No Seaming Required

Waterrock Vest

I have just nearly completed a nice little vest, Waterrock.  This vest is knitted bottom up and in the round.  One reason that I love this project is that there is no sewing!  Yes, like many of you, it seems like the finishing of a project (weaving in ends, sewing and blocking) seem to be a hassle.  I have had more than one project languish in the corner of my craft closet waiting for the finishing touches.  The worst for me is seaming.  I am not sure why, because though I really love to sew on a sewing machine; I do not like to seam knitted projects. It is a selling point for me, therefore, to select a pattern that has as few seams as possible.

It is a selling point for me, therefore, to select a pattern that has as few seams as possible.  The Waterrock Vest filled the bill.  Knitted from the bottom up, there are no side seams.  There are, however, seams at the shoulders.  With this particular pattern, the seams are joined with a three needle bind off.  I love this seaming technique.  It is faster than seaming and the stitches lie flat and present a nice tidy finish.  It is a great choice for shoulder seams, hats, and socks, because it results in a strong seam. The only disadvantage is that the v’s are not precisely lined up.  If there is a pattern, I find this is less noticeable.  The only technique that looks better is the Kitchener Stitch, a grafting technique which results in no seam at all.  I will leave that for a later time.

Three needle bind off at shoulder seam

Now, let’s talk about how to do the three needle bind off.   The steps are pretty straight forward.  Below are written directions provided by New Stitch a Day.

Technique Instructions

  • Step 1: Take two pieces of fabric and place them right sides facing each other.
  • Step 2: Take a third needle and slide it into the first stitch “knit-wise” on the needle closest to you.
  • Step 3: Take the third needle and slide it into the first stitch “knit-wise” on the second needle.
  • Step 4: Wrap the working yarn around the third needle.
  • Step 5: Pull the stitch through both stitches (as if they are one stitch).
  • Step 6: Pull the stitches off the two needles creating one on the third needle. Repeat once.
  • Step 7: Take the first stitch on the third needle and slip it over the second.
  • Repeat steps 2 – 7 until you have bound off all stitches.

For those of you who would like a visual, this is a great slow-motion video of the three-needle bind off by Very Pink Knitting.

If you are considering a pattern with a three needle bind off, I hope you will give it a try.  The next step in my Waterrock Vest project is to knit an Icord edge on the neckline and sleeves.  It will give a soft, rounded finish.  That will be next week’s topic.