KNIT-ON EDGING FOR DOILY ON STEROIDS

[Repost of material appearing on 1 September 2006]

I’ve been too busy to blog in the morning, but not too busy to knit at night. I had mentioned before that I wasn’t all that pleased with the crochet edging of my smaller red knit doily. The reason harks back to the original difference between knitting and crochet – the thickness of the stitches formed.

In needle lace, the stringy bits that connect more opaque sections are called “brides.” In knitted lace those bridging units are very slender, often only one or two thread thickness equivalents. By contrast, brides formed by crochet chains are by crochet’s own nature a minimum of the equivalent of three thicknesses of the base thread. While most people aren’t phased by this, I prefer not to mix crochet and knitting unless I’ve ironed out the thickness difference between them. One way I do that is to knit with two strands, but do any accompanying crochet with one. More on this another time, when I’ve got a solid combo project to play with. Back to my doily.

It’s grown. It’s now the size of a small tablecloth or large centerpiece. I estimate that it’s about three feet across, including the edging. Give or take for blocking. Yes, I did say edging. I decided to use a knit-on edging in place of the simple crochet finish. So I am in the middle of doing just that:

reddoily_edging.jpg

As you can see, I’ve chosen a pretty simple traditional Shetland-style edging, and I’m knitting it right onto the live stitches of the piece’s body. I picked something that echoed the alternate YO/decrease texture used elsewhere, plus something that was relatively visually dense compared to the previous patterned band (that one had lots of double YOs, so it looks quite airy compared to the rest of the piece.) So far things are going pretty well, but rather slowly. The airy band had 17 full repeats of 33 stitches around the circumference – a total of 561 stitches. MATH UPDATE: My lace edging is 28 rows per point, and “eats” 15 live stitches in the attachment process. 37 repeats of my edging is about 555 stitches. That leaves 6 other stitches to be randomly consumed, evenly spaced around the piece. I’ve completed about five of the edging’s gazillion repeats so far. (That’s what I get for writing about this stuff when the actual knitting isn’t to hand. My every-other-row attachment scheme eats half as many edge stitches as there are rows in the repeat.)

Now what do I mean by “eaten?” Simple. To start this edging knit perpendicular to the doily’s body, I used a half-hitch cast-on to add stitches to the end of my left hand needle – the same circ that I just finished using to complete the doily’s body. I worked a wrong-side edging row back, purling together the innermost of my newly cast on stitches along with one of the live stitches from the doily’s body. One eaten. Then I did a right side row, proceeding out from the edge of the doily’s body to the outermost edge of the lace strip I’m adding (the edge that forms the outermost zig-zags). On the next wrong side round I worked across my newly added strip, purling the last new stitch along with the next stitch of the doily’s body.

I continue in this manner, attaching the live body stitches to the growing strip of edging. Every now and again (most notably on the shortest row of the edging’s repeat) I “eat” an extra stitch by purling that last wrong-side row stitch along with TWO body stitches.

Clear as mud?


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