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Rosehaven on “The Edge”

Lesley's VestEver since it appeared in the window late last week, Lesley’s drape-y vest has garnered no end of attention. People have stopped, admired, offered to purchase and asked how to make, Lesley’s vest. I don’t think she expected it!

Vest FabricThe magic of this piece is undoubtedly the fabric,  a product of Lesley’s fertile and fearless imagination. Wrought of alternating rows of Malabrigo Worsted and Fiesta Rayon Boucle, this fabric has magnificent drape and a surprisingly silky hand; it opens a world of color-play alternatives.  Due to it’s success, we’ve decided to bundle the materials, pattern and tools as a kit for CreativFestival, our upcoming Spring trade show.

Now, Lesley is what I’d call a “stream-of-consciousness knitter”. She knits from the gut, tapping into some natural, instinctive gift for abstractly combining colors and textures. This is an ability that provides for me, a confessed “nerd-knitter”, an endless, quizzical fascination and admiration. Just don’t ask her how she does it…and don’t ask her to do it twice. Enter ‘the nerd’ who will now attempt to codify the magic and attempt to write the pattern.

Because it is knitted sideways as a rectangle, this vest has two long edges running the width of the garment, which got me thinking about selvedge and edge treatments. I think we’ve all attempted to incorporate selvedge stitches into our knitting, whether to smooth the edge of a scarf, prevent curling, or to ease the pain of seaming knitted garments. Here are a couple of useful edge treatments I’ve used recently:

Slip-Stitch Edge1) Slip-stitch Edge: Slipping the first stitch in the row (as if to purl) and knitting it normally when encountered at the end of the row, is the among the most common edge treatments. It creates one long stitch for every two rows of knitting and eliminates that ‘loosey-goosey’ stitch often seen at the edge of knitted pieces. This edge can also be useful when seaming, as it creates a natural seam allowance which is very easy to see.

Yarn-over Edge2) Yarn-Over Edge: This is a very simple edge that works particularly well for garter stitch. It creates a lovely, finished, rolled edge, making it the perfect solution for reversible scarves. It is created by slipping the first stitch as if to purl with the yarn in front. Rather than passing the yarn between the needles to be in position for the next knit stitch, let the yarn run over the top of the right needle, creating a short yarn-over. The yarn-over is then worked together with the last stitch when it is encountered at the end of a row.

I-Cord Edge3) I-Cord Edge: I love this one so much, I used it to edge our new Tea Cozy pattern. It’s an easy way to create a super stable edge. Work it like this: Knit across to the last three stitches. Slip the last three stitches as if to purl. For extra effectiveness, give the yarn an extra little tug when you begin a row. Best thing about this edge? It visually matches the I-cord Bind-Off, meaning that you can create a border that matches all the way around!

Moss Edge4) Moss Edge: This is a simple, self-explanatory edge stitch ideally suited to bordering scarves because it is pretty on both sides and prevents curling. It also makes an attractive alternative to ribbing at cuffs and bottom edges. Do it like this:  Every row, on an odd number of stitches, *p1, k1* repeat until last stitch, p1. In other words, you’ll work each stitch the opposite way it appears. If it looks like a knit, purl it and vice versa.

Ribbed Edge5) Good Ol’ Fashioned Ribbing: ‘Nuff said! Ribbing looks great from both sides and prevents curling, too!

Happy Hump-day, knitties 🙂