Monday, October 02, 2006

Seaming: Better Than You Remembered

So, y'all know I've been on this mission to end all seaming. I had utter faith that my path was the righteous one. (At least until that pseudo-prairie blanket came along. I think I'm gonna frog that . . . )

But in recent times, I've needed some pretty simple knitting. Regular ol' miters, without using any fancy no-sewing techniques, and using the wonder that is self-striping yarn have been just the ticket. No worrying about changing yarns mid-miter, no worrying about getting the joins between squares just right, no worrying about whether the new square looks right against the old square . . .

Perfect!

So relaxing.

Wasn't even going to think about the problem of seaming, at least not until all the miters were done. And since that wasn't ever going to happen . . .

Only it did.

It happened this weekend. (I am astonished.)

With the astronomical number of works-in-progress I've got, I thought I'd better not set this one aside just because I had hit "the wall." So I screwed my courage to the sticking place and girded my loins for a miserable day of seaming.

But frankly, it just wasn't that bad.

Has my entire anti-seaming crusade been that misguided and foolish?

Maybe it was because I had made larger miters -- 75 stitch cast-on. Maybe it was because I ironed all the sass out of the miters before hand. Maybe it was because, after all, I was only dealing with four blocks. (Was thinking I'd do six, but it had become clear that I didn't have enough yarn in the right dye lot.)

In any event, I now have this:

Three and one quarter skeins of Katia Jamaica in colourway 4004. Just under 30 inches square.



Mattress stitch worked great for sewing the miters into blocks. But the mattress stitch seam joining blocks to other blocks seemed much bulkier, and it didn't seem like those seams were ever going to lie flat, even if one invoked the powers of Rowenta (which I do not have).

So I "unvented" and came up with a seam of my own that probably is well known in fashionable knitting circles, but which I have not previously seen described or employed.

It is just like grafting or kitchener, only I'm not dealing with live stitches. (Anyone know what this is really called?)



Needle under the stitch on the left. Pull through, but not too tight.



Repeat on the right.

Blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc.



Front lies flat. Seam is practically invisible, depending of course on color.



Back lies almost flat, too. (Horizontal seam is inter-block mattress. Vertical seam is this intra-block sort-of grafting thing.)




I still need to figure out how I am going to finish the thing. To line or not to line, that is one question. Another is what kind of edge to use. I-cord? Garter stitch? Something else?

In other news, here are two squares for Grandmother Purl:





I'm going to hold off on sending these to Kristy for now . . . I might have another one still in me.

Labels:

55 Comments:

Blogger Carol said...

I don't know what your not-grafting is called, but I think it's a very nice solution! I'm gonna remember that!

9:48 PM  
Blogger Lori in Michigan said...

ooooooo! Just love that pink square's pattern! Share your source, please?

Thanks!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Anonyknits said...

Pink square is from the "Learn to Knit Afghan" book. I found it in an LYS somewhere or another, but if you can't find it locally, I think it can be mail-ordered from Schoolhouse Press.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

I like this technique...sort of a modified mattress stitch? Yeah...I like that.

Ang

7:37 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

That seam technique is perfect! Seaming has always been my nemesis, too.

11:22 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Your work is beautiful!! Love the mitered square colors!

10:23 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Love the lively colour combination! I too, avoid seaming where possible. And being OCD, I dug up my book of finishing techniques - Nancy Wiseman calls it a woven seam. It does lay very nicely - bulk is what I particularly hate in hand knit seams.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Pretty seams! I do them, but only when I'm giving the item away. Yikes, that can't be good..

10:26 PM  
Blogger quiltyknitwit said...

I hate seaming too. Those lovely color photos were really helpful. Thank you!

1:21 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I bumped into your site, and wow you have great idea's. Those seams are great. I'll try them for my mitered squares when I'm done. Thanks for sharing.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Juls said...

hey, no idea what it's called but I used that technique all the time. Maybe I pulled it from the Vogue guide?

3:17 PM  
Blogger Kahla said...

Stitch and Bitch calls that fake grafting...

12:00 AM  
Blogger Magdalena said...

Muy bien cosido en España eso se llama "punto colchonero ".

6:51 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I thought it was called "invisible seaming"! GOod tips though.

12:43 PM  
Blogger ♥♥♥ said...

WOWEE! I'm amazed at how beautiful your seams are. I'm jealous. Mine look like a four year old did them. I saw this tutorial on Pinterest and love your blog! I will be back! TFS!

2:22 PM  
Blogger Ally said...

Seaming's my weak point too. So much so that I knit on dpns as much as possible to avoid all seams. It's finding something which looks neat from the front but which isn't too bulky.

I haven't tried this version but will be doing so this very afternoon!

