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How to Become an "Expert Knitter"   *Buy this book on CD for offline reading!

table of contents » chapter 18 (of 29)

18: Sewing Needles & Threads for Seams (cont.)

Yarn used for seams should be as smooth as possible. If the yarn used for the garment has knobs or lumps, it will be difficult to pull through the fabric without catching and even disintegrating.

Look at the way the yarn has been constructed. To get a variety of effects, many different threads are twisted together, sometimes with interesting loops, or knobs and bumps, but you will find that there will be one or two really thin threads that wind around the others and hold the fancy bits in place. If these fine threads are pulled out, the other threads are released and can usually be smoothed out, even the knots and lumps. Cut a few short lengths of the yarn, and using a sewing needle, pull out different threads until you identify the binder. If there is a variety of threads making up the yarn, use the smoothest and strongest for the seam. If the breakdown of the yarn results in lots of thin threads, use a few wound together.

Yarns that have little balls of fluff, or tags, or long hairs can be monsters when it comes to using them for a seam. Some are easy to tackle because the component threads come apart easily and one has all the decorative bits. If the special effects have been added in to the yarn, they can be picked off and you will be left with a smoother thread which will be easy to use [pic 6,7,8,9,10,11].

6: (left) A complex yarn becomes manageable when unravelled.
7: (right) One of two component threads is smooth to use.

8: (left) Divide the yarn and pick off the tags.
9: (right) Hairy tags pull out easily.

10: (left) The little furry ball can be picked off.
11: (right) Eyelash yarn is easy to use when you pull the hairs off the base.

Although a yarn may be thick or uneven, it doesn’t always have to be dissected. It is only necessary if it is difficult to pull through the knitting. You can anticipate trouble if you run the thread between your thumb and first finger and it catches instead of moving through easily.

If you have made a garment with a very soft yarn, especially angora, you may have a problem using it for seams because it could break or disintegrate. Match the colour with another, stronger yarn and use this for the seams. If you are desperate to use the soft yarn or you can’t find a match, use a very large needle to avoid wear and tear on the yarn as you sew. Settle each stitch in place as you go to avoid pulling on a fragile yarn.

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