Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's Knot What It Seams

Mariama's class was ending as I arrived, the table was packed with crochet people. My Basic Knitting students were waiting for seats. A voice clammered "Hey, Monkey!" It was another Freddy's patron, Juliette. I said I hadn't seen her at the bar in quite a while. Someone asked "You two know each other from a bar?" People are always surprised when two different worlds meet out of context. One time in the Time for Kids coffee line, the ME and I were talking about her husband's band "Life in a Blender" and a band that I was in "PiƱata Land". We played the night before at CB's. The woman ahead of us commented with a thick Long Island accent "Oh my Gewd, it's like you two'z got secret liiiives." She sipped her Sankachino and exited the line, Martha whispered to me "No, we just have lives."

This is my second winter teaching at Stitch Therapy, I enjoy the challenge. A perennial puzzle is sewing panels together — the formal term is "weaving" seams. I always recommend "The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques" by Nancie M. Wiseman (Martingale & Co.). The diagrams, photos, and instructions are all clear and concise. Making someone better at their craft gives one indepencence and confidence. I'm not sure what an imcomplete Doctorate gives you, but Lordy Lord it can't be good.

I teach a Modified Mattress Stitch for weaving seams together. Instead of sewing bars between loops, its woven through the sides of stitches. For work done on #4 needles and smaller, it's more durable than the standard Mattress Stitch. This can be slow methodical work, but it has advantages over the running stitch and three needle bind-off.
• It works with any pattern as long as you create selvage.
• Seams are flat and almost invisible.
• Seams are very elastic.

The Modified Mattress Stitch

What seam?
Instead of the usual matress stitch try this, it's easier to manage.


Cut a length of yarn that is three time the length of the seam to be woven. On the right facing side of the garment, you will sew the from second stitches in from each seam, through the sides of the loops.

Match edges from two panels and start from the middle of the seam's length. This method of sewing emulates a series of knitted loop as the needle leaves one panel and enters another to create a seam. Weave in one direction (north) and then the other (south).

You go in one side, then out the other, then in again, and out, and then in, call your sister "Happy Birthday, would it hurt to return a call?", then out and then in, Chinese food arrives, tip the guy — you get the picture. The seam should be woven about 1 to 2 inches at a time then adjusted for tension as you work.
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