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a little confused ( a normal thing,lol!) I see the knitting needle, but what do you do with it? Do you wrap the yarn around it and pull it through? In the pictures, the needle is just placed under the stitches, but I am not sure as to what to do after that? Sorry to be so clueless..thanks,Debbe

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seaming is not my fave thing....i use circular needles as much as possible!! this 'seaming' looks fantastic thanks for sharing.

6:40 AM  
OpenID alterknitive said...

I don't know what it's called either, but I think I've seen it on the Lion Brand Website, if it's the same thing:

http://cache.lionbrand.com/faq/1.html?language=

Well done for figuring it out by yourself though!

5:42 PM  
Blogger chachagirl1973 said...

Debbe, actually, I think that is a sewing or darning needle, not a knitting needle. You pull the thread under the stitch then go to the other side and do the same. Hope that helps!

7:01 PM  
Blogger chachagirl1973 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

this is usually used to join shoulder seams-but it is so cool you figured it out yourself

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

I love you for sharing your seaming method! I tend to do *alright* when seaming, but I never feel confident and it is very frustrating with I'm in the process. This looks much easier, and the end result is awesome! Thanks again! I'll definitely be using your method!

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great thanks for sharing have been knitting all my life but you learn something new everyday.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I use this method. I have no name for it, I just consider it a modded method of kitchener.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Pamela Hyers said...

I don't care what you call it, I say it is genius! Thanks!

7:42 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

kI thought it looked like a knitting needle also and was wondering if you were to knit them somehow together. So I appreciate the lady who was as clueless as myself! It's a sewing needle or darning needle. Pulling the thread from side to side comment really helped the people like me. Come on if there are two of us there had to me more out there!\

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its called ladder stitch

11:10 AM  
Anonymous saskia said...

I have seen that stitch once on the Berocco website. They made a video on how to seam, where they did the same thing. And good thing is, it also works when your seems are not going to be straight, for example when seaming in sleeves.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Thomas Mc. said...

I have seen it called a "faux graft" in a knitting book. Another suggested doing the same thing, but one row up on each side, then when you are done, cut/unravel the rows below (now in back), to have a real kitchener graft left. Much easier/faster than trying to graft off of needles.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you be interested in posting a video? I am a visual learner and was a bit confused.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duplicate stitch, just used for seaming instead of embellishing knitted items

3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been knitting forever and this is the best and easiest seaming I've ever tried. Thank you!

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like mattress stitch to me.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Leighknitone said...

You are a genius. I have been putting off stitching my blanket of squares together because every way I tried looked messy. Am definitely going to do it this way. Thank you.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Sally Anderson said...

Hi, I was wondering if you've done with with garter stitch seams. I've got 48 squares for a baby blanket and I've been trying so many methods to get these to seam up nicely and have failed miserably! This baby was born in January!!!
Thanks.

5:02 AM  
Blogger summer pickles said...

yippee! found you via pinterest, and what a find! love this seam, lovely. thanks xo

9:58 AM  
Blogger Cabbage said...

I believe this is mattress stitch.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip, I never like the way my seams come out.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Maria Teresa de Arruda Camargo said...

Boa noite, adorei esse método, parabéns, perfeito, mto obrigada, téka

10:29 PM  
Blogger Maria Teresa de Arruda Camargo said...

Boa noite, adorei esse método, parabéns, perfeito, mto obrigada, téka

10:30 PM  
Blogger Lisa Cowles said...

This is a sick and good way to seam a pattern flawlessly. Thanks for the tip!

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just happened to see your site. Great idea for those of us who crochet as I really dislike joining pieces. some times they look like they are from another world.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Arlin said...

This is a technique I've seen described in several knitting books. I just used it to finish a sweater and it came out beautifully. Thanks for the clear pictures and explanation.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Cloudy Stitches said...

Fabulous!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Perfect! I just made some handwarmers and was not happy with my 'whipstitch-on-the-inside'...it didn't look right :D I found your post on Pinterest and can't wait to try this way instead :)

2:51 PM  
Blogger ~*Emma said...

Can you make a video on this? I love the idea but I'm still confused even after the pictures (it's probably just me though!).

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is the book by, please?

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes that is the matress stitch.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:12 PM  
Blogger N.C.Fabric Junkie said...

Its called the matress stitch.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Toni said...

I used to be able to knit two pieces of an afghan together and I can't remember how to do it! Have two whole ones to put together. Can you help?

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Verypink.com has a video. It is the mattress stitch. She also does a youtube video on it.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Jane in NJ said...

Knitting daily also has a you tube video on mattress stitch. Episode 713 but its only a preview. The mattress stitch you are doing is usually done when doing shoulder seams or putting a drop shoulder seam to the armhole area.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Jane in NJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:58 AM  

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