Castoff Seams

Instead of joining back and front shoulder edges, by casting them off separately and sewing them together, a softer join is made if the two sets of stitches are cast off together. This can be done invisibly on the wrong side, as shown here, or made into a feature by being cast off with the wrong sides together.

1 Do not cast off the shoulder stitches, but leave them on spare needles. Place the back and front shoulders together with right sides facing and needles pointing in the same direction. Using a third needle, knit the first stitch on the near needle together with the first stitch on the back needle.

If you wont to join shaped shoulder seams in this way, don't cast off groups of stitches, but work turning rows instead. The shoulders can then be cast off together.

2 Knit the next pair of stitches together, and then take the first stitch on the right needle over the second, in the usual way. Continue until all the stitches have been cast off. When casting off two pieces of knitting with wrong sides together, make sure that the chain edge of the cast-off faces the same way on each shoulder.

Additional Know-How: Hems and Facings


These techniques owe more to dressmaking than to knitting, but they can be very successful if the right design and yarn arc chosen.


Where a hem and a facing meet, or between an edging and a front band, a mitered corner may be the neatest solution. For this you need to increase or decrease to make a 45-degree angle. Shaping on alternate rows in garter stitch or moss stitch produces this angle almost perfectly. In stockinette, achieving the correct angle may entail shaping on a mixture of alternate rows and every row, because the stitches are wider than they are tall.

▲ Here, the garter-stitch edging and front band form a neatly mitered corner.


A knitted hem can be turned up and slip stitched in the same way as a woven fabric hem. This can be bulky, and the folded edge may spread, so it's preferable to make a neat knitted-in hem.

► With smaller needles than for the main fabric, cast on fairly loosely using the loop method. Work the depth of the hem in stockinette stitch.

Mark the fold with a ridge by working a row out of sequence

- either three purl rows or three knit rows, the center row of the three making the ridge. Change to the needles for the main fabric and continue in stockinette stitch until the depth from the ridge matches that of the hem, ending with a purl row. To join the hem on the next row, fold the hem up behind the main fabric, then knit together the first stitch from the left needle with the first stitch from the cast-on edge. Continue in this way to the end of the row.


A very attractive way to mark the fold of a hem Is to work a row of eyelets, which, when the hem is turned up, makes a row of well-defined picots. Work to the depth of the hem, ending with a wrong-side row. If the work contains an odd number of stitches, work the next row: ki, *yo, k2tog; rep from * to end. Over an even number of stitches, begin the row k2.

Instead of making edgings in rib or garter stitch, you can make hems or facings for a more substantial double-fabric finish.

Fastenings 35


Unlike ribbon or fabric, a knitted stockinette facing will be flexible and a perfect color match. For the front edges of a jacket or cardigan, the facing is best worked in one with the main part. To ensure that the facing folds on the same stitch along its length, slip this stitch on every right-side row.

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