Borders … Knitted
Trims, borders, edgings … whichever name you prefer there is no denying that most baby blankets and throws look so much better with the addition of one to give a professional finish.
Knitted blankets can be edged with a knitted or crocheted border.
There are three different methods used for attaching a knitted border. They can be knitted separately (narrow edge upwards) and then sewn on. Stitches can be picked up along each separate edge and knitted in the round as one piece. Or, the border can be added, again working from the narrow edge, by picking up a stitch from the finished item one row at a time.
How to knit a sewn on border.
Carefully measure around the total edge of your blanket and add an extra 2 inches to allow for curving round the corners. This is approximately how long you will need to knit your chosen pattern.
Once you are almost at the desired length, and starting close to one of the corners (the end to end seaming will be less noticeable here), carefully pin the border around the blanket. Allow it to gather a little at the corners but ensure it lays nice and flat along the sides.
Many instructions tell you to measure the remaining length of border required, unpick all the pins and continue knitting. Personally, after spending all that time pinning and getting my border to lay ‘just right’, I take the rebellious route and finish knitting with the border attached … just be careful of the pins!!
Once completed, cast off. Pin the short length of border you just finished and sew in place using the Mattress Stitch method. (If you were a sensible yarner and unpinned, you will need to re-pin the whole border again first!)
Neatly sew the border ends together and weave in any tails.
How to work a border by picking up stitches.
Using a long circular needle pick up and knit stitches around the entire edge of the blanket. The usual rule is to pick up one stitch for each stitch along the top or bottom of the piece, and pick up three stitches for every four rows along the sides, but use your discretion for the best fit. Join work into the round and knit in your chosen pattern. NB: If not following a written pattern remember to increase one stitch at each corner, on every round as you work, so they lay flat. (Alternatively, increase two stitches on every other round, working one stitch either side of each corner).
Knit the border to the required depth and pattern. Cast off and weave in ends.
How to attach a knitted border one row at a time.
If making a narrow border, cast on the number of stitches required using your favoured method, if the border is wide, consider a provisional cast on for a neat finish.
Knit the first row of the pattern.
Knit the second row of the pattern and when you come to the last stitch in the row, knit it together with an edge stitch along the side of the finished blanket. (Have the right-side of the blanket uppermost and begin at the centre of one of the sides, not a corner).
Continue to knit the border pattern and on every right-side row, knit the last stitch together with the next edge stitch of the blanket.
Corners (If working a narrow border) *At the last stitch before the corner, on the right-side, knit a right-side row of the border, knitting the last stitch together with the edge stitch as before. Work a wrong side row. Repeat from *. Thus you are working two joining stitches into the same edge stitch. (If working a wide border, work three joining stitches into the same edge stitch). Work around the corner, making double or triple joins to achieve the effect you want. You may need to make alterations as you go to ensure the border lays flat or gathers in the way you want it to.
Borders can be deep and frilly, cabled, patterned or plain, used to provide coloured contrasts or made using a different texture entirely such as lace yarn or eyelash for a furry look. They can be made with eyelets to thread ribbon through, have fringing attached or just be a simple narrow trim of single crochet or garter stitch.
The sky (and your imagination) is the only limit. And of course all these methods and pretty trims aren’t just for blankets.
There is far too much gorgeousness out there for the one post, so do look out for more pretty knitted borders soon.
Next Week: Borders … Crocheted.
Happy Yarning … x