Friday, December 7, 2012

December's Here

     And so is my Hurry-up Last Minute Sweater!  It's on the blocking floor and will, I hope, be dry enough to wear for a walk in the snow we're expecting this weekend. 
     The finishing took a bit of time;  I do take time with that as I think it makes all the difference in the look of the sweater.  I did a few things differently than EZ suggested, but I think she might have approved, being as I did think it all through before proceeding.  I use hems a lot in my own designs and I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of my favorite tricks.

      On the edges with the provisional cast on, I created a purl ridge before proceeding with the hems as I wanted a nice crisp turning edge on the bottom, cuffs, and neck edge.   Once hemmed the edge is beautiful and sharp.  Notice what looks like a pin in the fabric? Another trick of the trade.......

      Before hemming, turn the very rolled up stockinette stitch hem inward, and steam it to make it more docile and easy to work with.  Use large safety pins to hold it in place for one final spurt of steam (watch out! those pins get hot) and leave them in during the hemming.  Works like an extra hand to keep the hem smooth and even.

     The live stitches of the hem are kept on a piece of scrap yarn until they have been tacked down.  I like to use a smooth cotton yarn for such a task; it tends not to get entangled with the stitches it is holding and pulls out easily when no longer needed.
     In the actual stitching, be aware that if you take too much of the sweater fabric into the hemming stitch, the hem will pull on the sweater and make the hemline more visible on the right side.  Prevent dreaded hemming dimples by passing the finishing needle through the sweater stitches so as to split the stitch, never venturing too near the outer surface of the sweater.  And don't pull the hemming stitches too tight.  Tacking down a hem is best done with a light hand.
     I find it most satisfying to pull out the holding yarn once the stitches are secure.  I'm funny that way.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have 15 rows to go on the front band facing of the front band of Wabi Sabi. I have never knit in a hem and was apprehensive of sewing it down properly. Your directions are very clear. What a great way to gain control of the knitting.

    Wabi Sabi is a great pattern, by the way. Mostly simple garter stitch. I learned a lot about using different guages to to get totally differnt looks with the same yarn in one garment. I will definitely use your patterns for other sweaters and vests.