Black to Summer with New Seams
Summer is exciting enough as it is without literally having a stack of summer knits just waiting to be cast on my Chiaogoos! I've had at least half dozen patterns in my ever so growing binder that I've wanted to knit since LAST summer, as well as a few new ones that I've recently added.
My needles are not going to get a chance to cool down at all over the next few weeks! The first one I'm casting on is the very popular Deschain by Leila Raabe. And getting ready for the project is one of the most exciting parts!
Choosing the right yarn for a project is really important. Choosing the right yarn for a project that's warm weather friendly is really really important. The yarn that was used in the pattern has a ribbon like structure. I don't necessarily need to find a yarn that's exactly like the one used in the pattern but I want something that's going to drape nicely and be cool enough to wear in warm weather. I've been a little curious about Cheval Blanc which is available exclusively at Biscotte Yarns. It's from France and they have a great selection of yarns at amazing prices!! Did I mention it's from France? Seriously.....anything that's from France sounds so exotic to me!
Ruban was the PERFECT choice for my pattern. It's made with bamboo and cotton AND has a ribbon like structure similar to the one actually used in the pattern. Bamboo makes for an awesome summer knit. It's antibacterial which will keep you smelling fresh and odor free, moisture wicking which will keep you dry, and insulating which will keep you cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather. Talk about the perfect sweater for Newfoundland weather LOL Also made with cotton, a favorite of mine, pulls heat away from the body not to mention very comfortable to wear. So, with the perfect yarn in hand and all my gear ready to go I am so excited to get this one started😃
Ruban being a worsted weight yarn and knit on 6.5mm needles, it's knitting up quickly! Thank goodness because it's so beautiful I can't wait to wear it!! Ruban has different textures throughout it as you can see in the picture above. I just love it! I can see making this in different colors for sure. It's definitely beginner friendly and a well written easy to follow pattern.
Now, this sweater is knit flat. I really like knitting in the round because I'm a perfectionist to the point of being OCD. My seams need to look like they were knit in the round. I've scoured the internet and watched endless amounts of videos and even purchased a book on finishing techniques. So I'll be showing you my favorite technique on seaming up my sweaters.
After finishing the front and back, normally I would block the pieces before seaming. However, Ruban is cooperating so nicely and not curling at the edges that a light steaming will work fine. Here is how we're going to get the perfect shoulder seam step by step:
With the right sides up lay out the front and back of the sweater. (White yarn was only used for the photos)
Step 1. Inset your needle from the bottom up into the space between the selvedge edge and the first V stitch on the front right shoulder.
Step 2. Insert you needle from the bottom up into the space between the selvedge edge and the first V stitch on the back right shoulder.
Step 3. Insert your needle into the SAME hole you came out of and.......
Step 4. Pick up the two bars that is your first stitch (The V) and pull the needle through.
Step 5. Going to the back shoulder piece, insert your needle into the SAME hole you came out of and pick up the two bars that is that first stitch.
Step 6. Going back and forth from the front piece to the back piece keep inserting the needle into the SAME holes you've come out of picking up the two bars that forms a single stitch.
Step 7. After working a few stitches, pull the yarn taught (not too taught that it bunches) and your work will come together with the stitches (V's) lining up perfectly. I don't think there's anything that gives me more instant gratification than seeing a perfect seam........clearly I don't get out enough LOL
Of course the inside has to look just as good as the outside for the off chance I might put it on inside out.....or......something...... like that.
And that is how I get perfect shoulder seams on my sweaters! There's no reason to avoid knitting flat when you can get such nice seams with the proper techniques. And there's something to be said about a sweater with seams. It provides more structure and shape. Not saying I prefer seams vs. in the round, both are equally beautiful in different ways.
I knit my sweater 12" in length before starting the trim. So to ensure the back and the front are both the exact length, I made sure to knit the same number of rows so that the side seams will match up as perfect as I can make them.
This pattern has a garter selvedge edge which makes seaming so much easier. When knitting a sweater flat that doesn't call for a garter edge, I always add 2 stitches so that I can create a garter edge just to make seaming easier. Picture 1 shows the garter edge and how easy it is to see the horizontal bars between the first stitch and the edge.
Using the same method as for the shoulder seam, you always go into the stitch you came out of. Picture one shows the 2 bars you pick up. Repeat this step going back and forth until the side is seamed. I always pick up one bar vs. two bars, as shown in picture 3. In my opinion it makes for a sturdier seam.
After working a couple of inches back and forth as in picture 4, pull the yarn taught and voila!! It joins seamlessly like magic as you can see in picture 5!!
Here is the finished side, and the seam is almost completely invisible. In my opinion, the seaming is just as important as your knitting. You can ruin a beautifully knit sweater with untidy seams. And as you can see, with a little time, patience, and practice it's fairly easy to do.
Here's my finished Deshain and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Ruban is most definitely a perfect yarn for this project and I highly recommend getting this one on your needles in time to wear this summer!