Still in LA. Missing spouse, cat, bird feeders. Loving lads, weather, the newness of being in a different place for a bit.
I’ve had a run-in with another pile of Noro at The Little Knittery.
Three fat wheels of Noro Ito, color 38 Gamagori, are rapidly turning into a little cardigan, Jessamine by Rosemary Drysdale. It’s the cover design for Noro Knitting Magazine, Issue 19, and it’s a quick job.
Bobbles are a weakness of mine, and I liked the look of a bunch of ever-changing, everlasting gobstoppers.
The pattern is funny because it says to leave stitches on a holder when you finish the shoulders and back pieces, but it never specifies how those live stitches are supposed to be worked. It says “sew shoulder seams.” That’s all.
I don’t know how you’d sew up a bunch of live stitches with a backstitch or mattress stitch seam. I’m just not that good.
Kitchener stitch was the obvious gambit here, given that Ito is a hefty yarn, and a seam along the shoulders would be on the bulky side.
I decided to test myself and see if I could work Kitchener stitch without looking up the steps.
After two decades of spotty Kitchener experience, I am proud to announce that I did it! I spontaneously Kitchenered!
Two Kitchener Tips
The goal with Kitchener stitch is to join two pieces of knitting so that the result has no seam at all—two pieces of knitting connect with a smooth flow of stockinette stitch. It’s one of knitting’s great tricks, created by using a tapestry needle and yarn to stitch a connecting row.
Here’s a perfect little video tutorial from Jen Arnall-Culliford, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about.
Tip No. 1: Do not stop. Overconfidence is where you can really blow it. Once you start a Kitchener seam, do nothing but Kitchenering until you are done. Don’t check your phone. Don’t have a TV show on. Don’t think about what snack would be tasty right about now.
The four steps are really simple, but the minute you look away, the whole thing turns into a mess and it’s hard to know where to start back in.
I think Kitchener gets a bad name because everybody’s just distracted and buying a refrigerator on their phone and texting their daughters and imagining a trip to Italy while simultaneously working a faked-up row of knitting.
Tip No. 2: Let it be ugly. Don’t stress over how the stitches look as you’re working the four steps of Kitchener stitch. They’ll likely be wonky and uneven.
It’s easy to go back once you’re done—after you’ve got those Funyuns in a bowl and Season 3, Episode 7 of My Brilliant Friend is streaming.
With the tapestry needle, snug up all the weirdies and pinchies and generally misshapen stitches. The slack vanishes off the edge once you work your way across the row.
Really pleased with the way this is looking.
Which row is the Kitchener? Only your hairdresser knows for sure.
Next up: sleeves. (Note the Highland coo art. Makes me wish for Scotland!)