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How To Prevent Curling Edges In Knitting

Curled (rolled) edge on a sweater

Curled (rolled) edge on a sweater

Curled (rolled) edge on a sweater
A hat knitted with rolled edge

Question


I have recently made an afghan that is flat knit on the face of the fabric. I added six stitches of seed stitch on each side as a border. I have a distinct problem with the fabric curling. Can you recommend a border stitch that would minimize or eliminate the curling problem?

Answer

Hi, Actually you are doing the right thing by knitting seed sts borders. I would recommend continue making it a bit longer to add more weight to the edge. Maybe make it 1 1/2 or 2 inches. After you finish with the border, block each ends and let dry. You can block the whole piece but it's going to need some room and many dry towels. If you have never done blocking before. Here is how I usually do my blocking.

Simple Method Of Blocking

1. Wet piece with cold or room temperature water (in a sink of a tub) and squeeze the water off gently.

2. lay a dry towel on a flat surface (my carpet floor works out well for me, but make sure the color doesn't run ) and place the wet piece over it at the end of the towel. Straight on the piece a bit.

3. start rolling the towel over the wet piece putting slightly pressure over to press off more water.

4. Unroll the towel and remove the piece to another dry towel that has been laid on a flat surface.

5. Smooth out the pice gently with your hand and shape it to your need. Use pins to pin along edges to keep the piece in place.

6. Let it dry over night. Remove all the pins.

At this point, you should find the blocked piece look nice and smooth.

If you don't want to continue with the seed sts, you can find other options I mention below;

Curling is a big problem when working with stockinette stitch. It usually occurs with all types of yarn but the ones I found most annoying are the the synthetic one. There are two 4 main solutions to this problem that I found helpful. See the followings;

1. Knit at least 1 or 2 inches of border with non curling sts such as seed st (like the one you did), garter stitch, lace edging or ribbing.

2. Crochet edging also help if you know how to do it. I like to do a few row of eyelet and then finish it off with big scallops.

3. Knit hem stitches, fold and seam it at the back of work. This one involve a bit of hand sewing. My favorite one is to make the stockinette st hem with eyelets at the fold. You do this by;
Knit stockinette st as long as the length you want the hem to be. Then on the next right side row you do k2, *yo, k2tog; rep from * to the end. You may have an extra st at the end, then just k it. Then knit stockinette st for as long as the first half and bind off loosely. Fold hem along the eyelet and seam stitch along the bind off sts at back off work.

4. I found blocking to be very helpful and it usually works for out well for me. Please see simple method of blocking I mentioned above.

Anyone has any more ideas and suggestions regarding edge rolling or curling solution, please feel free to add them to the comment.

Thank you for your question.


Ratcha


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