Strengthening a Stitch

I am working on a shrug and I am doing the sleeves without a seam by knitting with circular needles. I am just about ready to switch from knitting in a circle to going back and forth to create the center portion of the shrug. I am concerned that when it is worn, there may be a lot of strain put on one single thread that is the last stitch in the row when I stop and then start knitting back and forth on the needles.

I am attaching a photo to let you see what I mean.

The top of the "ladder" is going to be strained a lot, I fear. If that one breaks after a lot of use, it will compromise the rest of the garment. Are there any stitches that I might do perhaps on a few rows below to reinforce the density of the stitches so that the strain isn't all on one piece of yarn?



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superi's picture

It really should be fine on it's own, but a single crotchet border around the edge would strenghten it. You could also pick up stitches around the edge and do a little ribbing if crotchet isn't your thing, or a knit on I-cord edging would work as well.


ronhuber's picture

I like Superi's suggestion - especially the I-cord which I think always enhances projects. I don't think anything will happen to the stitch, however, another suggestion would be to make a bar tac over this stitch and one or two on either side - 5 stitches will be taking the pressure instead of the one.

scottly's picture

Honestly, I don't think this is something you need to worry about especially with that sturdy yarn.

kylewilliam's picture

...or you could use a reinforcement thread if you like... I personally wouldn't...
...or you could bind off and then pick up those stitches again (creating a seam which would make it more sturdy but more obvious)...

whatever you do I'm sure it's going to be just fine.... it isn't something I would have worried about :)


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

For a recent shrug, I did seam the sleeve area [it was a knit rectangle] but went back and crocheted an edge to the opening. However, what you could do here is take the working yarn and do a figure 8 wrap a couple of times around the stitches bordering the gap - as if doing a wrap to turn them. I never connected it was the same as a bar tack, as I don't sew very often. I've used this method on other projects where I wanted to switch from circular knitting to back and forth, finding it worked just great for me.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks, Joe. I just checked that stitch out on YouTube and it does look like it would be a sturdier stitch. I used a twisted garter stitch on a pair of slippers I made and I may do that in that area as well, maybe a couple rows before the switch from in-the-round to flat. I'll give the figure-8 stitch a go as well for practice. Again, thanks!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I'll have to keep the twisted garter stitches in mind for future projects. I've mainly used the figure 8 when working on slippers as the join at the top of the arch gets a lot of stress from wearing as well as slipping them on and off.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks everyone for wonderful suggestions. I am making a mock-up version of the shrug. The real one will be made of cashmere or another nice yarn...nothing too good for my mom. I had this fisherman's wool around...3 skeins of it...and thought it would be good to practice with. I'm not sure how the fishermen wore it next to their skin though...I think it's very scratchy. Does it get softer after it is washed and blocked?


chipsir's picture

These are all good suggestions, what ever you decide, try not to over think it. Knitted fibres are really strong.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks, Dennis.
I do tend to over think my knitting projects. Sometimes that works well, sometimes it really does get in the way. I guess that's the perfectionist in me...although I a very seldom perfect! It's a curse, really. I did some tugging and twisting of the yarn and found that it really is a strong fiber.