Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why Don’t You Just Say What You Mean?

I’ve heard the knitting term selvage before. And, to be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to it. Until now. I just finished knitting a pattern that called for decreasing at each end of every 8th or so row. Being the literal person I am, I either knit 2 together or slip slip knit, depending on which way I wanted my decrease to slant, the first or last stitch of the appropriate row. This works out just fine... except... when you need to seam. I couldn’t get a straight line for a seam as every 8th row the line moved. This left a very crooked and unacceptable seam. See below.

Here’s a picture of my bad seam before ripping out and re-sewing 900 times.

So... rip out, sew, repeat - until you get something that looks better. In desperation, I googled, and I discovered the importance of selvage. When increasing or decreasing at the end of the row, you should do this inside of the selvage. An apparently implied direction that would have been helpful in print form. Why, oh why, doesn’t a pattern just say that if that's what is meant? Anyway, after ripping out my seam and some of my hair, I did manage to salvage my sweater in spite of lacking the proper selvage required for seaming.

Here’s a picture of my sweater before buttons and its Eucalan bath.

This really is a cute little sweater knit from Noro Silk Garden. If you want pattern information follow this link: Ravelry. I am looking forward to picking up some spectacular buttons to draw attention away from my less than perfect seams. Now onto knitting a pair of mittens for my mom whose birthday was in January. Thankfully she’s a patient woman, and we’ve had a mild winter!

Thanks for reading. And, if you're a knitter, I hope I've saved you some possible frustration and spared some of your follicles by sharing my mistake ~ Christina


  1. Make sure you read Tech Knits posts and you will be aware of "knitting best practices". She has great tips for avoiding holes and for knitting that pesky thumb gusset on the mittens you are currently making. You can follow her on Ravelry .

  2. Thanks Barb. I discovered Tech Knits on Pinterest - my newest addiction. You're right, many great tips. I'm learning :)