Would you like to make a shoulder seam (or any other horizontal seam) in a few simple steps without a wool needle? Me too. That’s why I’ve got quite excited when I found this little technique in an extraordinary book “Unexpected Knitting” by Debbie New.
She calls it “3-needle bind off on two needles” – a clean name for a fairly simple 4-step way to join open stitches with an attractive seam that is not too stretchy (perfect for shoulder seams!).
Let’s see how it works.
As usual, I made a video tutorial that shows each step up-close. If you are a visual learner, click here to watch the video.
I also added links to the headings. Each link leads to a section of the video that shows what happens in that part of the instructions.
The seam is worked on open stitches, so there is no need to bind off stitches once you finish knitting the pieces that should be seamed. Simply keep the stitches on a spare needle, a stitch holder or a piece of scrap yarn.
Make sure the yarn tail on one of the pieces is about four times longer than the length of the future seam.
When you are ready to join the stitches, transfer each group of stitches to a knitting needle, so that the points of both needles meet when you put the pieces next to each other with the right side of the work facing to you, as it is shown in the photo below.
Arrange pieces so that the long yarn tail is between them.
Now take the needle on the right in your right hand and the needle on the left in your left hand.
That’s it. We are all set.
To begin the seam, knit the first stitch on the left needle using the long yarn tail as your working yarn. Then pass the first unknit stitch on the right needle over the stitch you’ve just knit and off the right needle.
This way we join the first stitches of the two pieces and bind off one stitch. Now we can move on to join the rest of the stitches.
Insert the left needle from right to left into the two first stitches on the right needle, and slip these stitches to the left needle.
Insert the right needle from left to right (knitwise) into the very first stitch on the left needle, and slip this stitch back to the right needle.
Knit two first stitches on the left needle together.
Now pass the second stitch on the right needle over the first one and off the right needle.
Repeat these four steps until you join all stitches of one piece to the stitches of the other piece and you only have one stitch left on the right needle.
Then pass the yarn tail through the last loop and pull tight to secure the yarn.
The seam that we just created is almost invisible. If you prefer to have a more decorative seam, place the pieces so that the wrong side of the work is facing to you before you start making the seam. Then follow instructions for the “starting point” and “steps 1 through 4”.
The resulting seam will be more vivid with a distinctive ridge at the top of the seam. It is perfect for knits with trendy “inside-out seam” look.
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.
Dealing with Unfinished Projects
Dictionary of Knitting Symbols and Abbreviations – E-Book
Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified
How to Shape Neckline Without Binding Off Stitches – E-Book