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Apr 19, 2015

Seam Me Up, Scotty

As much as I love knitting, there are more than a few aspects of the craft that always give me pause. Take seaming for example. Because I’m not terribly adept at traditional methods, I tended to dislike it, and because I disliked it, I worked to avoid it.


Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made plenty of things that require seams, but I freely admit I approached the task with trepidation and sometimes dread. In the past, these feelings were so strong, I developed elaborate workarounds just to reduce the amount of seaming required for any particular project.


Why then do all my afghan designs consist of strips or blocks that require seams? That’s a very good question. Let me take a moment to explain. With modular construction I've found I can:
  • Work smaller pieces and see visible progress in a shorter timeframe, something important for all of us but especially so for slow knitters like me.
  • Slice large projects into manageable, motivating segments. As each component is completed, there's an interim reward and I know I'm that much closer to a finished piece.
  • Keep large projects compact and portable throughout.
  • Work a few quick rows on the go, because rows are shorter.
  • Knit afghans anytime and anywhere without the bulk of a blanket in my lap.
  • Experiment with different yarns and stitches.
  • Change my mind midstream without having to rip and reknit the entire project.
  • Modify any or all details (yarn, stitch, seams, edging) to personalize the design.
  • Turn singletons, partials, scraps and uglies into something useful and attractive.
  • Mix and match yarn to make the most of my stash.
  • Make fast and easy block afghans without the need to seam individual blocks.
  • WatchTV or movies without losing track of what I'm doing.
  • Work on a project while I talk on the phone or visit with friends or family.
  • Rely on seams to help afghans retain their shape, wear better and last longer.


Eventually, this long list of advantages drove me to conquer my seaming demons and develop a simple adaptation of the three-needle bind off that makes the whole process fast, easy and very consistent. 


As an added bonus, the finished seams are durable and stand up to use, but they preserve drape and avoid the pitfalls other methods (in my hands) sometimes produced.


Because they no longer have the power to intimidate the way they once did, I have a fresh, new outlook: Seam me up, Scotty!

12 comments:

  1. Love this, perhaps because seaming gives me fits, too : )

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  2. I also hate seams, but I agree with all your points and one day I will take the plunge into seam city!

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  3. I agree with you, seaming needs patience. I love your idea of a three needle bind off. Your blankets are beautiful with the patterns and yarns you have used.

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  4. i have never done a three needle bind off. it looks crazy! LOL i should just try it!

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  5. I despise seeming but it is a necessary evil sometimes. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  6. I tend to not knit things that need seams...or if I do the seaming never seems to get done and I end up with a pile of unfinished projects :-)

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  7. I hate seaming as well, but I don't knit a lot of blankets/afghans. I hate seaming armholes. So, I've taken to choosing patterns that are top down, in the round, and that solves that problem! Thanks for your suggestions!

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  8. It's nice to know that I am not the only one. I have become the cowl/wrap/shawl queen to avoid sewing up. I really do need to get over that. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. I don't like seaming either. I have to conquer that dread though because I have to try one of your blanket patterns very soon.

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  10. I'm never thrilled about seaming and even tho it's awkward to do (I think) it's better than mattress stitching.

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  11. It is so awesome that you found a way to make seaming a breeze. I avoid it, although I know that someday I'll want a sweater bad enough to tackle it.

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  12. I don't think I've ever had to seam before with knitting. As always, I love your pics.

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Love hearing from you! I enjoy each and every comment. If you have questions, share those too, and I'll do my best to respond.
-b

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