May 02, 2006

"Argh. This sweater had better be worth it."

Said the Rabbit to Monsieur Le Hubby as she spent TWO FREAKING hours sewing on a loooooooooooong neckband to the Holey Twisty Sweater* this morning.

Free-loop backstitch, anyone?
[Psst...don't miss the SLIDESHOW.]

We're almost there, people. I have knit the (seemingly) miles-long neckband separately and am sewing it on using free-loop backstitch on the right side of the work. I don't always use this technique, even when the pattern calls for it, but it's a good alternative to picking up stitches and knitting on a neckband in certain situations. [Read more about when I like to use the free-loop backstitching technique here.] I decided to do it for this sweater because:

1) The border of the neck is too uneven and holey and, as a result, will not make for a nice foundation row for picking up stitches. This is the main reason why.

2) I'll be able to do the tubular cast on for 2x2 rib so the neckband edge will match the hem and cuffs. This is just a plus, though. If I had picked up stitches for the neckband, I would have done a tubular bind-off for 2x2 rib, like I did for the knit-on neckband of a sweater I knit for Monsieur Le Hubby a while back.

thumb.jpgI taught myself to do free-loop backstitch on the right side of the work by looking at the dinky little illustration provided in all Phildar pattern books while sewing a collar onto a sweater I knit for my Captain Destructo when he was a toddler, but I know that there are excellent instructions for it in Katharina Buss's Big Book of Knitting. Instead of rehashing what Ms. Buss has already explained in an excellent manner, why don't I just share another slideshow of photos I took during this morning as I sewed on this looooooooooooooooong neckband to the Twisty Sweater? I'll add my own personal tips that I've come up with over time to make the technique easier for me. Okay? Okay.

*I've re-christianed this sweater the "Twisty Sweater", because all those little faux twisty cables in the stitch pattern cause the WHOLE sweater to twist around slightly. I noticed this bizarre twisty action when I tried the sweater on my mannequin, so I'm going to give the sweater another major blocking session when I'm finished sewing on the neckband. Sigh. I feel a letter coming on....

Dear Twisty Sweater,

I wish I could bill someone for all the time I've spent working on you because I'd get a helluva productivity bonus at the end of the year if I did.


President of "I Sure Could Use a Margarita" Finishing Club, Lyon Chapter

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36 comments to this entry:

Thanks for the close ups! The neckline really has such a wonderful finished look. I think I'm sold on this since I get pretty crabby when the picking up of stitches can be uneven despite my best efforts.
That neckline is absolutely gorgeous! It will be so worth it! And thanks for the technical tips. Great stuff!
bookmarked that puppy! thanks for the slideshow..baybee. Hey. again. It's Buss or Bust. Buss in 2008! ahem.
Ooh, it looks so pretty. I'm really looking forward to the dancing shots!
oh it's so close!! i've never tried free loop backstitch.. it looks much better than picking up stitches for sure!
That looks sooooo tedious! You need a mondo margarita for this neck band. I need a major dose of patience before I can do that with a neckband. Seeing as my seaming is already taking twice as long as knitting the sweater, I'll skip all sweaters with an uneven or holey neck area!!!
Liberty and I are incredibly sympathetic to you and the effort required for Twisty. The edging does look lovely, so hopefully the final result will be worth it!
You are doing an excellent job with these necklines! You should get a medal for your patience with Twisty!
Nice slideshow, can't wait to see the FO. ;)
I will be studying your technique when I get to that point. (If I ever start it :) )
I've never used this technique before ... your slideshow is such a clear instruction. Thanks!
cannot wait to see it done. wow, that's some mad skillz there with that neckband!
Oooh, thanks for sharing your "how to attach the neckband tips" - you've done a fantastically neat job. I really like it and know I'll use it later. Hmm, seems like this job calls for a pitcher of margaritas :)
I think it will be another winner for your wardrobe, Becky! I used free-loop backstitch on a toddler sweater, after seeing you do it once a while back. It makes such a nice neckline.
What a great job! Even though I'm sure it was tedious... Can't wait to see the it enfin.
You've said it before and I've thought before... I NEED that Big Book of Knitting! Having recently grafted a ruffle on a blanket (two sets of unbound stitches, about 110 stitches long) and a ruffly on a sweater (open stitches to cast-on edge, also about 110 sts), I feel your pain! But I have to say your back stitch creates a nice little pattern along the seam.
Sure the sweater looks great so far, but let's talk margaritas. I had margaritas in Baja with Damiana (sp?). Yum yum yum...can't find it here--YET!
But it is going to be GORGEOUS when you are done. The finishing on the neckband is so perfect. I'm so in love with your sweater. :)
Wowee - lookin' good - really good!
I have never tried that technique. It sure produces a nice, neat finish on the front side. Looks great. I can't wait to see this finished!
*shake shake* What kind of margarita?
Rabbit finishing is second to none! I expect whack dancing to commence immediately upon blocking that Twisty sweater to show it who's boss!
the neckline looks great. Thanks for the tutorial too. I love the first cabled sweater you made for your son, just beautiful as well as the sweater for Monsier Le Hubby. I love them both! Keep up the fortitude on Twisty/Holey, you're almost there!
Totally great tutorial and thanks for the closeups of the seaming. I like the way your mind thinks! Hope the next post is Skinny Rabbit wearing this Holey Sweater.
you've definitely given me some info to add to my knitting arsenal. Thanks, hon.
And it's only a neckband. What about an edging for the front opening of that wrap cardie you did (and I did!) just prior to you starting school? I didn't do it in one sitting (keeps the frustration level down). I didn't like doing it then and I still don't like doing it now. I know, I know practice makes perfect. Excellent job as always!
hi becky, great pictures... esp the tutorial! I had a question about the twisty/holey sweater- i sort of want to make this sweater - my mother brought the pattern book back after a trip to paris. She also picked me up some phildar oxygene at the time... i've been thinking about subbing the oxygene for the quietude in this pattern...i have a feeling that wouldn't work out but i've never seen quietude up close and personal.... do you have any thoughts on the difference in the two yarns? thanks!
Oooooh aaaaaahhhhh- me likey the backstitch. I think I may have a whack at that for version 2.0 of my soon to be ripped out cardigan collar band...
Oh, forgot to mention- the twisting is an added feature. If you were billing, you could charge extra for that!
Becky, that neckline is a thing of beauty. Truly. You are MYKU! Maybe you should come her and be MMKU. I have a neckline coming up that might need taming. ;-)
A beautiful sweater! And a great picture show of how you sew the neckband on! That's something I don't mind doing, but it's always tricky... And I find it harder with the additionnal rows you unknit as you sew, so I just put all the stitches on some contrasting yarn and try not to sew that yarn along with the neckband (which has happened...) The frog is beautiful too!!! Where did you find the pattern for that?
oh-oh twisty sweater. Looks like its back to the blocking board you go! You better learn how to make some darn fine margaritas mr twisty!
Watching you put all that work into the neckband has scared the pants off me. And I was so keen to knit that sweater. Hmmm... if I attempt it, I might need a bartender to go with the margaritas!
I think you can, I think you can, I think you can! You're almost there Rabbit, and we're all waiting (impatiently) to see the finished masterpiece!
Oh my, you have tenacity. I am thinking that maybe I am not a knitter after all! Mia
I'm thinking Katharina's editors should hire you to record a how-to video of finishing techniques that they could include in the next edition. Thanks for another enlightening tutorial, Madame Empress of Finishers!

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