I’m excited to share a guest post today from Lindsey Stephens, the crochet designer and tech editor behind Poetry in Yarn. Lindsey has recently added “Craftsy instructor” to her credentials, so I asked her to share a guest post with us today about finishing.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.
Lindsey can be found online at Poetry in Yarn, as well as on Facebook, G+, Pinterest, Ravelry, Twitter, and YouTube. And, of course, you can find her through her new Craftsy class, Seaming Crochet. I’ve known Lindsey online for several years, and if you’d like to get to know more about her, you may want to read this interview I did with her a few years back. I also interviewed her on my audio podcast for yarn-industry business owners about her time management skills!
All photos are from Lindsey’s Craftsy class and are used with permission.
Guest Post: Lindsey Stephens Tells All About Tapestry Needles and Her New Craftsy Class, Seaming Crochet
Hi! *waves to the monitor*
First I want to give a huge thank you to Marie for letting me stop by and mention my new Craftsy class, Seaming Crochet. I’m so excited to be able to teach this class and interact with students in the virtual classroom. My class covers more than 7 types of seaming with variations. Some are sewn seams that are made with a tapestry needle and others are crocheted seams that use a hook. I thought I’d use this opportunity to discuss tapestry needle options and some of my favorites.
Today you can find tapestry needles made out of everything from plastic to metal and even wood. I’ve seen some lovely handcrafted wooden needles at fairs and craft shows. They tend to be a bit larger- the kind you would use for worsted or bulky yarn. Most of the tapestry needles I own are either plastic or metal. I own A LOT. Tapestry needles are kind of like socks in my house and tend to go missing on a regular basis. I like the metal needles best as they stick to magnets in my tool tins and are slightly less likely to disappear.
Tapestry needles with bent tips have become really popular lately among knitters. They are great for when you have to lift up a strand to get underneath for duplicate stitch in knitting. For crochet though, I prefer your standard straight tip. This way I can run my needle straight through several stitches in one shot (useful for weaving in ends and certain seaming techniques). Oh, and what else is special about ALL tapestry needle tips? They should be blunt. This way you can seam without splitting the yarn or catching the wrong strands like you would on a pointy tip. Keep your sharp needles for sewing, not seaming.
Tapestry needles come in all different sizes, though the labeling on packaging can sometimes make it tough to tell what you’re getting. Since they are relatively inexpensive, I recommend just picking up a variety at the store so you’ll be prepared for anything. One of the reasons I love my Clover Chibi is because it comes with 3 different sizes of tapestry needle.
It’s a lot to think about with just tapestry needles, which is a bit ironic as most of us don’t typically think that there’s a lot to seaming. I think that’s partially because of our experience with written patterns. If you’ve ever crocheted from a pattern, you probably aren’t surprised to find 4 pages of crocheting instructions but only one mention of seaming. It’s usually at the end of the pattern and something along the lines of “seam pieces together.” Some patterns may get really fancy and actually specify the order to seam the pieces together or maybe say to use a whip stitch or to slip stitch the pieces together. Still, I think the lack of page space makes it seem like there isn’t all that much to seaming together crocheted fabric.
The truth is there is A LOT to know and consider when it comes to seaming crochet. (It was a struggle to keep my Craftsy class down to the time limits!) There are different methods as well as considerations for color work, Tunisian crochet, and Broomstick. Of all of the seaming methods I cover in my class, I was really happy to be able to share the connect and weave method – this is how I seam crochet lace pieces and hands-down gets me the most compliments on my crochet. Lace work is one of the things people love most about crochet, but a lot of times people use the same seaming techniques that are really meant for solid fabrics. It’s not that those methods don’t work- they just don’t work as well for lace.
That’s also why I talk about how to choose the perfect seaming technique for your project. Once you have these seaming techniques in your finishing repertoire, you’re going to have to make decisions. Precisely because most patterns DON’T specify a seaming technique, it’s really up to you. To help with that, I provide a handy chart to help you pick the best technique as well as walking you through the thought process I use to evaluate which seam I want to use. I’ve even had some students ask on the Craftsy platform for my advice on choosing a seam, and I’m always happy to help.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing seaming tips with us, Lindsey!
Don’t forget to check out Lindsey’s class, Seaming Crochet, on Craftsy. By the way…
I recently won a pass to the class!