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Stabilizing Tea Leaves

July 7

If you follow my blog, you’ve read about my experiment to add stability to top-down seamless sweaters (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Here’s how I’m applying my experiment to the Tea Leaves Cardigan, shown here in a photo from the pattern; note the gathered yoke pattern, which is where I’ll hide the shoulder seams:


The first step was to cast on partway down into the neck edging pattern, so future picked-up stitches would reinforce the neckline. Then I identified where the fake shoulder seams would go, increased one stitch before and one stitch after each seam, and marked the seam with markers.:


I worked the pattern as written, except that I knit between the seam markers on the RS and purled them on the WS.

Here’s the seam in progress:


When the seam got to be about 2-1/2″ long I ended it. If you look closely at the top of the seam you can see that I used a ssk and k2tog to decrease away the seam stitches so may stitch count once again matched the pattern:


The next step was to use the mattress stitch to sew up the seam. On the WS it looks like this; you can see how it will prevent the shoulders from stretching out:


I was happy to see that from the RS, the seam is undetectable:



Here’s what the piece looks like now that I’ve worked the yoke and some of the body. There’s no seam in sight, and you’d never know the stitches around the neck had been picked up and worked upward. The neck and shoulder treatments should give me a nice stable sweater that won’t stretch out:



Super-pretty stitch markers are made by my friend Laurie. They are great because the don’t catch on the yarn, like some stitch markers do. Plus they are fun and sparkly. She sells them through her Lima Pop Shoppe.

Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre.

8 Comments to

“Stabilizing Tea Leaves”

  1. On July 9th, 2014 at 9:42 pm Christina Tolomei Says:

    This is super useful. What is the pretty pink yarn you’re using? It looks so lusciously wonderful.

  2. On July 9th, 2014 at 9:44 pm Chris Says:

    What is the amazing pink yarn? Must have. <3

  3. On July 9th, 2014 at 11:09 pm Rosa Says:

    I love this pattern. Flattering and feminine and will look great knitted with my dark Wensledale yarn. This will also look great with quality yarn . Thank you for sharing and can’t wait to get it on the needles.

  4. On July 10th, 2014 at 6:15 am AudKnits Says:

    I apologize for the odd color in the photograph. The yarn isn’t really pink – it has shades of rust, oranges and violets. The yarn is Madelinetosh “Tosh Vintage” in the Amber Trinket colorway.

  5. On July 10th, 2014 at 8:30 am Jill C Says:

    Brilliant! I have this sweater in my queue and will definitely use this technique!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. On July 10th, 2014 at 7:23 pm Nell Says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share this very clever technique. I’m adding your blog to my reading list!!

  7. On July 25th, 2014 at 11:47 am Laurie (Moo!) Says:

    Playing Blog Catch-up! Thanks for showing off the markers. I’m so glad you like them and they look lovely with Amber Trinket! Fascinating technique for stabilization. I prefer top-down sweaters and holding shape is so very important.

  8. On December 1st, 2014 at 3:18 pm Micki Says:

    What great timing. I have been looking for some ideas to create a shawl moebius pattern.

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