Thursday, May 19, 2011

We Interrupt This Scheduled Break... tell you that:

A) I officially loathe making jeans. These things are going to have to make me look like freakin' Elle Macpherson at this point, or I will never regret purchasing my jeans for the rest of my jeans-wearing years. Latest irritation: ripping off the waistband which, somehow, managed not to be long enough to fit the top of the pants - despite being the correct size according to the directions. Did I mention that retrofitting the too-long zipper took 30 minutes last night?

B) Just completely wet blocked the side fronts of the cardigan (final sleeve will be finished this evening dammit. I can't wait to see what blocking's all about). Whoa, peeps, you weren't kidding when you said that alpaca stretches. Mind you, I re-wrangled things into the schematic dimensions, so I'm not going to freak out. I don't know how this is going to improve the overall look of the finished garment, but I'm following the rules.

Does anyone have any advice about the best way to finish the garment i.e. sew it up? I'm going to graft the back neck (where the side fronts merge) but other than that I don't know what's best. Someone suggested that I pick up stitches and 3 needle bind off the sides. I really don't get picking up stitches but I think your stitches need to be live to 3 needle bind off, yes? Oh, so many terms and pins and towels and books...


  1. Yes, you need live stitches for 3 needle bind off. That's why I never bind off shoulders. It's simpler to just bind off the back and front together.

    I never thought of doing it on a side seam. Seems like extra work to pick up all those stitches from both sides. I finally finished my cardi and mattress stitched the sides. It's easy to do, but long.

  2. I'm having funny images of alpacas now...

  3. Oh, no! My guess is that the pants fabric has stretched more than the waistband... That is often a bit fiddly. I've never used the actual Jalie waistband, though... (you are using that pattern, right? Or am I on crack?)

    So sorry that you've run into problems :(. I hope it does turn out all right.

    I have no advice on the knitting, of cours. Good luck!

  4. Picking up stitches so you can seam with a three-needle bind off is for A. certain specific situations and B. knitters who are deathly afraid of seaming.

    What you want is something called mattress stitch. I won't post a link because Blogger will eat it, but there are plenty of tutorials.

  5. I've afraid to cross the jeans bridge as of yet. So I think you are brave.

  6. Raven: Thanks for clarifying. And it does seem like a lot of work...

    Wendy: Should I be embarrassed to tell you that I don't know what an alpaca looks like?

    Taran: I did interface (with bias cut stretch interfacing) so I wonder if that did it. Nonetheless, the band needs a good 2 inches of extra fabric to cover the zipper area. I'm thinking of just adding another strip to the back waist i.e. I've undone the 2 waist pieces that join at the centre back. I'm thinking of just adding another piece. Will mean it's a double line back seam, but I'm not really bothered by that. I mean, the seams will be neat and it's not like jeans are formal. Thoughts?

    Alexandra: Thanks so much for giving me that info - I've been looking at posts on mattress stitch but I didn't know if that's what I was looking for...

    Faye: No rush. You have time :-)

  7. mattress stitch, as you've already heard.
    Good luck with the jeans.

  8. Um, you know there are shops where you can buy theses things ready made? xx

  9. You're almost close to the finish line and I can't wait. I know all your hard work will pay off:)

  10. Hang in there!

    Alpacas look like smaller fluffier Llamas.

  11. Nth-ing the mattress stitch. Once you get it down it is fabulous. I am also going to recommend the Techniques with Theresa column on Knitty (online knitting magazine). She wrote about the mattress stitch in the Spring '04 issue. Knitty also has a good grafting/kitchener article.

    Side seams are not the place to use 3-needle bind off (good for shoulder seams though, but there is a trick to that involving leaving all shoulder stitches live - a book on finishing knits should outline that). Picking up stitches to do a 3-needle bind off is insanity.

  12. Did you have fusible in the waistband? Usually, a more rigid piece will stay put, but the part you're attaching it may have stretched. The result -- the two no longer match. You just have to take precautions.

  13. I don't really knit, just some scarves and whatnot, but my Mom does. For Christmas a couple years ago I wanted to get her some knitting stuff A very good knitter suggested a book called "The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques." Every time my Mom finishes a sweater she tells me thank you for the book and that she doesn't know what she did without it. You can get it in a spiral binding which is nice to hold your page.

  14. F: Thanks!

    Lisa: Smart ass!

    Vic: Check out my latest post...

    Susan: Aww, cute!

    Anotheryarn: Thank you so much, I checked out those articles and they were so helpful. The 3 needle bind off idea was insanity...

    Stacy: I think it's a combo of the jeans stretching and the waistband (which doesn't call for interfacing) having been interfaced - because I'm not going to put all this work in and not stabilize the waistband!

    Kim: Thanks so much for that suggestion! Going to check it out...