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cuffs to her lower sleeves with pins, then fold the cuffs up to hide the attachment. I filed this beautiful moment away in my mind and will use this inspiration at some time, maybe to design a set of removable collar and cuffs, perhaps using snaps or buttons.

Collars Collars come in all shapes and sizes. They can be narrow and prim, fluttery and seductive, or huge and cozy. Collar edges can butt together or their ends can overlap. Stitches for collars can be picked up, or collars can be knitted separately and sewn on. Once you start thinking about collars, you will see inspiration everywhere in garments of all kinds. A plain, unshaped rectangle is woefully inadequate for a collar. As I will describe below, the neckline edge, where the collar meets the back neck, is best if curved. And the pointed tips can be shaped slightly as well so that the collar sits better around the neck. ATTACHING COLLARS There are several ways to join a collar to the neckline of a knitted garment. Consider which method best suits your type of collar. Since the ridge formed by the row where stitches are picked up can be visible where a collar is attached, I like it to appear as neat as possible, or be hidden if possible. A visible ridge may not even be an issue, but I like to consider it. Similarly, if you sew on a collar, consider how the ridge formed by sewing will present itself—to the right side or the wrong side.

SEWING ON A COLLAR My favorite way to sew on a collar is a two-part process that makes the job easier. It also adds a little detail to the neckline where the collar joins the body of the sweater. Step 1 Edge the neckline with a ridge of reverse stockinette stitch. Pick up the necessary stitches to edge the neckline, knit the wrong side, purl the right side, then bind off on the wrong side in knit. Step 2 With the right side of the collar facing, and the wrong side of the neckline edge facing, pin the collar in place, butting the curved edge along the ridge formed by the picked up stitches. Sew the collar fairly loosely to the ridge beneath the rolled trim. In this method, the trim adds firmness to the neckline edge, so the collar can sit loosely and naturally, without a tight and binding join.

In order to make sewing on this collar (see page 105) easier, and at the same time add detail and color to the neckline edge, I first worked a small roll of reverse stockinette stitch. Then I pinned the collar in place at the base of this trim and sewed the collar to the ridge formed by the picked-up stitches.

PICKING UP STITCHES When you pick up stitches along a neck edge, you have to decide whether you want to pick up with the right side facing or wrong side facing, or a combination of the two. When you pick up from the right side, the ridge formed by the picked-up stitches is to the inside of the sweater. This works best with small collars where the join can be seen, and those where the collar will not be open, revealing the ridge. When you pick up from the wrong side, the ridge formed by the picked-up stitches will be visible on the outside of the sweater. This works best with large collars that will fold over and cover the ridge, for the neatest appearance. If a collar is to be worn open with the pick-up row visible, then it’s best if the ridge is not seen. In some cases I pick up the front sections of the collar stitches from the right side, and the back neck with the wrong side facing. This alters the way the picked-up row is seen in each section.

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Profile for Sixth&Spring Books

Finishing School  

Master knitter and designer Deborah Newton takes you step by step through the ins-and-outs of blocking, seaming, edgings, embellishments and...

Finishing School  

Master knitter and designer Deborah Newton takes you step by step through the ins-and-outs of blocking, seaming, edgings, embellishments and...

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