The Yarnologue

WIP: Seaming Stripy Noro Top

My Multidirectional Cap Sleeve Top is moving along swiftly.

IMG_4742The pattern is from the second issue of Noro Knitting Magazine. Look for the print magazine at your local yarn store, or find the digital pattern on Patternfish or Ravelry.

I posted this picture on Facebook and Instagram over the weekend looking for opinions on how to join the side seam.

The top is constructed by knitting the center panels, then picking up stitches along the side and knitting out, while also using short-rows to shape the sleeves. You are instructed to bind-off and sew a seam.

IMG_4745Here’s another picture of the top with the stitches divided over two needles. You can see both the construction and the sleeve better.

My question was, “Can you think of a reason NOT to use a three-needle bind off instead?”

Most people said I should go for it! It appears that many knitters are, like myself, seaming adverse.

There were concerns about a three-needle bind off being bulky. Compared to a mattress stitch, a three-needle bind off can have more bulk. However, since this seam would be worked over bound off stitches, you’ll have bulk either way.

Our FB fan Patty suggested:

Why not do the Kitchner weave up to the arm holes and then do your bind off on the arm section. You would eleminate any bulk.

I hadn’t thought of that, but after consideration I was worried about how long to leave the tail and dropped the idea. (Of course, you could use the tail at the other end of the ball instead.)

Pat at Kirtland’s Yarn Barn said:

I did this and used a 3 needle bid off, had no problems. I found the neck on this much to wide for my body, so before finishing the neck edges, try on and see if it will stay on your shoulders, might have to add some rows around the neck to be comfortable wearing

While our fan Jean said:

I’ve done the three-needle bind-off in situations like this many times with never an unfortunate result. It makes a firm yet flexible seam every time.

The fact other people have used it in this situation gave me confidence to proceed.

I divided all the stitches between two needles. Using interchangable needles made it simple. Once the stitches were moved I just had to swap the tips from one end to the other, rather than fussing around to get them in the proper position! For my third needle I used a US8, instead of the US7 I used to knit the top, to help keep the cast off from getting tight.

After some fussing around, I decided to hold the right/public sides facing so the bulk of the seam is on the inside.

Putting the ridge on the inside also helped me dodge Kelly’s concern about the colors:

I also don’t like using a three needle bind off with Noro because the colors are so hard to match so the seam tends to stand out so much with a three needle BO. however, this top is very contrasty, so it may look great


IMG_4746I worked the three-needle bind off up to the markers for the underarm, then switched to working a regular cast off for the stitches around the sleeve. For that section I worked from the front toward the back, so any jog would be harder to see.

IMG_4747Here is the sweater laid out flat. Working the three needle bind off was quick and easy. I think it looks rather lovely.

See a pictures showing how to work a three-needle bind off.

See an example of using the three-needle bind off on a shoulder seam.

I’m using Noro Koromo yarn color 2 for my top. See all the Noro Koromo colors.

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