This week, I get a little weepy during a chat with Lorna Miser, and share an exploration of two crocheted seams.
Two Hooked Seams: Using a Crochet Hook to Close The Deal
All you need is a little advance planning and a crochet hook that matches the yarn and needle combination you are using.
When I read about one of these methods, toward the back of The Principles of Knitting, I couldn't actually believe it would work. Basically, you allow the last stitch on the edge of one side of a seam to run all of the way down, leaving these floppy loops sticking out. Then, with a crochet hook, you hook the stitches back up - but, you hook them through another layer of fabric, closing a seam.
Brilliant. Easy. Neat. No sewing or messy ends to darn in later. There are a few drawbacks, however. The seam's size is hard to control - it can easily be too tight or too loose. Also, it works best if the knitter has planned ahead and made sure that, in running down the seam stitch, she won't be stuck with a loose stitch that will continue to run into areas she would rather see whole.
The first problem isn't fatal, but it does mean that, if you plan to use a seam like this, you really need to test it out first. I think that sounds like a job for your gauge swatch.
Now, there is a way around that second problem. If you do, accidentally, end up with a loose stitch that you want to prevent from running any further down, you can always darn the stitch into the fabric around it with a nice length of matching yarn. This could be an easy or a tough solution, depending on the position of the stitch, the stitch pattern, and the type of yarn you are using. Once again, your gauge swatch will tell you if you are making more work for yourself than you are saving.
As soon as I started thinking about this method, I also thought about how it could be applied to joining two sets of live stitches together. I tested it, and it came out very tight. So, I tried again. This time, I worked a yarn over alongside every stitch on one side of the "seam." When I joined the two, I dropped the yarn overs, and it gave the seam enough slack to work well. I like it. It is structured a lot like a three-needle bind off, but it feels less fiddly.
Anyway, the pdf is just a little set of notes I worked out as I was playing, and a couple of photos for each technique.
It was so nice to get to talk with Lorna (she started Lorna's Laces). We talked about cookies, friends, yarn, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I hope you like it. I got a bit weepy, but you're probably used to that by now.
- Lorna Doone (the book)
- Elizabeth Zimmermann founded Schoolhouse Press
- Lorna's third book is being published by Leisure Arts
- Effectiveness by Design (by Michelle Wyman)