In case you missed it, we released our latest mitten in the Year of Mittens yesterday, the January Mittens. These mittens feature a picot folded cuff for optimum warmth and beautiful Latvian-inspired colorwork on the top of hand. We put together a photo tutorial for you demonstrating how to work the sew as you go method employed in the pattern. Not just for mittens, this method can also be used by those of you who don't want to use a provisional cast on when working any sort of folded brim or hem!
The Sew-As-You-Go method allows the knitter to join an edge of their fabric to live stitches to create a hem or pleat. For those of you who are machine knitters, this technique should look familiar as it is often used in machine knitting to join two pieces of fabric to create a seam, pleat, cuff, or other element of garment construction.
In order to join the two pieces, you will pick up and knit the cast on edge together with the live stitches on your needle. When casting on, be sure to keep your stitches even, loose, and tidy. An overly tight or messy cast on will only cause you trouble when you are trying to pick up and knit into the edge. Once you have worked the inside of the hem (shown in grey), you will work a turning round, commonly either a purl ridge or picot (as shown in the pattern). Then the outside hem is worked, in this case in a contrasting color (shown in dark teal).
SEW AS YOU GO
SET UP / Prior to joining the pieces, your work will look like this. When folded, the (yo, k2tog) turning ridge creates a sweet little picot effect which will be sewn together on the following round.
STEP 1 / Fold the inside hem to the inside of the work, lining up the first cast on stitch with the first stitch of the round.
STEP 2 / Insert your needle into the first stitch of the round, as usual.
STEP 3 / Insert your needle into the first cast on stitch of the inside hem from front to back.
STEP 4 / Wrap the working yarn around your needle and pull it through the fabric, just like picking up and knitting for a button band or collar.
STEP 5 / Complete the knit stitch on the front hem.
Now your hem is joined, and you have one completed stitch on your right hand needle. Continue to work the stitches around in this manner, being sure not to skip any cast on stitches!
And that's it! This technique is a great way to avoid working a provisional cast on for a folded brim, but still gives you the extra warmth and comfort of a folded cuff. It would also be great as the cuffs on a sleeve, sweater hem, or even baby pants!