Friday, August 3, 2012

Side Selvedges

When you're working with a pattern stitch like Spine Rib,  you don't want to use a fussy edging; the competition between the main work and the edge will do justice to neither. An interesting method is to form a hem by turning the selvedge under and stitching it into place

To prepare the edges for Spine Rib, I added two stitches of stockinette to either side of my work. I slipped the first stitch knit-wise on the right side and knit the other three. I slipped the first stitch purl-wise on the wrong side and purled the other three.

 Now, there are two ways to do the hem. The first one produces a very narrow hem that highlights the purl columns of the rib. Turn to the wrong side and take a threaded tapestry needle under the left hand leg of the right hand knit stitch then under both strands of the slipped edge stitch. Repeat this up the side, every other row on the column of knits and every row for the slipped side stitches. I've indicated where the piece has to fold but it most likely will happen naturally; there is no need to purposely fold it. The diagram shows the right hand edge; the left edge is worked similarly.

The second method produces a wider hem that highlights the patterning itself.  Turn to the wrong side. Take the tapestry needle under both strands of the slipped selvedge stitch, then over everything (including the three patterning stitches) and under the left hand leg of the first knit stitch you encounter. Continue up, skipping every other knit stitch in the column as for the narrow hem. The diagram shows the left hand side of of the swatch; the right hand edge is worked similarly. This hem is actually wide enough to us as a casing for a drawstring or something similar.

And here is the finished result! The narrow hem is to the right and the wider hem is to the left.

Until next time!

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