Thursday, December 08, 2005

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  • Seemly Seaming

    We think in generalities but we live in detail. -Alfred North Whitehead

    Webster's Online Dictionary assures me that "seemly" is a correct English word. It does seem like one of those whose negative is used far far more frequently, although a Google search turns up an intriguing reference to William "The Seemly" Sinclair, the First Baron of Roslin. . .

    Because a picture is worth a thousand words and launches a thousand ships, let me show rather than tell my most seemly seams: Would you like a close-up? Of course you would.The astute observers amongst you will note that there are no shots of blocking sleeves. I generally do not block my sweater pieces before sewing them together. While there are many fine knitters out there who do (and here's a great Knitty article on the whys and wherefores), and blogland is full of photos of blocking sweater pieces, I generally sew and then wash and wet block the entire garment as one.

    Point: Because I'm in a hurry to try it on and see if it fits.
    Counterpoint: That's what basting is for.
    Point: Is seaming really easier after blocking?
    Counterpoint: Yes.
    Point: I like to weave some of my ends into the seams, and I don't like what happens to ends when they've been washed.
    Counterpoint: Cry baby.
    Point: I like to leave long tails and use them for sewing, and I don't like what happens to the tails when they've been washed.
    Counterpoint: Grow up.
    Point: If you block the whole garment as one, you don't need pins. You can shape with your hands.
    Counterpoint: Afraid of a few little pinpricks, are you?
    Point: If you block after seaming, your seams get blocked, too.
    Counterpoint: If you sew a beautiful seam, it doesn't need to be blocked.

    Anyone care to convince me that I should block pieces first? This sweater may be the garment that convinces me. The twisting of the colors at each selvage, the fact that it was 2am, the fact that there's still one sleeve to go . . . Thank God for cardigan bodies knit in one piece.

    3 Comments:

    Blogger Lynda said...

    Gorgeous!!! Really beautiful work. Can't wait to see it all finished!!

    12/08/2005 9:38 PM  
    Blogger Elinor said...

    I'm also averse to blocking before seaming. I've only been burned a few times doing it my way and I think that's a pretty good record given all of the time I've saved!

    12/12/2005 11:35 AM  
    Anonymous Laurie said...

    I have blocked my two sweaters AFTER seaming. My logic is that there is no good reason the pieces should block geometrically equivalently. That, to me, is sleeve puckering, and side seam kludging in the making. Haven't been burned x2.

    12/14/2005 11:44 AM  

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