knitted once the rest of the garment has been worked.
TenDyke describes her patterns as comfortable and casual, and they certainly are that. There are several patterns that a relatively plain Stockinette Stitch, but also a fair bit of lace and some cables (there's not a stripe or a bit of colorwork in the book, however).
These patterns are fun because knitting with no finishing means you often have to use different construction techniques such as picking up stitches and working in different directions in different parts of your project.
There are many attractive patterns in this book. Just a few that caught my eye include Harmony, a pretty dress with a lace skirt and Stockinette bodice; Serenity, a shrug with a bold cable pattern on the back from which stitches are picked up to work the sleeves; Unity, a top-down circular yoke sweater with growing cables worked in the yoke;Delight, a bulky deep V-neck with a cable pattern along the body; Warmth, a short-sleeved, super bulky top with a pouch pocket and a cable with bobbles running up the front; and Trust, which is mostly Stockinette Stitch with a pretty ribbed shawl collar and another pouch pocket.
These patterns are pretty, wearable and easily knit by knitters who are confident with the basics. There are some fancy moves here like short rows, lace and picking up large numbers of stitches, but the results are well worth it for knitters who want to be done with their project when they bind off (or as close as possible).
Finish-Free Knits is a great choice for knitters who already like seamless knitting methods, but it's also a good introduction to the skills required for such projects. These patterns are pretty approachable and will give knitters confidence to move beyond knitting pieces to working whole garments at once.
Pick up this book and you may find your wardrobe of knit tops increasing rapidly.