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Knitting Tip - Sewing on Sleeves

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Perfect Seams
Only neat, almost invisible seams finish off your knitted garment perfectly. "Knit" stitch is the best method for shoulder seams. For joining seams use a blunt darning needle so as not to split the yarn when sewing. If possible, use the original yarn used for the garment to sew the pieces together. Instead of wicking or bobble yarn, or extremely thick yarn you can use a thinner, smooth wool in a suitable colour, or cotton (depending on the garment). Sewing thread (despite its name) is not suitable here because it is not elastic enough.

And this is how it goes
The mattress stitch is always worked from the right side. Join the shoulder seam first of all using "knit stitch", and mark the centre of the sleeve with a safety pin or a contrast coloured thread. All other seams will be joined later. Lay the pieces right side up beside each other, so that the shoulder seam is exactly opposite the centre of the sleeve. Start the shoulder seam and join the cross-stitch between the edge stitch and the last stitch before the shoulder seam with the centre stitch of the sleeve (odd number of stitches) or with the centre two stitches (even number of stitches). Then pick up the cross stitch between the edge stitch and the first stitch behind the should seam and pull the thread fast. Leave one half of the sewing thread there and join the seam with the other half.

How you continue depends basically on the tension. In our example the tension sample is 16 stitches and 24 rows. This is a ratio of 2 stitches to 3 rows. To get a smooth seam in which neither the one side nor the other is too strained you will have to spread 2 stitches over 3 rows.

1. Join the cross stitch from the front (or the back) with the first half of a stitch of the sleeve below the cast-off edge 2. Join the following cross-stitches with the second half of the stitch of the sleeve. 3. Join the following cross stitches with the following whole stitches of the sleeve.


Repeat these steps again and again pulling the thread tight after about 2 - 3 cm of seam. The result is a neat and elastic seam.

Once you've reached the corner of the sleeve turn your work 180° and join the second half of the seam accordingly.

If your tension sample produces a different ratio of stitches to rows, the rhythm of the seam will also change. Another common ratio is 3 stitches to 4 rows (e.g. tension sample of 21 stitches and 28 rows). Here you join a cross stitch alternately with a half and a whole stitch. A whole stitch is equivalent to two halves of the two neighbouring stitches; the number of the half-stitches is decisive.
This way you can sew together various basic patterns or yarn thicknesses. Always compare the number of stitches in the sleeve and the number of rows in the front or back which you need for10 cm, find out the approximate ratio and set the rhythm. There's a rhythm for every ratio. A combination of the two possibilities here (2 times 1 half stitch, 1 whole stitch, 1 half stitch, 1 whole stitch, repeat) corresponds to a ratio of 7 stitches to 10 rows.
A little headwork before you start does the seam a lot of good. But don't overdo things. A little bit of improvisation is always allowed!

Another Tip
So that the seam lies flat we recommend you briefly stretch and dampen the shoulder and sleeve seam once again.