In this blog I collect all knitting-related information.
I publish my ideas and patterns, report progress
and link things I find.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hemming on knitting

Stochinette stitch does curl. But we don't usually like it to do so.

I have been working on a technique that bases on "one color double knitting" to keep stochinette from curling on my projects. And on the "nicest open side knitting" I could find for projects like cardigans and scarfs. My result is "Hemmed knitting" that comes from a combination of straight knitting, tubular knitting, double knitting and such. I do not know if this has been done but I have not seen it in explanations and

Here is what I achive (in a sample of 3 stages that I will explain).

if this technique has a name, please let me know.

This is how I do it:

Side hems

cast on your stitches for the front side. Cast on as many stitches as you want for your back hems (e.g. 3 extra for each side). For a project of  10 stitches in stochinette and 3 stitches hemming on each side that will be 16 stitches to cast on.

Now you do it as follows:

(all slipping of stitches goes purl wise)

RS row:
*k 1, with yarn in front slip 1* (repeat between * 2 more times), knit to the other hem: last 7 stitches work as follows: **k1, with yarn in front slip 1 ** (repeat between ** 2 more times), k1 tbl (through the back loop)

turn your work.

WS row:
***with yarn in back slip 1, knit 1***  (repeat between *** 2 more times) purl to the other hem then work the stitches at the end as follows: ****with yarn in back slip 1, knit 1****  (repeat between **** 2 more times) slip the last stitch

turn your work, repeat RS row and WS row for as much as you want to work.

to cast off:

knit the 1st stitch, purl the second stitch, knit the 3rd stitch. then lift the 1st and 2nd stitch over the 3rd stitch together. Keep doing this with all the stitches of the double work.

To explain it in other words: the hems are worked in the round on straight needles (the knitting and slipping purlwise with yarn in front would lead to a big tube if done with all stitches). The difference is that here you work a flat piece in the middle.

By working the last stitch of the RS through the back loop the side becomes flat and turns on the edge stitch. Almost the same I get when slipping the last stitch on the WS rows and knitting it as first stitch of the RS row.

When working these edges the edge stitches get worked only half as often as the middle stitches. If the middle is plain stochinette stitch this will lead to the edges being a little shorter than the middle. If you make a narrow piece with just one hemmed side it will curve with the hem being in the inside of the curve. So I recommend doing the hem only on wider pieces or on both sides. You can also work one or more middle ridges near that edge to balance the tension.

Middle ridges:

The sample piece has a middle ridge as well.

This is worked by knitting 1 stitch, slipping the next purlwise with yarn in front. The ridge will be as wide as the number of slipped stitches. Since these stitches will not make the piece wider, you need that many extra stitches. This is the change you need to make for adjusting a scarf or pattern.

Step 1 / 2 / 3:

The sample picture No. 1 shows the red (1), blue (2) and green (3) line. The areas beneath these lines are different stages of the swatch.

In the red (1): the swatch is only hemmed on the right side (seen from the RS of the fabric). The fabric curves to the right a bit (because of the different tension and the narrow strip)

In the blue (2) section I cast on additional stitches and made the middle ridge (some stochinette stitch being to its right still). This kept the piece mostly straight.

In the green section (3) there is a left hem, a middle ridge and a right hem keeping the piece straight and smooth.

Look and use:

The backside looks almost like ribbing in this piece because the hems and the middle ridge (that are not spaced evenly here) create different appearance of right side and wrong side stochinette. The difference to regular ribbing is that the front is all stochinette and the back is doubled up with an extra layer. The fabric actually is double thick there.

In the way these features are worked the fabric is not only double layered in parts but these hems and ridges are also tubes. They could be worked with open cast on or cast off and hold a string - like the strap for a hood on a sweater or the like.

I might make a video for the technique and link it here, but I think this description explains it pretty well.

For any questions please leave a comment or write me an email. I will do my best to help on!

Further technique:

if you want the bottom of the sections to be open, there are different ways to achive that.

For example here is a blog I got refered to:
Lost Arts Blogspot

Here is more web-info:

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