How To Knit Edgings and Borders

Welcome to Improve Your Knitting Skills in 30 Days, a knitter’s master class helping you getting better at knitting and learn new knitting techniques and tricks in 30 days! Today we’re talking about how to knit edgings and borders for your shawl knitting projects.

30 Days to Better Knitting: Table of Contents

What Are Edgings?

Edgings (sometimes called borders) are panels used to frame shawls in knitting: most knitted shawls have a kind of main shawl body, and an edging.

Usually, an edging is the last step in shawl knitting. It can be worked in the same direction as the main shawl body, or it can be worked sideways.

How To Knit Edgings

How your edging is worked best depends on the shawl shape you’re working on, and the chosen knitting direction (square shawls can be worked in different directions, for example – feel free to browse my free Shawl Design Course for details on shawl shapes and their construction methods).

Two examples are given below: the edgings for a square shawl worked center out and for a triangle shawl worked bottom-up.

How To Knit Edgings in Square Shawls

The edgings of square shawls finalizes the shawl and is present on all four sides. It can be worked in the same direction as the shawl itself – in rounds, with paired increases at the corners – or sideways. The increase rate at the corners is the same as for the main body: two stitches per panel every other row (the shawl outlined below, and square shawls in general, have four 90° panels).

Edgings in Square Shawls: working center out, with an edging (shown in white) worked in the same direction as the shawl body (light blue).

Working the edging sideways involves working around the corner. Instructions for these types of edgings are covered in tomorrow’s post Knitting 101: Knitting Around the Corner: Edgings and Borders (II). (Links will be updated as soon as they are available)

How To Knit Edgings in Triangle Shawls

An outline for the construction of a triangle shawl worked bottom-up is shown below. Basically, the edgings on both sides are worked at the same time as the shawl body, the upper side edging (border) is worked last.

Edgings in Triangle Shawls: working bottom up, with an edging (shown in gray) worked in the same direction as the shawl body (white) and the top edging worked afterwards

It can be worked sideways or in the same direction as the main shawl body. When working the latter, just continue straight in your edging or border pattern until your desired border width is reached.

When working borders sideways, you need to cast on the number of border stitches (the desired border height) after finishing the shawl, then working the edging back and forth (in the schematic below this would be working vertically). At the same time, on every right side row, knit one stitch of the main shawl body together with the innermost edging stitch to attach the border to the shawl body.

Questions? Just ask by leaving a comment below!

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