I will do anything to avoid seaming. I knit everything in the round, top down whenever possible (almost always). I pick up around the armholes and knit sleeves top down - which has the added benefit of getting the sleeves long enough. The only drawback is having to flip a whole sweater around while knitting the sleeves, but to me that is a small price to pay.
Weaving in ends is my #2 hate. When switching to a new strand of the same yarn, I alternate the old and new strands for a few stitches, leaving tails hanging, then do the same with the working yarn and the tails on the following couple of rows. When the tail gets to be only a couple inches long, I stop knitting with it but still "trap" it behind the stitches - that way it's all woven in as I go.
If I'm switching to a different color, I'll just trap the old yarn (a few stitches one row, a few more the next) until the tail is used up. This also works for colorwork where I'm repeating the colors, so the non-working yarn isn't stranded loose across the back.
(As my dad always says, "Leave it to a lazy person to find the easiest way.")
What I do with those holes (I've had many pairs of jeans that get them) is use a seam ripper to detach the corner of the pocket, sew a contrast-colored patch over the hole, then sew the pocket back over the patch.
If there's another seam near the hole, like on a yoke or waistband, you can open that up too and sew one edge of the patch under it.
Shoot, when I read about this subject in the challenge suggestions forum, my mind started racing with all sorts of ideas. Since then I've had some great projects in mind representing various places I've lived - but they're all labor-intensive, and I've committed to other craft projects that I have to finish before starting on anything else. I'd never get this entry done before the deadline.
I will still make these things eventually though, challenge or no. Really, I'd like to do a whole series of projects along this theme, for the many different places I've called home. If we could use this same idea for the knitting and/or sewing challenges soon...hmm...
I'd start by filling in the rest of the background with a flat color - maybe blending the yellow up into a contrasting blue. Then add some hard-edged, inorganic shapes (either drawn or cut out) to contrast with the flowers and organic shapes at the bottom, placed more sparsely as you go up.
TSA does allow knitting needles. I recently took metal interchangeables on an international flight (US -> Iceland -> UK) with no problems at all (except flight attendants insisting I put them away during takeoff & landing). I printed out this brochure and highlighted the "knitting needles are permitted" parts just in case I needed to prove it to someone, but no one asked.
I also once carelessly left some blunt-pointed, plastic-handled scissors in my carry-on during a flight from Hawaii to the mainland, and the screener just looked through my bag and waved me through.
If you want to be really cautious, I suggest bringing plastic interchangeables like Denises - many non-knitters wouldn't even recognize them as "needles" at a glance when they're in the case. Lots of people recommend wooden sock needles too, and socks have the advantage of being nice and portable.
Top-down raglans (like the Boobholder) are my favorite style to make because if it's too small, you can just continue knitting and increasing the same way - trying it on as you go - until it fits.
Don't worry about the number of stitches you have. Stop counting them. I'm serious. Go by measurements - does it fit around your arms and chest yet? If not, keep going. If so, then move onto the next step, joining the underarms for sleeves or decreasing below the bust or whatever you have to do.
If you need to look at the pattern, read it for what it means and ignore the numbers. Does it say (for example) to decrease 2 stitches every other row in the middle of each front side? Then find those middles on your Boobholder - half of each front side, no matter how many stitches that may be - and put your markers there. Increasing/decreasing at a specific rate ("2 stitches every other row" or whatever) always creates the same angle. Just keep doing it for as many rows as it takes to fit you.
I'm facing the knitting-for-others dilemma right now. I promised my dad a sweater for his 70th birthday last November. Of course I didn't finish it in time (way too many things going on in my life; I shouldn't have set any deadlines for anything just then), so I postponed it until Christmas. It's still not done. I fully intend to finish it by his next birthday, but the guilt is preventing me from touching it for a while.
Now my sister's got a birthday coming up. I've started a Clapotis for her, but it's not going to get done in time. I'm sure she wouldn't dislike it - my family are all crafters & appreciate the work - but I don't know how much use she'd realistically get out of it. We live in separate countries, and shipping costs are exorbitant, so maybe I should just send her a card. Am I being horribly selfish and just rationalizing wanting to keep it for myself?
My other sister is having a baby in March, and I'd been planning to make her a Baby Surprise jacket - mostly because I've always wanted to make one. But...I like to use recycled yarn (for various reasons - it's environmentally responsible; it's a creative challenge; I have a limited budget; no good new yarn suppliers near where I live). She appreciates handmade gifts too, but she's used to a more upscale lifestyle than I am, and I worry that it will end up looking "cheap" or "used" next to what everyone else gives her (yes, there's lots of precedent for that). I wonder if I only want to make it for selfish reasons, and what's the point of giving it to her if she finds it too crummy to use?
I'm realizing that the process is my #1 reason for most of the projects I make, and maybe I don't pay enough attention to the product and its appropriateness as a gift. I want people to like and use what I give them - not just to acknowledge the work that went into it. I might just as well put that work into projects for myself, and send people gift cards to stores I know they like.