Friday, January 19, 2007

Grafting seed stitch?!

I finished knitting the pieces of Trellis and so was at the part of the pattern that says, "Join shoulder seams using Kitchener Stitch." OK. Now, the pieces to be joined are 15 stitches across, and 10 of those stitches are in seed stitch. I googled "kitchener seed stitch" and found a blog called, actually, Seed Stitch. In July 2005, knitter Cheryl successfully grafted the shoulder seams of her Trellis sweater and managed to make the seed stitch look continuous. (Compare that with her previous 3-needle bind off.) Inspired, I followed her link to Debbie New's instructions for grafting seed stitch. Ms. New -- she of incredible knitted items -- recommends grafting swatches with a contrasting colour, which of course is very smart. So I tried that. You can click on that little picture up there to see my chaotic results. What's the deal? When you graft, the two pieces are half a stitch off, so how on earth do you get the seed stitch to look right? I really couldn't figure it out.

So, despite wanting to learn more knitting techniques this year, I ended up just doing a regular kitchener stitch on those shoulder seams. It looks fine, and at least the definition of the cables is still there. I've since seamed the whole sweater, and I'm just finishing up the collar. My fellow knitters at Wednesday night's group had a good question for me: Is this mysterious yarn colourfast? We'll soon find out...

13 comments:

goodkarma said...

Oooh, good questions. I remember that grafting of the shoulders being a bit fiddly, but I think I just did a wonky mattress stitch of some sort on my Trellis. Yours looks quite good in my opinion! Such a great pattern. Maybe I'll make another.

Jessica said...

Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook has instruction on kitchener in ribbing. I assume the same info could be used for seed stitch.

LaurieM said...

I think you came about as close as can be reasonably expected.

I really don't think anyone will notice if the seed stitch is right or not. Some will notice the cables. But if all goes well, this sweater will be worn by an adorable, wiggly, little person. Instead of the old "can it be noticed from the back of a running horse?" we have "will it be noticed on a wiggly baby?"

gleek said...

hhmmm, i never thought about kitchenering seed stitch. sounds like it would be a bit of a pain.

i love that color! i certainly hope it doesn't bleed all over the place. i'll keep my fingers crossed.

Daphne said...

It looks good. My opinion is that the test swatch looks extra wonky *because* you use contrasting yarn. So it's good for practice but not so much for evaluating the end result.

Man, now I think I need to make a Trellis or three myself!

lyssa said...

so, when i was working on samus (http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall05/PATTsamus.html)
you ahve to seam the sleeve cables together, and i had to make them a little longer than what was reccommended... so i did my best to seam them together, but it was definitely challenging.
i mean, it's partially knowing the anatomy of your stitch (have you read "knitting for anarchists?), and whether to sew as if to knit or purl in terms of how you want the stitch to look.
i'm sure that it will look fabulous, no question! but i also think that there is a solution, that would be difficult to describe without pictures and words and seeing... you know?
okay now i'm just blabbering. :)

your sweater will be lovely. :) no doubt.

Chris said...

Now I'll have nightmares! ;) She must have skipped documenting the "and then a miracle occurred" step.

Stacey said...

Great job - kitchnering on anything other than Stockinette always worries me!

Cheryl said...

Ah, the shoulders of the Trellis! Finally someone else who had trouble with that. For years I thought I was the only one!
I actually finally finished the sweater this past november, and had to figure out the grafting for the second shoulder then (http://seedstitch.blogspot.com/2006/11/trellis-this-thing-is-just-unbearably.html). It was just as much of a pain the second time.

For your "practice swatch" did you knit two little swatches and graft them together with contrasting yarn? Or did you knit a swatch with your main color, knit ONE ROW with the CC and then continue knitting with the MC? That one row knit in the CC is the one you make your grafting yarn mimic. In order to make it not a half stich off, I had to fiddle with the rows I was grafting together; I had to make sure that they were the same, i.e. if I set them facing each other, a knit stitch lined up with a knit stitch ,then my grafting yarn became the purl stitch between them, making seed stitch.

I don't think I'm doing a very good job explaining, and now I've left the equivelent of a blog entry in your comments here. Sorry about that. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if I'm not making sense!

Beth said...

The Knitter's Handbook from XRX has a picture of grafting seed stitch on page 81. I know it's too late now, but maybe it'll help someone in the future.

Catherine said...

Hi,
I'm usually a lurker but I am surfacing here to tell you I did the same thing you did on that sweater. Well, by that I mean I just did grafting in knit. My daughter certainly doesn't know the difference and neither does anyone else. I have gotten many compliments on it.

molly said...

I had the same problem, tried to do seed stitch kitchener stitch and ended up doing normal grafting that looked just like yours. In other words, I think you made the right decision. It looks good!

Anonyknits said...

You are not alone. I had the same problem. Frustrating in the extreme. I think it would have been nice for the designer to give us all a clue re technique.