I actually have several favorite finishing techniques, but there is one newish-to-me technique that I really love: the applied i-cord.
I used this knitting technique to finish off the neckline of my Caftan Pullover, pictured at left. The edging that the pattern called for was four rows of garter stitch, so it wasn't ugly or anything, but I wanted a smoother look. I did the garter stitch edging and then followed it with an applied i-cord.Want to try it? Here's how:
With the garment's right side facing and using a separate ball of yarn and circular needle, pick up the desired number of stitches along the garment edge. Slide these stitches down the needle so that the first picked-up stitch is near the opposite needle point. With a double-pointed needle, cast on the desired number of I-cord stitches (I used four on the caftan). Begin knitting the applied I-cord as follows:Step 1.
Knit across the I-cord to the last stitch, then knit the last stitch together through the back loop with the first picked-up stitch on the garment.
||The original Caftan Pullover neckline edging: four rows of garter stitch. I like the applied i-cord so much better!
Slip the number of cast-on stitches back to the right hand needle (so, if you're doing a three-stitch I-cord, slip three stitches back to the right-hand needle). Step 3.
Knit across the I-cord to the last stitch, then knit the last stitch together through the back loop with the first picked-up stitch on the garment. Step 4.
Continue in this manner until all picked-up stitches have been used.
The result is a tube that makes a really nice, smooth edge.
For more useful finishing techniques, check out our brand new Knitting Daily DVD Workshop—Knitting Around the Edge: Bands, Borders, and Buttonholes with Nancie Wiseman
. An acclaimed knitter and teacher, Nancie demonstrates the applied i-cord and so much more. Learn cast-on and bind-off methods and the pros and cons of each; bands, hem, and border ideas; eyelet, vertical, one-row, and loop buttonholes; and more i-cord methods such as garter stitch, reverse stockinette, and closures.
You can get Knitting Around the Edge as a download
, too. It's a valuable resource that will help you make your knitting even more beautiful.