Sewing seams with backstitch

When you join knitted pieces by using backstitch, you sew them together in the conventional manner: right sides together with your tapestry needle moving in and out along the seam line. Try to maintain a knitterly frame of mind and, when possible, work the stitches consistently — either in the trough of running threads between the first two stitches when you're working vertically or along the same row of stitches when you're working with a horizontal edge.

^ To help you keep your needle going in and out of the right slot between stitches, run a few strands of sewing thread in a bright color along the seam ■ joj 1 line — in and out of running threads or in and out of a row of stitches. Pull it out after you complete your seam.

Follow these steps to complete the backstitch:

1. Pin the pieces right sides together.

If you haven't counted rows and one piece is slightly longer or wider than the other, you have to ease in the extra fabric so the pieces begin and end in the same place. If you blocked the front and back to the same dimensions, they should line up fairly well even if one piece has more rows than the other.

  1. With a tapestry needle and yarn, bring the needle from the bottom up through both layers 1 stitch in from the edge. Go around the edge, come out in the same spot to secure the end of the yarn, and bring the bottom edges of the pieces together.
  2. Go around again and come out 1 stitch farther up from the initial stitch, as shown in Figure 16-19a.
  3. Insert the needle back through the initial stitch and bring the tip out through both layers again, a few stitches from where it last came out, as shown in Figure 16-19b.

5. Continue in this manner — going forward, coming back — and keep an even tension.

Bring your needle in and out in the spaces between stitches and avoid splitting the working yarn as well. Also give your knitting a gentle stretch as you work to keep it flexible.

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