Friday, May 3, 2013

I have FINALLY finished the handout for the Design Workshop.  I'm letting it sit for a few days before I do the final proof.  As for all of my handouts, I put in more than you can reasonably cover in the time allotted.  Every class is different.  I have nightmares about running out of material!  I am starting to get very excited about the meeting.  I am hoping it won't snow!

The first student has finished the Gauge course.  She did a marvelous job.  Gauge isn't fun but it is so necessary.  My other students taking the Gauge class seem to be plugging along.

I've noticed that many knitters (and teachers) have personal preferences when it comes to finishing.  I'm about to reveal one of mine.  Most patterns will tell you to do a three-needle bind off for shoulders.  Why?  It is easier and it requires knitting needles.  A lot of knitters panic the minute they have to pick up a tapestry needle.  The disadvantages of a three-needle bind off is that the stitches are live which means that the edge is very stretch.  Sometimes this is a good idea...waistbands, sock cuffs, etc. but for a shoulder seam it may not be idea.  Think of a heavy Aran sweater with drop shoulders...A three-needle bind off provides very little stability for that garment.  The weight of the sleeves can pull the shoulders and widen the neckline.  (Somethings this is a good idea.  When you knit for babies, the extra stretch of the shoulders means you might be able to get the sweater over the baby's head.)  

I far prefer to seam the shoulders.  Stretch a piece with a bound off edge and you will see why I prefer this.  It is a little trickier to seam the shoulders but I think it is well worth the effort.  Again, this is MY PERSONAL PREFERENCE.  If you do seam the shoulders, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. 

When I first started knitting, I assumed the chain formed by the bind off was there for one provide a seam line.  I still have sweaters where I did this.  The seam it produces is somewhat decorative so you can always say you did it on purpose.  The correct way to seam a bound off edge is to insert the needle into the stitch BELOW the bind off edge.  I demonstrate how to do this in the video.  Horizontal Seam Video 

It can be hard to visualize since one piece is upside down.  What looks like a stitch on the top piece is actually the space between stitches.  If you place the seam in the spaces between stitches, you squeeze the stitch together and get the dread "11"s.  This is not an acceptable seam. 

This photograph shows what the seam looks like before the seaming thread has been pulled tight.  Notice that the "V"s continue from one side to the other.  You could leave the seam like this.  If you do, it is called "faux kitchener." 

When the seaming thread is pulled tight, this is what the seam looks like.  Keep in mind I have stretched this swatch so you can see it more clearly.  The smaller stitches aren't all that noticeable when it isn't stretched.  Again, I prefer to seam since it provides stability to the garment. 

Salon will be on Sunday.  I will be driving up to the Cincinnati airport in the afternoon.  Plus it is the Kentucky Derby.  I wouldn't want anyone to have to choose between a Derby Party and Knitting Salon.

I've finished up one sock and am working on the heel of the second sock.  I am quite pleased.  I'm calling them Pansy Socks.  The socks feel wonderful.  I am keeping this pair after the photo shoot.

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