24 Oct 2014

How to knit and attach neckline/armhole ribbing separately

I used a for me new technique to attach the ribbing at the neckline and armholes on my latest baby-knit. Above a close-up of the finished ribbing. Looks neat, right?

The basic idea is to knit the ribbing separately and sew it on separately.
I've never used with this technique before. Seems like the Phildar booklets I've got use this method for their patterns, instead of picking up stitches along the edges.

- the edges are smoother, while you have a bulky edge in the back when picking up stitches
- the ideal solution for smoothly curved lines, because you work on the right side (it looks pretty much flawless when finished!)
- it is easier to distribute the stitches evenly
- the backstitch has elasticity
- though the sewing took some time, I found it quite satisfying work to do

- slow!
- you really need to take time to secure each loop separately (though the results are really rewarding)
- you need to have a basic understanding of construction, in case you make a mistake or 'loose' one of the loops
- you need to know the exact stitch-count to start with (most patterns instruct to pick up a certain amount of stitches anyway)
- you can't really manipulate and store the separately knitted pieces for a long time before attaching them because of the loose ends

how to:
- Here is what you start with: a ribbing knit to the desired width and length, finished with a row (I used two) of stocking stitch in a contrasting color, but same weight yarn.
- After knitting you just pull the pieces from the needle without casting off the stitches. I used cheap acrylic, since you need to rip out the extra rows while sewing
- I only attached the shoulders before sewing on the ribbing (this way I could work on a flat surface)

My tip: don't forget to leave a very long strand of yarn after the last row, you can use that for stitching! 
You secure the ribbing by stitching the loops down with a simple backstitch, working from the right to the left, after pinning it on the garment:
- bring the needle up through a loop:

- push it down through the loop of the stitch on the right:

- bring the needle up through the next loop on the left after pulling out the contrasting color yarn:

My tip: do 2 rows in another color instead of one. When sewing, pull the first row from 4 stitches and then the second one stitch by sitch. This way you avoid losing your loops by accident.

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