Knowing how to crochet does little good when you can't turn your flat rectangles or circles into a finished piece. Seaming is kind of a big deal. It's important that you use the seaming method that gives you the best results. A great looking crocheted piece will look really crappy if the seaming isn't done well. Also, since the seams hold everything together you have to make sure that you do a really good job of securing the seams so nothing falls apart.
Before you seam up any project, you should block it. This is especially important if the piece will be worn, should be a certain size, or if your stitching doesn't look even or has a curling problem. Our wrist warmers really didn't require blocking, but any garments you make or granny squares that have turned out a bit wonky will need to be blocked before you seam them so they will turn out the best that they can be. The annoying thing about blocking is that once you wash an item, you could have to block it again to make it look its best. This can be a problem if you blocked all of the squares in a king size afghan before you seamed them and then needed to wash it, how will you block a king size blanket?
Blocking can be done by pinning the piece out to the finished dimensions described in the pattern then steaming it, or misting it lightly with water and letting it dry. Here is a blocking video I made a few months back (you can tell it's pretty poor quality) that shows how to block a wonky square. The same principles would apply for any other item that needed blocking. I don't think you need to block everything, but I do think it makes finished pieces look more professional so do whatever you feel is best for you.
There are many different seams out there. I'm only going to touch on a few in this class. These will be the most important to you regarding what we have learned so far. I will save other seams for the beyond the basics crochet school but will direct you to more resources for seaming at the end of this lesson.
There are two areas of a crocheted piece that can be seamed; the finished edge and the side. You could end up having to seam up any combination of these two types of edges.
The finished edge will either be the left-over part of the foundation chain or the v's from the last row or round of a piece. These are really easy to seam up because each stitch is easy to see. These are the seams that we will talk about in this lesson.
Why aren't we going to talk about seaming up sides? To be completely honest, in all my years of crocheting I have had to seam something up the side once and it wasn't pretty. I went searching for tutorials so I could brush up on seaming the sides, and I couldn't find one good one. All the videos were of such a bad quality that I coudn't see the stitches and the books I have found only show this for single crochet swatches, not all the other stitches and if you think about it single crochet is easy to seam on the side because the stitches are so close together. Once you get the holes made from dc and so on, how does seaming up the side work? Trying to prepare to teach you all just left me more confused. I want to give you exhaustive answers on this and if I can't even find the answers myself that's not cool. So I'm on a mission to perfect my knowledge of seaming up the side. This will require will require teaching a huge lesson just on seaming up the side in the future. So for right now, I'm just going to teach you the seaming stitch that you need to know to get by (the whip stitch) and a few different ways you can connect granny squares because that is where my expertise is.
The whip stitch is the easiest of the seams and it's fairly invisible so it is a great seam for beginners to use. This first video will show how to seam up the class wrist warmer pattern using the whip stitch.
Note: Most of these seaming videos are just the right handed versions. I didn't think they would really require left-handed videos, so if you do need a left handed video for any of these, let me know and I'll add them.
You can also connect granny squares using the whip stitch.
I don't mention this in the video, but some people just use the tail from the last round of the square to connect the squares together using the whip stitch. This is fine, but I prefer to use my method because the more areas where you have ends to weave in while you're connecting, the more chances that something could come unraveled and leave you with a hole.
I for one will pick my hook over a yarn needle for any technique every time (sometimes I even weave in my ends with my hook) because it's easier to hold and a heck of a lot faster. When you connect with your hook, you use crochet stitches to make the seam. We'll be using the slip stitch and single crochet stitch. This technique can work great for seaming the inside of a garment together because it leaves a nice finished looking edge on the inside, but I'm going to show you how to use your hook to connect granny squares with the slip stitch and single crochet stitch. You would do the same technique to seam up other pieces, but you would stitch them together with whichever side you want the finished edge on facing out. With the granny squares we put the wrong sides together then seam them, but with a garment you would put the right sides together. Make sense?
See how fast that goes? I prefer this so much more to connecting with my needle. I feel that connecting pieces with your hook just makes them more secure.
You can also connect granny squares as you are working on them, this is called connecting as you go. Essentially you create one square, then connect the last row of the next square to the first square, and so on. It's a really great option for anyone that wants to be completely finished with an afghan when they are done with the squares instead of crocheting all the squares and then needing to go back and seam them. I did make a left and right hand video for this technique since it's a little tricky.
- A really cool method for joining rows as you go with your hook from Dottie Angel's blog.
- Adaiha's method for joining squares of different sizes.
- The Grumpygirl method for a flat crocheted join - I just learned this one a few weeks ago. It's pretty cool!
- Unique Homemade Gifts - Finishing Your Crochet
- The Flat Braid Join - Really pretty way to join granny sqaures - I use this one a lot.
- How to Join Crochet Seams with Blanket Stitch
We're somewhat done! Next time I'll answer any of your questions and add some information that I think is important for new crocheters so don't check out just yet. You'll also get your diploma and a little badge for your blog to say you graduated. I wish we could have a graduation ceremony. Wouldn't that be awesome?