As I mentioned in my last post about the Jade Wrap, I’m doing something a little weird with the edges.
They appear to be stockinette, but they’re not curling– even though the wrap hasn’t been blocked.
I wanted to have non-textured edges on this shawl because I’m going for a very flat, smooth look. It has always frustrated me when I’m working on a piece of stockinette lace and I have to add a garter-stitch border; it seems so inconsistent with everything else. For this project, I had a brainwave, which I will now explain to you.
First, a close-up of the right side edge:
And the wrong-side edge:
The edges are actually formed using double-knitting, a technique most often used to create blankets with one side done in one color and one done in the other, as in Knitty’s Hoover Blanket. Double knitting results in both sides looking like they were worked in stockinette (or any other pre-determined pattern). You can also switch the colors as you work double-knitting to create two copies of a colorwork pattern, with one side’s colors the reverse of the other side’s, as in the popular Tapestry Cowl. Double knitting can also be used to make a bag with no seams using only straight needles, but that may be a post for another day.
In this case, I only double-knitted on the edges, working the rest of the wrap in the regular way. Here’s what I did:
For each edge, I picked up twice as many stitches as I wanted the final border to have. In other words, if I wanted to end up with a four-stitch-wide border, I’d pick up eight stitches. If I wanted a really wide border, I might have picked up only half the stitches and then increased in the next row to bring up my stitch count, to avoid pulling in on the edging.
Once I had my eight stitches, I worked them like so:
Row 1 (RS): Slip the first stitch with yarn in FRONT (so a bar of yarn goes in front of the stitch), k1, sl1 yf, k1, sl 1 yf, k1, sl1 yf, k1. Now I’m at the end of the first row, with eight stitches worked.
Then I turned the work as usual.
Row 2 (WS): *sl 1 yf, k1* four times. You may note that on this second row, I’m knitting the stitches I slipped in Row 1, and slipping the stitches I knitted.
Repeating these two rows whenever I get to the last eight edge stitches on each side eventually results in the border you see here. The slipped stitches recede to the back of the work, while the knitted stitches press close together in the front of the work and are elongated slightly relative to the regular stockinette. The effect is of a dual-sided stockinette border that is four stitches wide, with no seaming.
The jury is still out on whether this edge will be sufficiently elastic, or whether it will eventually start to pull on the edge of the wrap and have to be frogged. I think it will be all right, because while I am working each edge stitch once for every two rows knitted in pattern, the edge stitches are worked rather loosely (because every other stitch is slipped with yarn in front, leaving a little slack) and they should stretch enough to keep from constraining the stockinette body of the wrap.