The real truth about knitting is that we often spend as much time finishing a garment as we took knitting it.
By finishing I mean darning in the ends, blocking the pieces, seaming them together, adding any extra neckline or button band treatments, and doing the final darning and blocking—grueling, nitpicky, but necessary details.
I know that tidy seams are the trademark of a patient knitter. It was many, many years before my seams became tidy. Even then, I focused so much on tidy seams that I forgot to check the alignment of the pieces I was seaming—resulting in a sleeve that wanted to occupy two more inches of armhole space that didn't exist.
To prevent what I call "seam wander," I learned to pin together my piece at regular intervals with a large bobby pin (or grocery store twist-tie when I was desperate). This way I had little mileposts against which to check my knitting as I went along. But even then, I found the bobby pins tended to flop around and not guarantee perfect alignment, while the twist ties always seemed too tight and unforgiving.
The Klip Koncept
But now we have yet another device that, while it won't revolutionize the way we knit, will definitely make seaming easier. It's called a Knit Klip.
Knit Klips operate like the popular butterfly-style hair clips, only they're smaller and have a single spike instead of two meshing combs. The spike meets a small hole on the other side of the clip, firmly securing whatever it's holding.
Using Knit Klips is pretty intuitive. Simply line up the items to be seamed (front to front, or back to back, whichever way the pattern suggests) and position the clamps evenly along the area to be seamed.
Once you've secured the whole thing, you can go back and fine-tune your alignment. If you really want to be precise, count and match the rows on each side before placing a clip, so that the rows match perfectly.
Knit Klips come in bags of five. You can order them directly from the manufacturer for $6.95 per bag and get free shipping. (You can also find them at Patternworks in sets of 10 for $14.99.)
If you only need to concentrate on one portion of your garment at a time, five clips should be fine. Otherwise, you may want to stock up on at least two bags of clips. You never know when they'll come in handy or when you'll need to loan a few to a knitter in distress.
The pins are a rosy pink color and made of lightweight plastic with a slight matte finish for easy gripping.
Can you live without Knit Klips? Most certainly. Will they reinvent the way you view knitting? Probably not.
But they can make your finishing much more pleasant and stress-free, which—for my money—is worth it. You'll be able to focus on your seams and rest assured there'll be no surprises at the end.