techniques

Curvy seam allowance, straight seams

Recently a knitter asked me about how to seam the Peacock sweater. Great question, Beryl! Especially since the seams are all wavy as the peacock lace stitch distorts the rows of knitting. Naturally you don’t want a scalloped shoulder seam–the ideal is for it to be straight–and the same goes for the armholes.

To avoid unsightly scalloped seams, sew straight across the shoulder seams and sleeve tops and don’t be tempted to follow the bind-off edges. For these seams I really like crocheting them together because I can match the two sides up stitch by stitch. When I open the seam the two pieces match up perfectly with a mirror image of all the increases and decreases in the lace stitch pattern.

Shoulder Seam (click on images to enlarge)

seam 1

Pin the pieces with right sides together. Lie the crochet hook along the seam to see where the path for your stitches should be.

seam 2

Insert the hook into a stitch–it’s fine if it’s a few rows below the bind-off edge. In this photo, the hook is going through the st between the two yarn overs and it’s about 5 rows down.

seam 3

Insert the hook into the same stitch on the back piece.

seam 4 seam 5

Draw the yarn through both pieces of fabric with the crochet hook and slip it through the loop already on the crochet hook. One stitch completed.

seam 12 seam 13

Here’s a front and back view of a line of stitches in a contrasting colour so they’re easier to see.

seam 20 seam 14

Completed shoulder seam inside and out.

Armhole Seam

seam 17 seam 18

Joining the bind-off edge at the top of the sleeve to the armhole selvage is similar to the shoulder seam. The seam line should create a straight line across the top of the sleeve and should not follow the meandering bind-off edge. Here’s a front and back shot of the armhole seam.

seam 15 seam 16

Take special care to follow along the space between columns of stitches along the straight selvage edge on the body. Be sure to join the pieces one stitch in from the edge. Here’s a shot of a messy seam that sometimes goes in an extra half stitch or more from the edge. See how much nicer the carefully stitched seam is by contrast?

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