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View Full Version : How long does it take you to seam up a sweater?


mwedzi
04-26-2007, 12:12 PM
Somehow I have it in my head that seaming a sweater is something I can do in an hour or two. I don't know how this got in my head, but it's there. But in reality, it takes me way longer. I have been seaming up the Fair Isle Sleeve Sweater since yesterday. I must be at least 4 hours into it, probably 5. :shock: I've seen the online tutorials, read how-tos in books, and even have taken a finishing class. And though the seaming looks okay, it still takes me forever to do. Anyone else?

knitqueen
04-26-2007, 12:25 PM
I've decided that this is what I'm going to do from now on. Knit the fronts and back pieces first, then seam the shoulders once those are done. Knit one sleeve - seam it in, then knit the other sleeve and seam it in. Finish when the side side seams at the very end and whatever other finishing needs to be done. That way you're not doing all the seaming at once, which seems VERY daunting to me usually! I've had a few UFO's remain unfinished just because I don't do the seaming :oops: .

SandraEllen
04-26-2007, 12:42 PM
FOR EV ER.


serioulsy. i think it took me an hour to do 2 little seams each 6 inches long.

Julie
04-26-2007, 01:45 PM
um, three months? :oops: :roflhard:

CarmenIbanez
04-26-2007, 01:50 PM
Usually longer than it took to knit the damned thing!

bip
04-26-2007, 02:39 PM
Even a quick one feels like FOREVER. Any time not knitting just makes me grit my teeth.

The thing is, you want to go slow because you don't want to be sloppy and have puckers/holes. But you want to go fast because come on let's get on with knitting!

Ingrid
04-26-2007, 02:46 PM
It always takes me longer than I expect, too. So long, in fact that I have a sweater sitting around from months ago that still needs the second sleeve. :oops:

Limey
04-26-2007, 05:16 PM
Hi

OK - All that's left to do is sew up the last remaining sleeve seam and sew four buttons on my grand daughter's little (Spring) sweater, then I'll take it to my daughter's. ...... Three weeks later .......zilch. Done nothing.

Compared to knitting, I just absolutely detest sewing - I can do it, it's no sweat - it's just a pain in the proverbial.

I think this happens alot - you've done so much work, knitting the thing, but the last job of all is so mind-blowingly tedious, that you rebel against it and start thinking of your next cast on. After all, you're a knitter not a sewer.

If I don't get a move on, Spring will be over or she'll have outgrown it.

Do wish we could just glue the sleeves on and ditto with the sides.

Yours,

sighing and swearing

Limey


:!!!: :grrr:

Limey
04-27-2007, 08:13 AM
Hi

Finally attacked that sleeve this morning - good grief, it took well over an hour to mattress stitch a 10" sleeve, oversew two little cuffs and sew a few buttons on. I didn't even have to weave in the ends as I'd done that earlier.

I'll put a good three months aside for seaming that long cardigan I'm knitting for myself.

Thanks very much for the post, Mwedzi, - it got me to finish the sewing (at long last!)

All the Best

Limey

"All this time their knitting goes on with unremitting speed. They sit rocking to and fro like so many weird wizards. They burn no candle, but knit by the light of the peat fire."

The Rural Life of England, William Howitt, 1844 - no change there, then.

VictoiseC
04-27-2007, 05:40 PM
:roflhard: oh Mwedzi.... it takes me about a year.

I am actually carrying a sweater back and forth to my house in the hills (from my city place) and each time I say "I will definitely sit down and seam this up this time) Then I carry it back to the city unseamed.

Actually, I did my first cardigan (and posted about it here) and it got easier and easier. But! Limey! Ingrid! I STILL HAVEN'T FINISHED THE LAST SLEEVE. And I enjoy mattress stitch now. sort of. It's this thing about concentrating hard and being perfect that keeps you away from it.

Dang, I am going to do that last sleeve TOMORROW.

ArtLady1981
04-28-2007, 01:15 AM
My seaming is lightening fast! (don't hate me! :pout: )

Here is why:
1) I use mattress stitch, where the right sides face you.
2) I pin or klip my seams together to ready them for seaming. I place a little brass safety pin about every inch. As I seam along, I remove them.
3) I do not always use the same yarn as the garment. For example, NORO yarn is impossible to seam with. I never seam using NORO yarn.
I keep several skeins of DMC Pearl Cotton (http://www.joanns.com/catalog.jhtml;$sessionid$IJWFPRAAAH5HQP4SY5KRHOR50 LD3UEPO?CATID=24998&PRODID=11594&source=search) on hand, in different colors. Lots of neutrals: black, grey, tan, etc. The skein goes a loooonnnng way. It will seam numerous garments. Seaming with Pearl Cotton is slick! And easy to see what yer doin'!

