Josephine’s shoulders: short rows

I’m a big fan of the three needle bind off for shoulder seams. I’m in this for the knitting, not the sewing! Fewer sewn seams = happier knitter. Josephine has slightly sloping shoulders instead of a straight across seam, so I needed to learn a new trick before I could use a three needle bind off. Short row shoulder shaping! I found a very good tutorial at Knitty. Worked like a charm. I couldn’t figure out how to simultaneously short row the neck shaping (I ended up finishing in the middle of the shoulder when I tried it), so the neck has a stairstep bindoff, but the shoulder is perfectly smooth. No problem; picking up stitches for the neck on a stairstep bindoff is easy. Here’s the back of Josephine:

jo back

And the shoulder:

jo shoulder

Modifications so far: shorter on the lace portion at the bottom (reduced by 1/2 repeat) because I’m short and want it to end at hip length, and also I think I’ve arranged things so that the eyelet row that will hold the drawstring will be right under the bust, instead of on it. I think it will look more flattering that way.

On to the front! The other modification that I’m planning is to raise the V-neckline. I hate wearing layers; I don’t want to have to wear a camisole under this. The pattern as written has a very deep V-neck, suitable for a cami underneath, or else a sewn-in lace inset. Neither idea excites me, so I’m just going to start the V neck a bit higher. Fingers crossed!

On the piano front: I finished reading Katie Hafner’s A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano last night. I’m not much of a Bach fan; my preferences tend more towards Mozart and Beethoven, but I do love all things piano. I didn’t know much about Gould other than that he recorded two definitive versions of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, early and late in his career. It was really interesting to learn about him as a person (beyond idiosyncratic) and the piano he loved, but even more interesting to learn about Verne Edquist, the piano technician who tuned and regulated the piano to make it into Gould’s dream come true. You can learn more about the book here:

Look Inside this book


Back to knitting!

6 responses to “Josephine’s shoulders: short rows

  1. Michele-
    Can you explain the benefit of the 3 needle bindoff? I’m not getting it.

  2. Hi, Claudia:

    A three needle bind off means having the front and back pieces on two needles, right sides together, and using a third needle to bind off both of them at the same time. (Insert needle into the first stitch on the front needle and back needle, knit as one stitch, do the same with the second stitch on each needle, then bind off first stitch. Repeat!)This joins them to each other and binds them off, and eliminates the sewing of the shoulder seam. It looks really good from the right side (and the wrong side, too). My sewn shoulder seams are never as pretty as a three needle bind off, so I really like doing it this way.

    It was fun singing with you today!

    Cheers, Michele

  3. Josephine is coming along. Short row shoulder shaping , wow, that’s too complicated for me.

  4. Marie: It was actually easy. Way easier than I thought it was going to be. If you have instructions telling you how many to bind off at the beginning of each row, that’s the number to leave unworked at the end of each row for the short rows. The wrapping wasn’t that hard, either. The only confusing part is that it always looks like you have one less than the number of stitches you left, but you just have to count. Your post about your vest was the inspiration that made me figure out the short rows so I could use three needle bind off on this garment. Go for it!

  5. Josephine is gorgeous!

  6. I love that color. The yarn looks very strokable.