Apologies to regular readers who – quite understandably – have no interest whatsoever in arcane knitting techniques. It’s just that I wanted to share what I’ve recently learned with others, and I thought my blog was the best way to have this available. So if you’d like to see a cute picture of Tilly, scroll down, or if not, see you again soon I hope!
I’ve been knitting my Hopeful Stripy Cardigan (Wentworth, by Kaffe Fassett) where nearly every single row uses a new colour. I saw that “caknits” on Ravelry mentioned using “Russian seams” (aka “Russian joins” or “Eastern European seams”). She kindly explained it to me, and I’ve used it on the sleeves. It results in a neat selvedge with absolutely no sewing-in of loose ends required. Most of the online tutorials I found show the technique being used to splice two ends of the same wool, whereas “caknits” had used it to join two separate colours, and make the join appear at the selvedge. If interested, read on:
1. Knit until you reach the last four stitches of your row:
2. Break off a tail of the yarn that you’re currently using, and line up a tail of the yarn you’ll use on the next row:
3. Cross the two yarns, and make two interlocking loops. With a bit of experimentation, you will see how long the loop to finish your current row needs to be:
4. Holding the yarn in place, knit the last four stitches of the row with the loop you’ve made. The yarn is therefore double, and there is a tail on the wrong side, four stitches in from the edge.
It doesn’t matter if you calculate your loop exactly, since the last stitch will be part of your seam anyway.
5. At the end of the row, turn your knitting and start your next row with the loop of the new colour:
6. Knit the first four stitches with your yarn doubled. Then drop the tail after the fourth stitch:
And continue knitting with the single strand of yarn:
Then, make room for the cat on your lap, as she doesn’t see why all this photography palaver should keep her away from the primary purpose of her owner’s knitting, namely for both cat and owner to have some cuddles and warmth:
8. After you’ve continued like this for a while, you will have a lot of tails (of yarn, not of cats) hanging at four stitches from the end, on the wrong side of your work:
8. Carefully clip them off with scissors:
I’ve been really pleased with how well this has worked. I was a little worried that the double thickness of the four-stitch selvedge would be noticeable, but at least with this fine yarn it isn’t. I think it would work well with thicker yarns as well, and it gives a really strong edge.
Thanks to “caknits,” and Happy Knitting!