Race Against Springtime Knitting

Front to back seam, three needle bind off
I am nearing completion on a little project I have been working on for a long time. Well, actually I did start it a long time ago, but I have only really been working on it since February. It was one of those projects that got started at a time when a lot of things were happening in my life and I set it aside. Like anything else that gets set aside, it became a UFO (unfinished object). This project has shown up in a couple of other posts, project planning and progress, long overdue knitting.  

In February I decided I really needed to finish this because it is a pretty straight forward, fairly easy project. It is also not easy for me to knit once the weather warms up so that was also a motivator. I can say that I have finished all five of the main pieces and only have the armhole facings and neckband to go. The armhole facings should be pretty easy, just pick up and knit 86 stitches and knit an inch (X2). The neck band though is 376 stitches with more pattern work and about 32 rows. 

Test swatch for three needle bind off
To connect the front to the back this piece uses the three needle bind off. I had never done this before so I made a little test swatch to test it out. It is really easy and it looks amazing. I am not sure why I have never done this stitch before, but I think I will be using it quite a bit. especially at shoulder seams. The results are a very strong seam that is perfectly straight. I have an instructional post on the three needle bind-off stitch for anyone who wants to see it, but it is exactly what it sound like. Below (and first photo on this post), on this pattern it is obvious where the seam is because there is one row of the pattern that is omitted.  I think I will hand stitch over it in the places where the main color should be to keep the pattern matched front to back.

shoulder without flash, easier to see seam
When I started this project I made it slightly slimmer than the original pattern called for, because I was having trouble getting the proper gauge. This alteration required extra planning when I got to the color work. For the back I just took off the extra six stitches on either side, to keep the pattern centered. This worked well for the left front as well, but on the right front I just charted out the pattern, to rewrite the instructions so that the left front matched the right front.  As you can see in the shoulder seam the patterns are perfectly aligned.  

Photo of Vicki Square's garment from Knit Kimono, with my pattern alteration notes
I am so pleased with this bind of method I think I will use it on this kitchener stitch project which has also become a UFO. Every time I have worked on putting it together I have been so disappointed with the results that I have not been able to finish it.  While it will not be the intended finish, it will at least be something I like enough to want to wear it instead of the ugly mess it has become.  

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