Com­po­si­tion of an Edg­ing

Creative Knitting - - SHAWLS & SPRINGY SCARVES -

Some artis­tic ad­van­tages of edg­ings are: to add a pop of color, to bring at­ten­tion to an in­ter­est­ingly shaped project, to make a project more fem­i­nine, and to make your project dif­fer­ent from ev­ery other version of the pat­tern ever made!

Some prac­ti­cal ad­van­tages to “edgi­ness” are: to add struc­ture to a piece that is too drapey, to add light­ness to a more densely stitched project, to add to the over­all size of the com­pleted piece, and to use up left­over or re­main­der yarn.

A great edg­ing will com­ple­ment the body of the piece—it will re­flect the stitches and shapes within the piece with sim­i­lar stitches, mood and open­ness in the edg­ing. You don’t want an edg­ing that looks “stuck on” but rather one that is in­te­grated into the look of the piece. You don’t want an af­ter­thought edg­ing, but some­thing that looks like it be­longs to­gether, like peanut but­ter and jelly. An edg­ing can look in­te­grated into the body of the piece by us­ing color to help unify them.

A project with a busy stitch pat­tern might look best paired with a sim­ple edg­ing and vice versa; that is, a sim­ple stitch pat­tern in the body of a piece might be el­e­vated by a more in­tri­cate edg­ing.

In gen­eral, it’s help­ful to cre­ate an edg­ing that al­lows the project to lie flat. Too many stitches in a space will cre­ate a ruf­fled edge, while too few stitches will make the project cup like a bowl. Some­times a tighter edge that makes the fab­ric cup is use­ful. One ex­am­ple is when a sleeve cuff is slightly too big. Adding an edg­ing that is slightly tighter in gauge will help de­crease the cuff cir­cum­fer­ence. Adding an edg­ing with ex­tra stitches can help stretch a fab­ric that is slightly too small. By adding ex­tra stitches, it will open up the fab­ric and hold it open, al­most like a per­ma­nent block­ing wire. Edg­ings may be just one row/round or may be mul­ti­ple rows/rounds. Usu­ally an edg­ing worked in rounds forms a con­tin­u­ous border of stitches around the perime­ter of a piece with the right side fac­ing and no turn­ing. Gen­er­ally, an edg­ing made of rows is turned and worked with a wrong and a right side. Keep an eye on in­struc­tions how­ever, be­cause projects that might ben­e­fit from a re­versible fab­ric may use an edg­ing that uses turned rows or rounds.

Many times an edg­ing be­gins with a foun­da­tion row of sin­gle cro­chet. Work­ing along the side of knit rows, it can be dif­fi­cult to see where to place stitches. For this rea­son, it’s of­ten a good idea to work the foun­da­tion row/round of the edg­ing in the same color as the body of the pat­tern. Sub­se­quent rows/ rounds of edg­ing will look more clean and crisp with a foun­da­tion that is not dis­tract­ing or jagged.

A dictionary of cro­chet edg­ings is a great re­source. Of­ten edg­ings are listed with the mul­ti­ple of stitches that the edg­ing will fit. In­struc­tions for an edg­ing might say “mul­ti­ple of 4 sts + 1”; then you will know to make your foun­da­tion sin­gle cro­chet row/round to fit the mul­ti­ple of the edg­ing you would like to choose. It is of­ten easy to “ease” the ex­act num­ber of stitches on the foun­da­tion sin­gle cro­chet row/round to get the de­sired num­ber.

If a sim­ple edg­ing is all that is needed to fin­ish off a great pat­tern, choose an edg­ing that says it works with “any mul­ti­ple” be­cause it is guar­an­teed to fit any project re­gard­less of how many stitches there are.

Many of the edg­ings in stitch dic­tio­nar­ies are com­posed of a few to sev­eral rows/rounds of stitch­ing. As you are choos­ing, re­mem­ber that if an edg­ing has five rows/rounds, you don’t have to do all five. You can stop at any time the edg­ing is pleas­ing to you.

The sam­ples on page 88 are worked in rounds, as is the border for the Mini Scarflette on page 89.

In­cluded are a few edg­ings to try on your next project! I al­ter­nated colors on rounds to show you each dis­tinct com­po­nent. This will also help you en­vi­sion what it will look like with­out the sub­se­quent rounds added if you choose to work fewer rounds. Use all the same color for a more uni­fied look.

If you are not fa­mil­iar with cro­chet stitches and ab­bre­vi­a­tions, see Cro­chet Class on page 112. Choose a cro­chet hook about the same size as the knit­ting nee­dle used for the project.

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