Too fiddly to knit. Takes too long. Mind- and finger-boggling all around. Enough reasons to do it. 😋
This Rowan jumper is now in its fifth if not sixth year – since starting. I finished the cabled bits quickly enough and then got entirely lost in the Fair Isle. I’d put it away for months, then do a bit more, run out of swear words and put it away again. But now it is finished! With some alterations. Some five years ago I made the skirt that was meant to be worn with the jumper. It is knitted of the same wool as the cabled bit. I wore it with other things, but now I realised that I didn’t want to have the jumper over the skirt but rather I’d have the skirt extending the jumper… Hello, dress!
Sewing up Fair Isle is just as annoying as knitting it. You’ve got yarn ends galore. So, in order to dispose of the yarn ends, I decided to zig-zag over the edge, thus anchoring the ends in place.
This is a quilting foot, and the needle hole is centred. So I set zig-zag to half width and set the needle right. Not having to force all those edging knots under a foot helps with smooth sewing. 😊 I’m not worried at this point if some of the yarn ends are not secured to 200%. They will be secured again in the actual seam.
So now, having disposed of the mess with yarn ends, I can sew the pieces together and actually see how I’m aligning the design.
Again, the edge is a bit thicker than the main fabric, so no need to force that under a foot. 🙂 This is plain straight stitch with Adler, using low tension on both threads. I kept decreasing the tension until the stretch in the stitching matched the stretch in the knitting. I did two rows of stitches along each seam for strength because jumpers get pulled a lot. I have no need for chain stitch now! 😯 (Vibrating shuttle machines can make a stretching stitch too, but their feed dogs are often too small to move the thick knit effectively. Find one with large feed dogs and you’re good to go! Except they still can’t do zig-zag.)
The reason I sew my knitting is two-fold. Firstly, I hate mattress stitch. It takes forever and I am not convinced the effort is necessary. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, I can never get the sizing quite right – the finished pieces always come out a bit differently sized after a wash. Yes, I wash the pieces before assembling them – this saves a lot of unpicking and re-sewing. It also doesn’t help that it usually takes me ages to knit a dress, and sometimes, like with this Fair Isle, my body size changes in the process. 😲 So once all the pieces are knitted up, washed and ready, I treat them as any other knitted fabric and sew them up creatively, rather than strictly along the edges.
With this dress it meant that the sleeve tops had to be redone. They came out larger and longer than expected, so I’ve sewn them up so they fit and cut off the excess. 😲 😵 Cut the knitting?! 🤯 Yes! And zig-zag over the edge, twice because this is a thick knit. The stitches are not going to unravel! It’s all secure and will remain secure also in future washes. Job done! 😃