Wednesday, August 10, 2005

thoughts on knitting a jacket edging

I was asked how I'm knitting the edging on my jacket. Easiest way to show that, of course, is to show with pictures. There is this small detail that the jacket I'm working on is a really deep rich brown, but let's try.

First of all, I started knitting the jacket with a provisional cast-on. I used a cotton yarn that contrasted with the jacket yarn. This is one of the places where my minimal crochet skills comes into play. I did a long crochet chain. Usually I ask Howard to do it, but his right hand was still in a sling, and he just stared at me when I asked. So, I did it. sigh. It doesn't matter if the chain stitches aren't of equal size (mine aren't) they just give a "home" for the knit stitches.

Once the body is knit, pick up the stitches around the body. At this point, I pick up about half of body's worth of stitches (about all that fit comfortably on my circular -- I REALLY don't want to be fighting them!) The same way that you do at any other time -- for the areas where you are picking up horizontally (along the bottom of the jacket or the neck edge), pick up one stitch for every stitch. Where you are pickin up vertically or along a curve, a good solution is your gauge. For example, on my jacket, my gauge is 5 sts and 6.5 rows per inch. Right now, I'm picking up a stitch for 5 rows and then skipping a row. If my gauge had been 7 rows, I would have probably gone 2 rows skip 1, 3 rows skip one, as I wouldn't want a 2 row gap.

Now it is time to start knitting the edging. I used some more of my waste edging (I had lots left over) and cast on the required number of stitches. That way, when I'm finished, I can kitchener the start and finish together, for a clean look. It would also be possible to do a 3 needle bindoff. Just because the instructions tell you to do a regular cast-on, doesn't mean you have to do it that way!

As you can see, although I've started, it is going to be a long time before I'm done on this! Mentally, I refer to it as miles of edging. A good time to settle down with a good book on tape and relax into it!

When I get to the corners, I'll do 2-4 suspended rows on each side of the corner without knitting 2 together from the body stitches. That will give the edging some shape, and not distort the jacket. I may very well do a k3tog instead of a k2tog at the corners of the neck, to help shape the edging there.

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