There are some neat little gadgets that help keep your seams 'aligned' when you are mattress seaming, besides safety pins. They are called KnitKlips (http://www.knitklips.com/). I saw her ad in Vogue Magazine or Interweave Knits. Anyway, they really speed up the process...because they hold the seams aligned for you as you "mattress stitch" your way up the bottom edge to the top!

If you do not already use MATTRESS STITCH...start. You will never regret 'learning how'. Amy has an excellent video to help you.

Well, that is my 2 cents worth.

Silver
04-28-2007, 02:58 PM
Artlady, I'm right there with you. Not only is my finishing very quick, I really enjoy it too. :oops:

I always seam from the right side, using the mattress stitch or kitchener/grafting.

Ingrid
04-28-2007, 03:42 PM
I use mattress stitch, too, and my seams are lovely--I just can't seem to get motivated to put them it. If I hadn't learned mattress, I'd probably never make sweaters because my seams used to ruin the garment.

If I could knit everything together, I would. In fact, I've been making some afghan pieces that are supposed to be seamed, but I've been picking up and knitting as I go. I guess I'm just a knitter. :shrug: I'm never happier than when I finish a knit-in-one-piece sweater.

Silver
04-28-2007, 04:14 PM
If I could knit everything together, I would. In fact, I've been making some afghan pieces that are supposed to be seamed, but I've been picking up and knitting as I go. I guess I'm just a knitter. :shrug: I'm never happier than when I finish a knit-in-one-piece sweater.

I hear ya Ingy. Even though I enjoy seaming, I still prefer to not have to seam if I don't have to. I will always try to alter a pattern so I can knit it in the round first. My favorite sweater pattern is a top down seamless raglan.. can you guess why? :teehee:

jess_hawk
04-28-2007, 04:30 PM
Knit sweaters top down in the round. No seaming.

:happydance:

Honestly haven't tried seaming yet, but I learned to sew long before I learned to knit so I imagine it won't bother me so much.

mwedzi
04-28-2007, 04:55 PM
Artlady, I'm right there with you. Not only is my finishing very quick, I really enjoy it too. :oops:

I always seam from the right side, using the mattress stitch or kitchener/grafting.

Me, too, but it still goes slowly. I've tried mattress stitch, kitchener, 3 needle bind off, crochet seaming. But somehow, I hate them all. :pout: Hey, Silver, wanna have some free fun seaming up my stuff. Huh? Huh? :teehee:

VictoiseC
04-29-2007, 02:25 PM
Thanks Artlady! That's excellent info to know, esp to not seam with Noro... I can relate because my first cardigan was a natural sheepy yarn I got at a farm and I had to be super careful not to break it when I pulled the mattress stitch closed. I love your ideas.... :cheering:

ArtLady1981
04-29-2007, 03:02 PM
Yer welcome! Now that I think of it....very few of my knits are seamed with "self yarn". Even if a "self yarn" will seam well (without a "tug-of-world-war-three"!)...I like the Pearl Cotton for contrast. It is so easy to see where the yarn is coming out and going in. BTW: if sometimes your seaming yarn won't "pull up" or "cnch up"...it gets "stuck"...the problem is often that you crossed your seaming yarn over itself, forming a loose kinda knot...rather than the "lacing of shoes" mattress stitch. It is hard to describe...but...suffice it to say...if your seaming yarn won't easily "cinch up"...undo it to the "jam"...and re-seam from there. I get in a hurry, and sometimes get my "wires crossed"! Just take your time. They say you should "cinch up" after every 4 or 5 "crossings"...but I get anxious...and go up about halfway up the home-stretch...that's when I will get my "wires crossed"! :eyebrow: Then I end up pulling out some seaming to the "crossover" boo-boo. :pout:

FYI: the owner of my LYS uses tapestry yarn for seaming. It also works well and comes in a variety of colors to blend with your garment. Really, the only time the use of different seaming yarn is an issue is just at the edge of the cuffs or edge of the garment...so just be careful and tighten the seaming yarn well, and couch it discreetly back up the cuff a ways...hiding it. Don't ever knot it. Just double back and backstitch it upwards again into the selvedges. You know what I mean. :teehee:

redwitch
04-30-2007, 02:42 AM
For those of you who detest seaming... why not get a professional finisher to assemble it, that way it will definitely look great!... and the rest... you might get easier/better results if you block first (I know some of you don't, naughty!), and tack the seams together about a centimetre away from where you will actually seam them up. And a smooth thinner matching thread for seaming will definitely make a big difference... maybe even better, more even seams.

