Enflapment, Or, Fixing That Thing
September 19, 2013
You know that thing? That thing you don’t want to face into? I’m here today to report on a nagging thing that has been eating at me for WEEKS.
As you may know, I have been motoring away on this Kiki Mariko Fair Isle sweater for a little while–using the official time scale of 1 week of Fair Isle = 1 day of normal knitting, this project has been the equivalent of a chumpy cowl. So fast. Not a bit of thought required. Doesn’t even seem like Fair Isle.
Soon after I started, I knew that the bottommost edge of this sweater was a FAIL. I worked about eight rows of corrugated ribbing, then began the long march of stockinette Fair Isle.
See? It flips, it flaps, it SUCKS. Corrugated ribbing is the wimpiest of edgings, I’m here to tell you. No starch to it, no backbone! It takes at least twice what I did to keep the edge from flipping.
I realized that no amount of blocking was going to get this thing to behave. You’re fighting nature, gravity, the tendencies of some anonymous sheep’s wool, and your own poor design skills. So. Before blocking it, I embarked on an enflapment procedure with the goal of counteracting the flipping of the edge.
This color is my favorite of all, Eau de Nil.
Of course, the enflapment flap brought its own mighty urges with it.
The flap coiled into the tightest possible tube of stockinette.
Before stitching down the enflapment, I blocked my finished sweater and patted it many times as it dried. Kermit at one point gave it a long heat treatment before I chased him off.
The good news is, when you combine the power of a flip and the roll of a flap, the net result is:
A flat hem.
PS FREE BONUS: You can see the before-and-after magic of blocking Shetland wool if you look at the photo with the curly tube of stockinette, then contrast it with the finished hem two photos below it. The fabric is much softer, and the stitches even out in a very amazing way.