Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hemming a hat


I don't think I've ever edged a knitted hat with anything other than ribbing, a band of garter or seed stitch, or a simple rolled edge. This week I discovered how to put in an actual sewn hem, and I'm loving the neat, tidy look it gives -- to say nothing of the double thickness for extra warmth over the ears. Have you ever tried it?

I'm still experimenting, but the trick seems to be to cast on and then knit in the round for X number of rows - on the hat above, I knit seven, but I imagine you could do any number you want. Then purl one round (this creates your turning ridge), and go back to knitting X number of rounds again. Then purl another round or two for a little style, and go back to straight knitting, or whatever you've chosen to do for the rest of your hat.

You then go back and fold your bottom edge under along the turning ridge, thread your cast-on tail into a tapestry needle (you'll have left it a little longer than usual for this very purpose), and do a loose whipstitch on the underside so the curling edge now lies flat. So neat, so tidy -- almost tailored and sophisticated-looking, if a knitted hat can be such a thing.

I realize this is hardly rocket science, but for some reason I was just so excited to learn this. I could hardly wait to share it with my very talented and clever friend Jean yesterday, and while she already knew about this technique, she kindly celebrated my discovery nonetheless. Jean also recommended using this technique at the bottom edge of a sweater if it doesn't need to "pull in" with ribbing.

What's more, Jean advised me, you can create a sweet picot edge along the hem of a little girl's hat or sweater by substituting the purled turning ridge with a simple row of yarn over/knit 2 together. So I'm sure I'll be trying that one soon, too.

Little hats are such great summer knitting -- perfect for those afternoons of sitting on the front porch, and chatting with whatever neighbors happen to stroll by. I believe I'll pour a big glass of iced tea and head out to the porch right now.

9 comments:

ruth said...

Thanks for sharing the tips. I'm going to have to try it out on my next hat. Yours looks great.

Wool Winder said...

I think there's also a way hem the edge before you proceed with the rest of the knitting. It was so long ago that I did this, that I would have to go back and search for the directions. Very nice work!

Angelika said...

That picture on the front porch, that's me. My neighbors are already used to this and they always see me with some knitting in my lap, temperature pending that is. Not the knitting, but the sitting outside part. Ice tea will definately help. Nice job on the hat.

Stephanie said...

I love knitting hats. Thanks for the info!
Stephanie
mesocrafty.wordpress.com

Knittymuggins said...

Oh yay! Congrats on your new discovery and for sharing it with all of us! Your planned afternoon of iced tea on the porch and knitting sounds absolutely wonderful :) Hope you enjoyed!

Anonymous said...

did you bind off and then hem or did you hem from the live stitches on the needle?

Anonymous said...

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kimberly said...

I really like sewing because i can create every thing like a skirt, blouse, pants or dresses and desing my own style. When i am sewing i usually feel my imagination flies. I think i am appationated about this.

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katty said...

I really like sewing in my free time and I really enjoy this practice, when I get my house through costa rica homes for sale I knew it would many space in my house like to take a room as a workshop. And now I usually invite my friend to sewing in the afternoon. We spend a funny time creating new things.