Sarah

Ingrid
04-30-2007, 07:47 AM
I just want to say that I've been knitting a sweater where the two halves of the back need to be seamed up the middle since they're knit on the diagonal. I made a point to seam them before starting the fronts--just because of this thread!

Quiltlady
04-30-2007, 10:38 AM
Gee, I enjoy seaming a sweater. I just finished knitting two baby sweaters and looked forward to stitching them together. I enjoy hand stitching so that may be why I don't mind it at all.

syndactylus
04-30-2007, 10:57 AM
I really like seaming the sides and the sleeves, I just can't get the collar and the shoulders to ever come out right - at least the baby sweaters were good, but the adult ones looked terrible.
Not that ever is a very long time for me - it's only been 2 so far. :teehee: But still, it's a little depressing.

I think I will take the last one apart again and try the embroidery floss instead! That sounds great. Does it work for worsted yarn too?

ArtLady1981
04-30-2007, 01:06 PM
Hi syndactylus! Yes, I use the Pearl Cotton for ANY YARN type. It is perfectly hidden in the seam. But I do use a similar color.

Redwitch, you are absolutely RIGHT about blocking. I always block all pieces BEFORE seaming. Wouldn't it be kinda hard to block a sweater AFTER seaming?

I took a "Finishing Techniques" class at my LYS several years ago...and the teacher impressed two VERY IMPORTANT things in my mind:
1) BLOCK your pieces before seaming!
2) use mattress stitch!

So, while the pieces are blocking...I do my swatches for the next project in line! Get the pattern picked apart, the mysteries unraveled, a plan of attack lined up...and maybe even get a few rows started. Then, I double back and seam the garment that was blocking/drying for those few days.
It works.

mwedzi
04-30-2007, 04:03 PM
I took a "Finishing Techniques" class at my LYS several years ago...and the teacher impressed two VERY IMPORTANT things in my mind:
1) BLOCK your pieces before seaming!
2) use mattress stitch!



I prefer mattress stitch, too. Though my finishing instructor, who finishes others' garments professionally and also sells her hand-knits, always uses crochet slip stitch. :shrug: I'm a crocheter and she isn't, but she's the one who likes crocheting them together.

Braden
04-30-2007, 04:12 PM
I actually like seaming, and I either use backstitch carefully, or mattress stitch. I prefer backstitch, because it's stronger, but not as invisible as matteress.

*edit- I just found that I prefer a crochet slip stitch seam, because it looks really nice*

roseann48
05-31-2007, 07:19 PM
Hi, am wondering if there are videos on sewing side seams together--looking for a few techniques. Any suggestions? thanks!:??

Jillle
05-31-2007, 08:08 PM
Hi, am wondering if there are videos on sewing side seams together--looking for a few techniques. Any suggestions? thanks!:??

Look right here under "Basic Techniques". You will see a video for the mattress stitch.

I HATE seaming. Probably because I'm so bad at it. I will be taking a finishing class this Sunday at my LYS. (That reminds me...I have to knit 4 swatches for the class!)

Artlady1981-I took your advice and bought the Knitklips. They are awesome. I really like the fact that you can try on your garment before seaming it.

booskibabe
05-31-2007, 08:40 PM
I LOATHE seaming. Seriously, I have a really hard time keeping it even. :?? Mostly I knit in the round, but the other day I had to seam a summer shell and it took me an hour or 2. :shrug:

Oh, and I'm really bad at blocking. I almost never do it. I guess I should look into a finishing/seaming class too, huh?

Jillle
06-04-2007, 12:16 PM
I took my seaming class yesterday. It was worth it.

For mattress stitch, I was having a really hard time keeping in the same channel. She taught us to put the needle in the same hole it came out of...its a lot easier to stay in the same channel that way. Also, she had us going under two strands instead of one, which I really liked.

misha rf
06-04-2007, 12:31 PM
I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one who hates seaming! :rofl:

I started seaming a baby sweater...I got the first raglan seam done after a lot of cussin' and fussin'. I couldn't get the next one at all, and was afraid I'd mess up the sweater. So I sent it to my sister (along with a little "reward") and she seamed it for me. :oops: :rofling:

I've got another baby sweater that I've put off finishing b/c I don't want to seam it. I've got to learn how to do them in the round!

Carla1019
06-04-2007, 08:19 PM
This will be my first time to sew up a finish sweater. Instead of getting those Knitklips I use Hair clips, the real small ones. They work great. and cheaper to. :thumbsup: All I have left to do is the sleeves. But I have th sides together, and I need to finish up the neck line. Then I will be done.

I think I might be doing something wrong :think: as it took me only an hour to sew up the sides and the shoulder.