You know how patterns usually ask you to read all the instructions before you start? If you are like me, you never do.
I have started work on the wedding present. What seemed like a relatively simple pattern – knit a lot of chevron scarves and sew them together to make a blanket – has me baffled. Maybe I should start to read the pattern before I buy the wool!
I cannot figure out how I can join all the scarves without ugly seams on the wrong side of the blanket. Maybe I am being overly particular, but I like my blankets and quilts to have two relatively attractive sides. Is there a way to sew two scarves together without a lumpy seam on one side and without taking away from the chevron effect (as a crochet or similar join might do)? I have investigated Bickford seams, but even they do not seem up to the job. Or, perhaps more truthfully, I am not sure I am up to the job of sewing them!
To try to end my confusion, and even though I ignored the ‘read the pattern’ instructions, I have been making test swatches.
On the first swatch I tried:
- starting with a chained cast on and ending with a traditional cast off for matching tops and bottoms (all good!)
- picking up and knitting the garter-stitch border (nasty lumpy join on back)
- crocheting a border (neater than picking up and knitting, but not the effect I want)
- creating the striped effect through intarsia in place of sewing (much neater).
My tension also passed the test. I am fortunate to rarely have tension problems.
On the second swatch I tried:
- knitting the garter-stitch border as I go, instead of picking up stitches and knitting it last (no lumpy join)
- knitting slip-stitch selvedges (perfect for the garter-stitch border)
- changing colour right on the edge of the border looks (fine).
A helpful explanation of these neat selvedges can be found on the Detroit Knitter’s blog.
For the third swatch, I am working on the chevrons and testing the increases and decreases.
Do you unravel your test swatches? I do! I photograph them and take notes, and then I unravel, reclaiming the yarn for the project.
At the moment, my swatches seem to be telling me that I will be knitting a very messy tangle of intarsia yarns, with a large number of bobbins or balls attached at any one time. Sigh. A friend suggested sticking with the scarves-sewn-together method and sewing a backing fabric to the underside of the blanket to hide any messy joins, which definitely has merit.
Are you a knitter? What would you do? Persevere with a tangle of intarsia yarns? Chuck the whole thing and find a new chevron pattern (probably crochet!)?
In other news, the quilting blog hop I am taking part in next month has started. If you want to meet some new and creative quilters, click the button below and hop on over!