The Phony Seam
My friend Gerda designed a darling little washcloth that’s knit in the round (so you can put a bar of soap in the middle of it). In order to make it lay flat, Gerda used an Elizabeth Zimmermann technique called a phony seam.
I think I’m going to use it on the next top-down sweater I make. I swatched it to see how hard it was. The answer? Not hard at all!
Here’s how you do it:
Decide where you want the seam to be and mark that stitch with a coil-less stitch marker. Work to that stitch and drop it from your left needle and let it unravel down to row 1. (In her directions for the phony seam in Knitting Without Tears, EZ says “This of course, makes a monstrous runner.” As always, she couldn’t be more right on!)
Using a crochet hook, pick the “ladders” of the dropped stitch up again, but instead of picking up each ladder individually, as you would do to repair a dropped stitch, pick up two ladders together, and then one ladder, repeating this seq uence until you have picked up all the ladders. When you get to the top of the piece, place the stitch back on the needle and bind off, or continue working as your pattern instructs you to.
Here are photos of my swatch before and after I practiced the phony seam. Isn’t that the coolest?
|Here’s the finished seam; it’s barely discernible.|
So I think I’ll use this technique to give my seamless sweaters a bit of stability—and this is really so easy that even those of you who can’t stomach seaming should try it.