Welting and knitting

I’ve decided I’d like to do a little learning for the rest of this summer. I have enough summer clothes, so it seems like a good idea to take a diversion. Welt pockets — they seem like a great thing, but I only had two sets of instructions in my stash, both Vogue. One of them was incomprehensible. So this week I watched a youtube video and read about a half dozen sets of instructions. I’m pretty clear now on how to make them, although I see not everybody does them the same. Some people sew only the two long parallel lines next to the cutting line, but others sew the two short lines also, making a complete box. I tried both, and think the box is preferable (that may be different if the fabric is really heavy). Some people secure the welts by stitching in the ditch, but others topstitch a box around the opening. I think that too would depend on the type and weight of fabric. My Vogue patterns made no mention of interfacing, but most people seem to use it. I suspect it’s helpful except where your fabric is stiff and crisp (when you may not need it). Anyway, I practised a few times. Here’s my final attempt, on wool, with interfacing.

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It took me a few stitches to get to the ditch. The right side has the sewn short edge, which I prefer to the left side. I will take this newly acquired skill and try it on a simple carry bag.

 

I’ve also joined Kate at Fabrickated and a few other people, knitting an Elizabeth Zimmerman seamless yoke sweater. This is full of learning opportunities, as I’ve only knit one and a half sweaters since I took up knitting again a few years ago, and both are unwearable.

I’m using an aran weight wool that I bought a couple of years ago. It’s meant for fishermen knit sweaters. I’ve got four stitches to the inch on 5.5 mm needles, which is exactly what the label on the hank calls for. It’s a bit heavy, but I hope it will generally hug my body and look good. I’ve got about 11 inches knit up so far and am enjoying it.

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I did have a couple of minor problems to solve already. I split a stitch somehow, tried to fix it, knit another round and discovered when I got back to the stitch that it was a mess. The only thing to do was drop the stitch (gasp!), let the threads of the yarn that had been split find each other, and use a crochet hook to bring the dropped stitch back up. It worked! I also discovered I was using a cable that was too long. So I had to figure out how to change to a shorter length in mid-stream (I use a set of needles with separate nylon cables that are screwed onto the needles.)

I got the Zimmerman book that Kate mentioned (“Knitting without Tears”) out of the public library and am reading that too. I like the approach. And because of that, I’ve decided to try to learn to knit “continental”. I’ve tried it for a few stitches and it works — it makes a lot of sense actually. So one day I’ll swatch continental style and see if I can get comfortable with it. It’s supposed to be faster.

And finally, here’s a pic of some ducks. They were swimming in a body of water we call “False Creek” which has become a lovely place to go for a walk (in the past it was surrounded by industry). I like the colours in the water. Have a great week!

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15 thoughts on “Welting and knitting”

  1. Good luck with the knitting; Ms. Z wrote several books, all good reads about knitting and life generally. Too hot here for me to knit myself so I am enjoying watching other’s progress.

    ceci

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  2. Good idea to focus on new skills when you have enough garments. I’m in the parallel lines of stitching camp on welts, snipping into the corners and turning through, then stitching across the triangles and binding. False Creek looks so peaceful!

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    1. Thanks for the info. Always good to know what other experienced sewists do. False Creek is now surrounded by walking paths and cycle paths. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place. Years ago it was surrounded by industry and was severely polluted.

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  3. I’ve gone back to knitting this summer, as well! I think I like the idea of taking my knitting with me out on the deck, rather than being tied to the sewing machine inside. Also, I’m using a very simple pattern, so, I can look around and watch the geese being chased off my neighbour’s dock! Nice work on the welts! I made welt pockets for a coat I made a few years ago. I used Kenneth King’s Craftsy class, In the Details. His instructions were very specific and detailed. He often talks about how he is dyslexic and I find that resonates with me–specific instructions and practice. I must look for Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book at the library. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. I think welt pockets look great and can be used in a lot of places (instead of side seam pockets, for example). Well worth learning to get them right. I’ve been knitting on my deck and yes it’s a peaceful and relaxing thing to do. Three cheers for simple!

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  4. Ah, knitting. Something no one in my family did, so I sort of taught myself, but not very well. Do hope your sweater progresses easily as the yarn in your photos looks scrummy!

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    1. I knitted a couple of sweaters and scarves as a child so did learn basic knitting early. But my mother did all the casting on and off and sewing together of pieces, which meant I couldn’t continue knitting without her. A few years ago I took a couple of courses to get those essential skills. Do people in hot climates knit?

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      1. There is a single knitting store in town (capitol of the state) so I guess they do. I do, but then I don’t count myself as a warm climate person. They get out woolens when it turns 60ish. Much colder and they pull out the puffers or stay indoors! Mind you, it tends to be damp rather than dry cold air.

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  5. Both you and Kate are inspiring me to take up knitting again! I’ve never used round needles – that’ll be mine learning project this summer. Thank you

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    1. Once people start using circular needles, I think they never go back to straight ones. It’s as easy to knit flat pieces as to knit tubular pieces using circulars. Have fun! This EZ sweater thing is going to be a real learning experience for me too. I’d love to produce a sweater or 2 that I can actually wear!

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