Knitting Design Tutorial - 毛衣設計

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Designing Knitwear: The Varieties of Edging and Ribbing available - 毛衣設計

This is the third article in a series on basic knitwear design (毛衣設計) and looks at the choices available for edging your garment. The second article in this series can be found here.

Once you have the measurements for your sweater, and calculated the number of stitches and rows needed, you need to think about the overall look of your garment.

Ribs and edgings

It is important to decide at this stage what sort of ribs or edgings you want your garment to have, as this will have an impact on the construction of your sweater.

  • Ribbing – the simplest is plain K1, P1 single rib, but there are a number of variations, including
    • Wide ribs (K4,P4)
    • Uneven ribs (K1, P3 on right side, P1, K3 on wrong side)
    • Twisted ribs (Cable 2, P2 rib)
  • Knitted-in edgings – if you are creating a loosely fitting garment, then you may not want a rib which will gather the knitting together. There are a number of options available to you.
    • Rolled edge. If your garment is in stocking (stockinette) stitch, then it will natural curl at the bottom to give a rolled edge.
    • Garter stitch (Knit every row). Garter stitch does not curl in the same way, and so can be used for the whole garment, or as a simple edging to allow the fabric to hang flat.
    • Moss stitch (seed stitch). This is an effective and simple stitch which also edges neatly and allows the fabric to lay flat. It is simply K1, P1, but whereas with single rib you would K1 into a stitch which had been purled on the previous row (to give smooth lines), with moss stitch you do the opposite.

Picot edging.

This is an easy and attractive edging which adds weight to the hemline of your garment, giving the fabric a good drape, without gathering it.

Instructions, over an odd number of stitches.

  • Work 4 rows in stocking stitch, starting with a knit row
  • Row 5 *K2 tog, yrn; rep from * to last st, K1
  • Work 3 rows in stocking stitch, starting with a purl row
  • Row 9 Fold the hem in half, lengthwise. Knit the row, knitting into the next stitch, and the next cast on loop as you work your way along the needle, as illustrated.

This gives the hem a neat picot edge.

Sewn-on edgings

It is also possible to create your edging once you have finished the garment and sew it on afterwards. This works particularly well for cable edgings, as well as narrow lace panels.

Depth of edging

If your edging is going to be knitted as part of the overall garment, it is important to decide how deep it needs to be. For the main body of the garment this is less vital, as you can simply knit straight until your sweater is the desired length, but for the sleeves it may make a difference to the shaping.


As well as deciding on the depth of any ribbing (for example) at this stage you will also need to know whether or not the cuff is to be rolled back or not as this will also make a difference to working out the shaping for your overall sleeve length.

The final part of this series will show how to calculate simple shaping for the sleeves and neckline.