Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Assembling a Pullover, Part One

We have recently updated the Figheadh Fundamentals Women's Pullover pattern to improve the sleeve caps and the shoulder/neck area, so I'd like to give you some pointers about how to put your pullover together. This will work for any pullover knit flat, but I hope you will try ours!

Once you have completed your four Fundamental Pullover pieces--front, back, and two sleeves--and blocked them all nicely, you're ready for bringing them together into one piece. Set aside a few hours for this, especially if this is your first. You will want to take breaks in between steps, even if you're a seasoned knitter. I like to take a whole day to do the assembly so that I know I have plenty of time to go slowly and carefully.

Let's examine the steps one by one so we can focus on the details. The first step is to seam your shoulders. There are a couple of different ways to do this, but I usually choose the 3-needle bind off. It keeps your stitches aligned perfectly and it's kinda fun!

To prepare for this bind off, place each set of shoulder stitches, front and back, on a separate needle. Take care to make sure each stitch is positioned correctly and not twisted. I usually use the longer circular for one set of stitches and the shorter circular for the other set of stitches. Then I use the other end of the longer circular to work the bind off--thus, the three needles. 

You can use straight needles or dpn's for this technique, but I shun the dpn's  for this. I like to be sure that the stitches in repose at the non-working end do not slip off while I am paying attention to what I'm doing on the business end. Whichever type needles you use, position the knit pieces right sides together with working ends of the needles together as shown here.

Attach a good length of your working yarn so that it comes from the back set of stitches, unless there is already enough length there from when you stopped knitting. Bind off as you would normally, but insert the right working needle tip into two stitches (one from the back and one from the front) instead of just one. Once you have knit two stitches (two double stitches, that is), pull the first completed knit stitch over the second. Repeat until all stitches have been bound off, cut your yarn, and pull the end through the last stitch.

Here's a link to my video showing this technique in action.

Work the same procedure on the other shoulder and you're done with the first step of your pullover assembly. It matters not whether you start at the armhole edge or the neck hole edge. Either way there will be ends to weave in.

Our next post will cover the second step of your pullover finishing, how to set in your sleeves!

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