Saturday, August 29, 2009

Here We Go Loop-de-Loop

I've been working on the girl's pinwheel cardigan/wrap lately. I started it quite some time ago (a couple months, let's say) when I needed something easy to take with me. Then it got put aside while I worked on more exciting things.

I've picked it up again recently, partly to get at least one of my many projects done! The body is done and I am slowly making my way around the circumference with a fancy edging.

The cardigan is knit as a big circle, starting from the center:
Two slits are left open to add sleeves later. If you can't quit picture how that circle turns into a cardigan, maybe this will help:
The part on the left folded back is the collar. The center of the circle lands in the middle of the back. Did that help at all?

The fancy edging is something I've not seen before. It uses I-cord in creative way. How to do it? Well, let's start at the beginning...

What's an I-cord? It's a tubular cord knit on straight double pointed needles, usually only 3 or 4 stitches wide (or around). It was dubbed I-cord because that sounds a little nicer than Idiot cord. (EZ so called it thinking that it was so easy an idiot could do it.)

This I-cord has three stitches, and here they are ready to be knit:
Now they've been knit and are at the left edge of your right needle:
You then just slide the stitches to the right side of the same needle:
The yarn is coming from the left-most stitch. You just pull it to the right (behind your work), knit the first stitch with it, and then knit the rest of the row. (And now you're at picture number 2 again; and repeat.)

The yarn you pulled around the back is what makes it a tube. You'd think it would be a loose stitch along the back but it's not! Here's the view from the back:
It looks pretty much like the front! Magic. But that's because you're knitting a tube. If you ever try this and the loop along the back is loose, then just give the bottom of the cord a good tug (I'd recommend holding firmly to your needle while doing so) and that will straighten it all out.

Ok, so now you know how to make an I-cord. After knitting your last row of whatever you want to edge, you knit the next three stitches onto a dpn (not your working needle) and make an I-cord. This pattern called for 6 rows, but I didn't think that was loopy enough, so I've been doing 10 rows.

After 10 (or 6) rows, you put the stitches from the I-cord directly behind the next three stitches on the working needle:
Insert your needle through the first stitches on both the working needle and the dpn:
Knit the two stitches together. Repeat for the second and third stitch. Now make an I-cord out of those three stitches.

And just repeat and repeat and repeat. Yes, it is going on for quite a long time.
But you can't get this particular fancy edging any other way. And so I press on...

I think it's a pretty robust edging for a child's garment. It has an effect not unlike a lace edging, but is much sturdier.

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