Monday, January 22, 2007

What I Did With The Neckline


Dear Blog-

Look what happened to us last night! Yesterday afternoon at about 1:30 it started to rain, and continued to rain steadily all afternoon. Again, this is not our normal thing here in the desert, and it was a pleasure to sit on the couch all afternoon, reading and looking out the window. There were a few times when I swore the rain had a bit of substance to it. By evening it had gotten much colder, and I knew we were probably in for some snow. Before he went off to bed DH went out and gathered a snowball from my car windshield, we have it stored in the freezer so that we can prove that once again a blue moon has come around and we have had snow in the desert.

This morning when DH tried to go in to work at his usual time he found that all the bridges in our area across the Rillito River were closed because of ice, and so he came back home for breakfast, then left again once he could see that traffic was moving. He found it hard to believe that Tucson was so ill-prepared for ice, but as I told him, the last time I remember them closing the bridges for ice was 20 years ago, so it isn't something that happens often. On the other hand, with all the sand we have around here, you would think they could go spread some on the bridges. But he hasn't returned from his second try, so things must be moving again.

Last we left our story, I had cut open all my steeks and was resting on the couch, trying to slow my heartbeat and calm the nausea. The next day I decided to divide the remaining work on the sweater into units - the first being to bind off the shoulders together, finish the pocket edges and sew the pockets down, weave in pocket ends, pick up the neckband sts and work the neckband.

The sts at the top of the sweater were already divided front and back onto two needles, and so I now did a 3-needle BO to close the two shoulder seams. At the same time I bound off the remaining sts at the back neckline so that I would have a sturdier join there when I came back to work the neckband sts.

I had already knitted the pocket edges and that task was out of the way. The edges on one of the pockets was sewn down, the right pocket still remained to be sewn. I used a mattress st so that my seam would be as invisible as possible from the outside. Once that was done, I turned to the inside and pinned and sewed the pocket bottom and sides in place. To make life easier with less ends to weave in later, I first sewed down the pocket bottom to the top of the ribbing sts, leaving a long tail where I started. Then I sewed up the left side of the pocket and wove that end in. Next I picked up the long tail at the right bottom corner of the pocket and sewed the right side to the sweater, checking often to make sure that my sts were not showing on the public side of the sweater, and that there was no pulling or bunching happening in the fabric.

Outside view of pocket

Inside view of pocket

Here is my neckline template... Remember if you do this to allow for steek reinforcing and stitches being picked up, and don't go as deep as I did. About 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch less deep than your ideal would be best.

So my next task was to deal with the neckband. One of my concerns, aside from the aesthetics of the thing, was having those loose ends at the neckband where I had cut my steek open driving me crazy every time I wore the sweater. So I decided to work a doubled neckband, and did several rows in K1P1 rib to match the ribbing in other areas of the sweater. I did throw in a light lavender stripe, but that was about all the color-work I could face after working that whole danged sweater. I purled my turning row, and on the inside of the neckband I worked a darker purple stripe in the same place as the lighter stripe on the outside. Just for the heck of it. One of the women on the knitting list has in her sig line something to the effect of Life is short, wear pretty underwear. This, I think, would be the knitter's version of that sentiment.

Once I had sewn the neckband down on the inside, I had a lovely covered seam that doesn't show the cut steek or allow those ends to annoy one. The idea here is to move your live neckband sts to a piece of waste yarn - and without binding them off - sew them one by one to the inside of the loops where you picked up sts for your neckband. This gives a nice, stretchy neckband.

Look at the inside of that baby! Isn't it just as lovely as the outside?

Ok, Blog, time to dive into my day. I am so glad I don't have to go anywhere this morning! What a wimp I've become after living here for 25 years!



Blogger J.M. said...

Hi Lynda, thanks muchly for the neckline template idea. I'm approaching maximum steekness on a Dale sweater that I'm knitting and have been chewing on how to steek the neckline. You have helped greatly!

9:25 AM  

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