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Norah’s Knits: Knitting in the Round

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When I first learned how to knit I was pretty frustrated when it came to sewing a sweater together. A fairly accomplished seamstress, I assumed that I should put the right sides of my pieces together and sew with the wrong sides facing me, like you would when sewing a blouse. Being a bit of a perfectionist at the time (I have TRIED to relax a bit since) I had an adverse reaction to how sloppy my seams looked. I decided I really disliked sewing seams.

For the next few years I knit everything in the round. My love of circular needles, whether knitting in the round or not, undoubtably came out of this period of my knitting history.  Although, I never did learn to like double pointed needles.

Somewhere along the line I learned about using the mattress stitch to weave seams together. I love (love, love) this method for two reasons:

1 – The right sides are facing, so I can see what I am doing. Yep, always a plus!

2 – There is a lot less guesswork. I know which thread to use when and exactly where to put my sewing needle.

If you haven’t  been weaving seams together, check out these videos in the Berroco learning center. Start with the mattress stitch.

Circular knitting is very popular these days, and I suspect it’s mostly because other knitters dislike seaming as much as I used to. There is something to be said though, for knitting around and around and having minimal finishing to do, so I have been going back to my roots and designing more pieces in the round. Here are a few you might like.

ng9_zazanna_lg ng7_aquamarina_D_lgng11_linea_lg

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Adie #

    You are making me CONSIDER seaming. It just seems so taxing and tedious…. Your work is beautiful!

    February 18, 2013
    • norahgaughan #

      Thanks for the compliment. Learning the mattress stitch is VERY empowering!

      February 18, 2013
  2. Sue Jackson #

    I’ve just returned to knitting after too many years away. I happen to love your Berroco yarn (so far, 2 vests, 3 cowls, 1 sweater, numerous scarves.) My knitting shop encouraged me to learn the mattress stitch for seams. I love the process! As you said, you do it from the right side and it is almost invisible. Years ago, my seams were either too tight or too loose and nothing looked right or smooth. My jacket/sweater out of Berroco Vintage – oat color – that I just finished is fantastic and I’m very proud of the seams. thanks…….sue

    February 18, 2013
    • norahgaughan #

      Wow, it’s great to hear how much you like Berroco yarns and thanks for backing up my love of sewing seams from the outside! Do you have your projects posted on Ravelry? We’d love to see them.

      February 18, 2013
      • Sue Jackson #

        Sorry… they’re not posted. I’m not computer literate enough to post pictures. One of these days I’ll figure that out.

        February 19, 2013
  3. Pamela Kirschman #

    i am a huge fan of knitting in the round and have always hated seaming. but that mattress stitch tutorial makes me want to knit a sweater in pieces just to try it out. ok, maybe not a full sweater, but i have to try it it looks so great! 39 years of knitting, and no one ever suggested the mattress stitch. i feel like i’ve been knitting in a cave… love your designs too!!!

    February 19, 2013
    • norahgaughan #

      Thanks so much for your kind words!

      February 19, 2013
  4. Norah – I can SO relate to your first paragraph. I, too am a perfectionist and would not rest until I knew how to do almost everything in the round; however, I was given a pattern to knit sweaters for underpriviledged children and the pattern is simple (a front and back) but you have to SEAM them together – YIKES! Your blog has given me hope. I’m going to try the videos and maybe get past my seam-phobia!

    March 2, 2013
    • norahgaughan #

      Good luck! I know you’ll be happy with your new power once you learn this stitch.

      March 2, 2013
  5. Brenda #

    I used to hate seaming too. I even converted your “Baby Poonam” sweater to knit in the round http://www.ravelry.com/projects/goodstuff/baby-poonam
    But I’ve since taken a few finishing classes and now don’t mind seaming at all. I even tackle set-in sleeves :-)
    Thanks for all the great patterns, Norah!

    March 9, 2013
    • norahgaughan #

      I am happy to hear that your story parallels mine. Thanks for the kind words too!

      March 9, 2013

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