Joining pieces w/different nbrs of rows - "Fisherman" afghan

I’m working on an afghan that’s knitted in 5 separate panels, then sewn together. It’s “Fisherman” by Rita Weiss in “The Ultimate Book of Knit Afghans” published by American School of Needlework. I’m just on the first panel, so I’m not at the point of sewing together yet. But I was reading ahead and noticing that one panel will have 313 rows, two panels will have 309 rows, and two panels will have 331 rows. All the panels are made with the same yarn and the same needle size. If they all had the same number of rows, I think I could use mattress stitch to sew them together. But why would someone make a pattern like this with panels of different lengths? The 313-row panel has a repeating pattern of 12 rows, and the 309-row panels have a repeating pattern of 22 rows, so I can understand how those might not match up exactly. But the 331-row panels have a repeating pattern of only 4 rows. Should I run through the pattern less times on those 2 panels and just finish them at about 312 rows? But if so, why would the pattern-maker have specifically said to make those 2 panels 331 rows long? I’m stumped. Any help would be much appreciated!

Many thanks!

I think you should probably do what the pattern says. It will most likely work fine. Some stitches may come out different lengths and need more rows to make them the same length. But If they are a little different you can probably ease them to fit. You can do kitchener stitch with off numbers of rows. Just hurry one side along a little more by taking more legs at a time as you stitch. If you normally take one “ladder” at a time, every little while take 2 on the side that is longer. If you take 2 on each side maybe slow the short side down by only taking 1 sometimes. Scatter the fudges out over the length of the row and it won’t be noticable.

Many thanks! I’ll trust the pattern-maker, and give it a shot. I’m sure she knows what she’s doing. Thanks so much for the helpful hints, too!

It’s likely that the stitch pattern in some of the pieces will cause the rows to pull together some. Before you seam the pieces together, block them (make sure you block them the same size!) and pin them together along the seams. Then, using the tips Merigold mentioned, you’ll know for sure that your afghan will come out even when you finish.

I am just starting this afghan. How did it turn out? I just purchased “The Ultimate Book of Knit Afghans” and just loved the look of “Fisherman” which is the one you started in January. I’m going to use an off white worsted yarn. What color did you use and was it a “fun” project?

Hi Daune,
Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I was kind of embarrassed that I hadn’t finished it yet, and also wasn’t really happy with the initial “finishing” efforts I had made! But I will explain, and maybe you can benefit from my blunders!

First, I used Caron Simply Soft Plum Wine yarn. Nothing fancy, but came out really nice. I really enjoyed knitting all the pieces, and of course, like most knitters, didn’t enjoy the finishing part nearly as much. (Actually, that’s why I like to do afghans – they usually don’t require any sewing together at the end! But a friend saw the picture and requested this one, so …) I tried to block all the pieces to the same size by pinning them down and then spraying them with water until they were wet. I let them dry, took them up, and found they were still stretchy and flexible (partly just the characteristics of this yarn, I think), and still curled a little on some of the sides. I actually did this several times, but it didn’t really seem to make much difference. Then I looked up kitchener stitch online, but everything I could find was for joining stitches head-to-head or head-to-side. This project required joining side-to-side. I’ve done mattress stitch for side-to-side before, but that’s when both pieces have the same number of stitches. Well, I was in a hurry to complete it, so I did mattress stitch anyway, and just skipped stitches once in a while on the longer piece. I felt kinda guilty the whole time, thinking that this was “wrong,” but I did it anyway. It actually looked nice joining the 3 middle pieces together. (They’re closer to the same length, too.) I joined one of the outer panels that way, too, and it looked okay. Then I ran out of time, and had to put it on hold for a while. When I came back to it, I found some info about back stitch. I decided that’s probably what I should have used, at least for the 2 outside pieces. I used that to put on the last outside piece, and it doesn’t look that much different from the one where I used mattress stitch, but I think it was a little easier for me (even though it’s not very “knitterly.”) Right around the end of all of this, I was looking at the directions again (duh), and it actually says, “Hold [B]wrong[/B] side of one Panel C facing [B]wrong[/B] side of one Panel B; sew panels together.” I looked very closely at the picture again, and it looks like maybe you’re actually supposed to see a seam sticking up on the right side of the afghan. Oh well, that’s not how I did it, and all in all, I’m happy with mine. Just have to do the fringe now.

I guess if I had it to do again, I’d connect the 3 middle panels with mattress stitch, like I did, and connect the outer 2 panels with backstitch. OR I would knit the C panels (the outer ones) with less rows (closer to the length of the other panels), and then sew them on with mattress stitch, too. I did consider trying to knit the whole thing in one piece, but I think that would have been way too complicated (although I’m sure there are some knitting geniuses out there who could do it!)

Good luck! Hope it goes well!

Thanks for the up-date Pasta86…appreciate all the help I can get.

I’ve finished one Panel B and just start on the middle panel, Panel A. I was a little concerned with the instructions for a Popcorn stitch…it’s a little different than I’m used to…and then they put 2 popcorns next to each other! Hope it looks ok in the end.

I think the book should show a close up of the finished afghan…don’t you agree?

I AM enjoying this project and think it’ll be stunning when finished.

Thanks again.

Daune (Scottsdale, Arizona)

Hi Daune,

Great! Glad you’re enjoying it! True, the popcorn stitch is a little unusual, and especially doing two right next to each other, but they come out really nice. The only thing is that occasionally they go inward (sticking out on the back side) instead of sticking out (on the front side), so on the finished product, I pushed some of them out to make sure you could see them.

Yes, I definitely agree that they should have closer-up photos of the finished product in these books!

Well, I’m still plugging away on this beautiful afghan. I absolutely hated Panel C so I’m substituting it with a similar pattern I found in my “Sampler Afghans” book. It seems to resemble the Panel C pattern without using the cable needle every other stitch. The thought of that for 82 patterns TWICE blew my mind!