Friday, September 21, 2018

Ugly Selvedge Stitches

I've been traveling quite a bit so I've haven't posted in a while.  

The new George continues to improve.  He is so affectionate now.  He doesn't want to let me out of his sight, particularly since I haven't been home.   

Student News
I've had lots of new students sign up for not only Basics but also Finishing and Swatch to Sweater.  I've notice that this happens every fall.  Just a reminder to my non-US students.  I will hang onto your swatches until you complete the course.  International postage is so expensive.  I would have to raise the price of the course otherwise.  I do include lots of photos of what I am talking about.

Tip of the Week
I'm teaching at a retreat in California next weekend and one of the topics the students wanted covered was ugly selvedges.  At first I thought they meant the tension issues that you can get in the stitches next to the selvedge.  Nope.  They meant the actual selvedge stitches.  I've never worried about selvedge stitches.  They are just ugly.  This is not a problem in projects which will be seamed or have bands since the selvedge stitch is hidden by the seam or the band.  They provide the "seam allowance."  Although they are ugly these stitches should be neat and tidy.   

If you look at the section marked A, notice that the selvedge stitches are a bit large.  It really isn't a problem in this case since the size of the stitches next to the selvedges don't have a tension issue.   If you look at the section marked B, notice that they are smaller.  I accomplished this by making sure there was no excess yarn when I formed the next stitch.

Ugly selvedge stitches in garter is a problem.  If you look at the section marked C, notice that the selvedge stitches are larger and this detracts from the general appearance of the piece.  Section D looks better as I took care to tighten up ever so slightly at the beginning of the row.

The one thing you DO NOT want to do is to really pull the working yarn tight when making the first stitch.  All this does is pull yarn from the previous row which causes a tension issue.

So what do you do if your piece will not be seamed or have bands.  You can use a special selvedge stitch.  My favorite is to slip the first stitch.  This creates an edge that looks exactly like the bind off.  If you look at the photograph below you can see a problem immediately.

There is a huge tension issue at the stitches next to the selvedge.  It is better at the top of the swatch.  I used a tapestry needle to shift the yarn in the larger stitches.  

I've met quite a few knitters who do this for all of their projects.  I don't recommend it, particularly if the piece has a band.  The loops at the selvedge each represent two rows.  Yes, it is easier to pick up a band but the ratio will be all wrong and it will be puckered.  

Here is a video demonstrating the techniques:  Ugly Selvedge Stitches

Knitting Salon
Salon will be on Sunday from 2 to 4 pm.

Current Projects
I finished up the second intarsia sweater in the other color palette.  It is sized for children.

I'm now working on the long cardigan.  The back is finished and the fronts are blocking.  I absolutely love the fabric.  It is Shibui Reed and Silk Cloud.  This sweater is a redo of one I did years ago but I've never been happy with the pattern.  I've changed how the different sizes are worked.  I also made it longer. 

 I'll be able to post photos when I post again.

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