Friday, July 27, 2012

Invisible Seam for "Spine Stitch"

It's a cliche that a beautifully knit project can be ruined by sloppy finishing work, but it's true. Knowing how you're going to assemble the work before you start is one key to finishing it well. Once you've swatched a stitch you like and have some thoughts about how to use it, it's time to start thinking about how everything will go together.

It doesn't always take extra swatches. When I wrote the initial instructions for "Spine Stitch," all I did was add two stitches, one for each edge, to be knit on the right side and purled on the wrong side. It turns out to be perfect for a very neat finish.

If you've tried the spine procedure, you'll have noticed that the method leaves half  a stitch prominent on each edge of a repeat. In Spine Ribbing, the purl stitches recede leaving these half stitches to frame the spine; in the plain stitch, these half stitches come together to form columns of what appears to be upside down stitches. Using a basic ladder/mattress stitch seam, this result can be replicated on the seam line. (If you are not familiar with this technique, a search on "mattress stitch seams" will lead you to any number of tutorials and videos.)

The diagram shows how to find the horizontal running thread between the whole selvedge stitch and the half stitch next to it. Take a tapestry needle under each running thread in turn moving from side to side. (You can start on either side.)

And here is the result. Even with a contrasting sewing yarn, it is almost invisible! The seam can be touched up a bit by using a tapestry needle to pull on any receding half stitches. Then mist the seam with water and allow to dry.

Until next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment