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Saddle Shoulders and Steam Blocking

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Zip Neck Saddle Shoulder

Yarn Patons Canadiana Yarn in Lime Juice

I did it. I finally reached the top of my knitted-at-the-same-time sleeves.

Saddle shoulders are funny old things. Because of the construction, you end up knitting these skinny little strips of fabric that hang off the tops of your sleeves and look really strange to anyone who’s only ever done raglan or set-in sleeves before.

The next step is to sew the sleeves to the front and back and then start picking up stitches for the neck.

I’m not a huge fan of sewing and am always looking for ways to make it easier. So, first, a quick anecdote, and then a tip.

My Sister The Seamstress

My sister, who has been sewing since her teens, called me up one day with this startled discovery:

“When I’m making clothes, I have to cut and seam and sew and all that. But when you knit, it’s like you have to make the fabric first and THEN do all the sewing!!”

She was appalled. For her it’s all about the sewing. For me, and, I suspect, with many knitters, the sewing is merely an unfortunate after-effect of knitting things in more than one piece.

(But don’t worry, dear readers, I have brought my sister over to our side; she recently completed a hat and is working on a vest.)

Blocking And Seaming

Any experienced knitter will tell you that no amount of blocking can prevent stocking stitch from rolling up at the edges. And that’s true.

But a little bit of steam blocking can even out an edge for long enough for you to sew it into submission.

Consider this sleeve, rolling inward at the edges:

Seaming Sleeves

How was I ever going to keep everything straight and sew it up? I could baste/tack it together and see how it looked, then fiddle with it, unpick and tack again.

But I am lazy and hate to spend perfectly good knitting time unpicking sewing.

So I took my steam iron and held it just above the edges, straightening them out with the merest suggestion of a touch from the iron and my fingers – being careful, of course, not to run over the rib stitches and flatten all that nice texture down.

Sure, I ran the risk of suffering some nasty steam burns, but hey, it’s more exciting than sewing!

And now, look at the lovely straight edges I have, ready for pinning and sewing.

Seaming Sleeves

Wish me luck as I try to embrace my inner seamstress, sulky and resentful as she is.

Next up: knitting the collar and wrangling the zip!