Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Treatise on Seams

            Seams have been a topic of some debate in my knitting circles as of late, and I feel compelled to defend them.  I love seaming a garment, this is why.

  1. Unlike most top down in the round sweaters (TDITRS), seamed sweaters have a little structure to them and stand just slightly away from the body.  Now, if you have the willowy figure of most knitting magazine models, the clinging nature of a TDITRS is of no consequence.  I however have a body shape that can best described as lumpy oompah loompah (short legs, long torso, poofy hair, just add some bronzer and children would follow me around looking for the chocolate river).  For those of you like me, a sweater that skims over the surface of your body is a godsend. 
  1. For a shameless product knitter, seams are like magic.  Compared to the relative slowness of knitting a garment, it is thrilling to take pile of random pieces and turn them into a sweater over the course of an hour or two.  The very thought sends lovely chills down my spine. 
  1. For those of you who are process knitters, seaming provides just slightly more time to spend with the project and yarn you love.  Ever find the end of a project to be a little sad?  Seaming gives you an opportunity to admire your work and spend a little extra time with the yarn. 
  1. It is dead easy.  Mattress stitch is perfect for your social knitting occasions.  There is also the added bonus of having fellow knitters right there to admire your work once it is complete (see #2, seaming is like magic). 
  1. For the perfectionist knitter, seams provide a handy ridge in which to weave in your ends.  No longer will you have the unfortunate experience of having the end poke through to the front of your garment after the first wash, it will be tucked inside the seam. 
  1. Along those lines, it is much cleaner to add a new ball of yarn at the end of a row when working flat.  Those TBITRS don’t usually let you work flat, do they??? 
  1. Set in sleeves fit better, especially on the well endowed (see #1). 
  1. For the obsessed knitter who can’t put down a project until its done (who me??): Working a project in pieces allows for logical stopping points within the project, thereby allowing you to go to work, clean the house, pay attention to your loved ones, and get some sleep. 
  1. For the frugal knitter who buys just enough yarn to finish the project.  You do not need the same yarn to seam your project as you do to knit it up.  In fact, sometimes an alternate yarn is preferable.  I recently seamed the sleeves to Hallett’s Ledge with a small amount of grey Palette, instead of the Portland Tweed I knit the project with.  Worked great! 
  1. Seaming does not involve live stitches!!!   I will concede that the Kitchener stitch, the three needle bind off, and the various other forms of grafting have their place.  I have been known to both use and enjoy them on occasion.  A seam however, will never leave you with the blood, sweat, tears, wailing and gnashing of teeth associated with dropping or twisting your Kitchener.  Promise J

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