Knitting on a Border

I have often seen stunning border designs which I have created then attached to a shawl or blanket with a ladder stitch, or crochet join.

I have also knitted up a border then gone through the laborious process of picking up stitches along the edge to knit the body of the shawl.

Neither of these  are particularly nice or easy to do.

They are definitely time consuming so I have been playing about with different options to use these stunning designs in a simple to knit shawl.

I am sharing the knit on technique with you today as this is an amazingly simple method of finishing off your shawls with a stunning edge pattern which is knit at right angles to the body of the shawl.

I use this technique in my upcoming “Birth of a Phoenix” Shawl Design.

It looks complex, as so many new ideas do, however as always, it’s really simple to create beautiful edgings and bind of your work at the same time.

Keep in mind that you will be creating two rows of border for every live stitch in your body edge.

You will need to decrease the needle size or yarn weight to avoid a lumpy or distorted join.  I my example I keep the needle size the same and go down from a DK yarn to a sock weight.

For my example I’m using contrasting colours, which I would not expect to use in real life, however they show the separate edges well, which is all  that is needed for a tutorial.

Lets get started!

Lets dive in to Knitting on a Border

Start off with your main body of the project, your shawl or blanket.  I have kept to a simple garter swatch for this tutorial.

Tie on the contrast yarn for your border, or if using the same yarn continue on.  I continue to use the same circular needle for the border as I used for the shawl.

Cast on the number of stitches for the border, in my example I need to cast on 12 sts.

I then continue to knit the second row of the edge pattern and stop with one stitch remaining.  This is where I will be placing a Stitchmarker.

Definitely do this if you are using the same yarn as the body of your shawl/blanket.

Once you have reached the last stitch you will need to knit two stitches together. These two stitches should be one from the border and the next live stitch from the main body.

Either through the back of the loop (edge yarn on top) or regular (body yarn on top).  In my example I knit through the back of the loop.

Now turn your work.

Slip the first stitch and follow the edging pattern, then turn again.You should now have three rows and the start of your edging is visible.

Repeat this process for the length of your border edge.  Slipping a stitch when working away from the main body and knitting two together when you work towards the main body.

You are effectively creating a complicated bind off for your shawl/blanket.

By the time you reach the end row, simply bind off the edging section, working towards the body of your shawl and finish by knitting 2 together at the join between the body and the edging.

Weave in your ends and you are done.



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Babs Rudlin

I play with colour in both fabric and fiber. Creating patterns, challenges and tutorials for beginners and those who wish to learn new skills. My youtube channel is I provide reviews, tutorials, how to and more as services for other creators and service providers. Get in touch to discuss how I can help you today!

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