Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sewing Knitted Hems in Place

Socks with a picot hem (this version is knit top down but it does show the effect of a hem).

The free pattern is here

I love when my knitting group asks me questions because I'm always astounded at how much I know already and how much more there is to learn when I research the questions. I think that's the reason I've been knitting for so long yet I never gotten bored with the process.

Miss A asked me about how to sew down a hem at the top of a toe up pair of socks. I've done bottom up hems that you close up by knitting the stitches together but I've never done a hem at the top before. I immediately went to my Vogue knitting book (you all have a technical reference book of course and if you don't please get one). There are also some great on-line resources and for this topic please look at Her site is fabulous and her illustrations are amazing.

My Vogue book showed the hem being whip stitched in place but they also had a herringbone stitch variation that I will have to test on a sample. I have a few other quick tips on this topic. I would change to a smaller needle size after completing the turning row (usually one row of purl stitches in a stocking stitch pattern) to be sure the inside hem is slightly smaller than the outside if your project.One, after completing your cast off row keep a long tail to do the sewing with rather than start with another strand of yarn and then having more ends to darn in. I would turn the sock inside out and use hair clips or paper clips to hold the hem in place and lightly steam to flatten the knitting out before starting to sew. I would follow one row of stitches to use to sew into on the body of the sock being careful not to stitch to tightly and I would work into a single loop of each alternate stitch of the cast off row. Does anyone have any more good tips to share?

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