Whatever You Do, Don’t Look Down
March 24, 2008
One of the hazards of our philosophy of covering our entire houses with knitting is that sometimes, it can be a haunting sort of thing.
Every morning I wake up, and as I brush my teeth I invariably look down and see:
The Tailgate Rag Rug, the one that appears in our book. Three years into its life, I can happily report that it has held up sturdily through a number of washings–air dried, mind you, no machine dryer for this thing–and it is a cheerful reminder of the making of our book.
It is also, however, a regular irritant, because the seams that join the four pieces of log cabin squares are done with some whipstitchy git-r-done bit of business that pretty much totally violates the rag strip integrity of the pattern.
It bugs the bejeezus out of me to see those seams. It’s every day I’m looking at them, you know.
So when I started a new Tailgate Rug a few weeks ago, a major goal was to join the strips with a more felicitous connection, one that somehow features the rag strips.
Whipstitching the pieces together with rags would look crummy. Crocheting the pieces with rags was unlikely, because the bound-off edges are too tight for the rags to fit through. A three-needle bindoff seemed to be the only way, indeed the BEST way to accomplish this. The more I knitted, the more I anticipated the glorious evening of three-needle-binding-off the pieces together.
Gah, what a process.
I picked up stitches along the edges of the two pieces I wanted to join together. This involved a fair amount of wrestling, wedging, yanking, and cursing, not to mention an ooky green plastic crochet hook and some long-ass circulars.
Once I’d picked up all the stitches, I commenced the three-needle bindoff. I used a big rag ball for the yarn that joins the two edges, and sure enough, it was looking superior to the seam of the original Tailgate Rug. However, after about six inches of this, it was abundantly clear that the new binding was going to be at least an inch taller than anything else in the rug, because I’d used doubled yarn for picking up the stitches. You can’t have a dimensional rag rug. It’s the sort of thing that can make a trip to the bathroom an orthopedic surgeon’s dream.
So I undid the whole thing and re-picked up the stitches using a single strand of yarn.
MOST disagreeable, but I will say that things always go five times faster when you’re REdoing them. The final seam looks like this:
Still a bit wonky, but not as wonky as the original Tailgate Rug. Thank you for reading this: I have almost discharged all my crabbiness about this seam.