Has someone ever told you that slipping the first stitch of a row makes seaming easier?
Yeah, they’re dead wrong.
I found this out the hard way, when I started thinking about my first seaming and how I wanted to do it. I realized that I had slipped the first stitch of every row, more out of habit than anything else. I mean, check out this list of patterns; I am clearly sock obsessed and the only time you knit back and forth for a sock, you’re slipping stitches left and right. Unfortunately, you can’t really seam slipped stitches very well. Mattress stitch could work; I’d just have to seam two stitches in instead of one, but since this is a bulky yarn project, that would eat up a good amount of space. And there’s all the shaping next to the selvedge stitch. I can’t use the slipped stitches for the mattress stitch because there’s only one stitch for every two rows.
You can imagine how annoyed and scared I was. Had I knit the back of the vest (almost perfectly, may I add) only to fail on the sewing?! Would I have to reknit the entire back?! The horror. Well, it turns out that I have a few options and my panicking and pathetic post on Ravelry was likely unnecessary. First option, the three needle bind off. Basically, instead of grabbing a needle and yarn, I’ll pick up a stitch in each slipped stitch for both pieces. Then I’ll do the three needle bind off on the wrong side and hopefully, voila! Or there’s this crochet hook magic which is a bit like picking up dropped stitches, only with side seams instead. I tried that out on a swatch and it looked okay. That one I could do on the right side or the wrong side, thus adding my own “design element,” let’s call it.
Needless to say, I’ll never make this mistake again. Slipped stitches are for sock heels, edges on scarves, and mosaic patterns, but not sewing edges! If anyone else has some suggestions about seaming slipped stitches, I’d love to hear them.
After my panic and then my trip to Albuquerque, I started knitting the fronts of the vest. Lefty knit up nicely, but Righty is giving me some trouble. As in, I was halfway done and then had to rip it out. Oh well. (Notice our cat Kif in the second picture. He was chasing the little red light that our camera projects onto the subject, presumably to alert anyone in the area that you’re taking photos thus ruining that nice candid shot or to make them think that they’re about to be assassinated.)
I’m really working to finish the vest up so that I can devote myself entirely to holiday knitting. There aren’t too many handknits to do (my family is pretty small and some of those people want sewn presents) but I’m determined to start early this year. Last year, I was weaving in ends as the plane landed. It’s no fun juggling project, tapestry needle, yarn bits, and scissors with your tray table stowed in the upright and locked position. And I was issued a challenge for the holidays. My mother-in-law clearly doesn’t understand how knitters (or craftsters in general) work. If you throw down the gauntlet, we have no choice but to pick it up, cover it in yarn, ribbons, and other fun things, and hand it back to you as a sword cozy. This year, we’re having Christmas at my house for the first time, well, ever (we always travel down to NM to see the in-laws, this year they’re coming up here). At one point last week, she says to me, “So, are you going to knit everyone really nice Christmas stockings?”
As fellow knitters, you know what has to happen next. I’d say that sometime in December, you’ll be seeing some stocking patterns on the blog. Excuse me, I have to go order a butt-load of yarn from Knit Picks. (Say, can Christmas stockings count as Christmas presents?)
(Also, I’d like to say, for clarity, that I’m very excited about the project and had been thinking of doing it anyway before she mentioned it. Now I just have a reason not to quit when I have to frog someone’s stocking for the eighth time.)