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

table of contents Ľ chapter 24 (of 29)

24: Front Bands & Necks on Cardigans & Jackets

The neck band of a cardigan or jacket is different to that of a sweater because it joins to the centre front band at each end. This means that you have to make some sort of a corner.

As well making a well defined corner shape, there is often a buttonhole as well, and this has to be fitted in without causing any distortion whilst also being in a functional position. If the buttonhole is too low, the edge of the band will hang down over the buttonhole or will gape open.

As with neck bands, front bands are in the spotlight and any error will be glaringly obvious. If the stitches are picked up haphazardly, making the bands look a bit crooked, you will find that you have spoiled all the good work you have done so far.

There are several ways to work the front bands. The centre edge can be knitted as part of the front, usually in a stitch that will not curl back or inwards, such as garter stitch or a rib. Front bands can be added by picking up stitches along each side of the front opening and then knitting some rows in a chosen pattern stitch, or a separate band can be knitted and joined to the garment.

A band knitted as part of the front is always exactly the right length as the band is an extension, so it will not hang down or be too short. It just has to be worked in a stitch that has a firm edge, and is also strong enough to support any buttons and stay in place without curling.

When a band is worked by picking up stitches along the front edge, there are problems that can spoil the look of the garment. Fluted or wavy bands mean that too many stitches have been picked up along the edge, and the band is longer than the front of the cardigan or jacket. The ends are too long, and hang below the edge of the garment [pic 1,2].

1: (left) One stitch has been picked up for every row along the front edge, which has become very loose and wavy because there are too many stitches for the length.
2: (right) The end hangs down below the hem edge.

A front band that has too few stitches or rows means that the band is shorter than the length of the front of the garment. This will make the band bow in and the hem will be pulled up at the end [pic 3,4,5].

3: (left) Too few stitches bow the edges in.
4: (middle) Savage pressing hasnít solved the problem.
5: (right) The hem band is pulled up.

Always make sure that you have picked up the same number of stitches on each side when you are knitting bands.

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