I often mention doing a modified Cut N Sew Neckline. As a whole, I don’t care for Cut N Sew for general garment shaping. I do use it when the choices are Cut N Sew, Rip and Reknit; or Landfill.
I have a couple of objections to Cut N Sew.
- CNS requires more yarn.
- More yarn is more expense. Generally I buy yarns in the $25-35/per pound range. Sometimes I am offered half pounds but generally that means if I want to use CNS, I’m going to need 2 pounds. $70 (shipping not included) and then I will have half a pound sitting on my shelves for darn near forever.
- CNS dramatically increases the time needed from swatch to finished garment. Well it does for me because I knit the yardage, then block it during which I need to keep the knitting balanced; unbiased. I place my pattern on this yardage and then either mark and baste around the outline. If marked by chalk, felt tip, etc I will need to machine stitch around the outline to hold the stitches. MK will run and I don’t want to pick up and reknit a dozen tiny stitches. Once I have my shapes marked and cut … Oh did I forget to mention that I now get to cut the shape free from the excess? Well I do and then I can serge the pieces together like a regular T. I’ll probably have to mattress stitch a few areas by hand. Then I will press again. I’m telling you this takes me so much longer than shaping the pieces during the knitting and linking them together on the machine. I acknowledge and even applaud that you may whip through the same process much quicker than myself.
Point being that generally I avoid CNS except when I need to shape a neckline. I have been disappointed in the traditional CNS neckline. I’m not always successful at keeping the knitting on grain during cutting. The result is a lopsided neckline. Sometimes the lopsidedness is so subtle that it is unrecognizable during construction. Good, right? Well until I wear the garment and find myself constantly tugging at the neck.
I don’t do too well with the traditionally shaped-on-the-machine neckline either. I don’t know what m problem is but at least half the time I don’t reset the row counter to the right row. The other half, I don’t start the stitch pattern, or don’t start it on the right row. Definitely a personal shortcoming.
My solution has been a Modified Cut-N-Sew Neckline. Let me demonstrate
I knit up to the neckline shaping. I take a long piece of yarn and bind off the predetermined neckline as directed. Actually, I fold the yarn in half to locate the center of the yarn and then starting with NDL 0 and the middle of my yarn bind off usually left to right first and then return to NDL 0 and bind off right to left. I place a clip on both ends to add a little weight. Then I knit as directed to the next bind off. Placing my carriage in hold, I bring the specified number of stitches to hold. I wrap the yarn ends up and over the needle in hold on both sides of the neckline. Then knit until the next bind off and repeat. I finish with a smoothly shaped neckline that has been reinforced by those needle wraps. However, as seen above, there’s a bunch of strings in the way.
. Not trimming. I usually serge the edge which trims the strings/threads/yarn and finishes the edge at the same time. Couldn’t get to my serger this time, so I did a narrow zig zag along the neckline edge before trimming with scissors. Either way, the end result:
is a nicely knit and shaped neckline. Stitch pattern, color changes the same all the way across and incidentally I always finish on the same row something I rarely manage when I knit the two side separately.
Can’t say this is my own invention. I read it somewhere a long time ago. I tried it, I like to try new ideas, and it has become my goto neckline method.