Using a Seed-Stitch Edging

Sometimes simple is best. But simple means different things to different people. For me, it's stockinette in the round; TV knitting, if you will. Add a little shaping and a pretty edging, and you're all set. Simple sweater: check!

I like the looks of Kristen TenDyke's Dreamy Pullover. It's been in my queue for awhile—maybe it'll make my 2015 knit list! Stockinette is actually my favorite stitch, and I love the looks of this sweater. The loose neck is perfect for me. It'll draw attention to my face without being too snug on my neck. That's one of my pet peeves; I hate pulling at the neck of a tee-shirt or sweater when it feels too snug, so I never wear turtlenecks. But this cowl-neck design looks like it fits very well.

Learn everything you need to know about seed-stitch edging to create simple, yet beautiful knitting edges in your projects!
The Dreamy Pullover by Kristen TenDyke, from No-Sew Knits

The really neat thing about the Dreamy Pullover is that you can choose your own knitting adventure by selecting a different edging for the neck, and cuffs, and hem. Here's Kristen to tell you about this design and one of her favorite edgings.

The Dreamy Pullover

Part of the beauty of knitting an entire sweater in stockinette stitch is that it can show off the colorful texture of gorgeous hand-dyed yarns. Yet the pattern that is chosen for the edgings can be used to bring a bit of unique detail to the sweater and make it a little more interesting to knit. The Dreamy Pullover can be knit with the welt edging pattern, as shown, or with any range of edgings

Why Use Edging?

When a project is knit in stockinette stitch or reverse stockinette stitch, the edges may be prone to rolling, depending on the fibers used and the spin of the yarn. At the cast-on and bind-off edges, a stockinette stitch fabric will roll out toward the right side, so the purl bumps from the wrong side are showing. At the selvedge edges, a stockinette stitch fabric will roll in toward the wrong side, so the knit sides roll in. This can be used to your advantage if you want this look, but for many designs, it's important for the edges to lay flat when you're wearing them.

When you use an equal (or nearly equal) combination of knit and purl stitches together in an edging stitch pattern, the knits and purls work together to maintain a flat fabric. It's when one stitch dominates over the other that the fabric will roll.

Here's one of my favorite basic edging patterns:


Seed stitch is a stitch pattern with an equal number of knit and purl stitches. By alternating knits and purls every other stitch and every other row/round, the texture of the pattern is elegant and very flat.

     Learn everything you need to know about seed-stitch edging to create simple, yet beautiful knitting edges in your projects!
The Dreamy Pullover. If I make this sweater, I'll shorten the sleeves. Even though that's the style,  I can't stand sleeves that go beyond my wrists!

Worked back and forth:
(multiple of 2 sts)
Row 1: *K1, p1; rep from * to end.
Row 2: *P1, k1; rep from * to end.
Repeat the last 2 rows.

Worked back and forth:
(multiple of 2 sts + 1)
All Rows: K1, *p1, k1; rep from * to end.

Worked in the round:
(multiple of 2 sts + 1)
Row 1: K1, *p1, k1; rep from * around.
Row 2: P1, *k1; p1; rep from * around.
Repeat the last 2 rows.

Advantages: When working seed stitch flat (back and forth in rows), it can be worked over any number of stitches, making it easy to adapt to any pattern.

Things to consider: When working seed stitch circular (in the round), the beginning of the round is less noticeable when the pattern is worked over an odd number of stitches. When working over an odd number of stitches, the first and last stitch of the round will be the same stitch (knit or purl). Beginning the second round with the opposite stitch will maintain the alternating stitch pattern.

—Kristen TenDyke, from No-Sew Knits

The Dreamy Pullover is just one of the finish-free designs from No-Sew Knits. And the bonus of this book is that Kristin goes in-depth on techniques used in the patterns. For example, the seed-stitch border is just one of four that Kristen recommends for the Dreamy Pullover.

You can't beat the knitting instructions and beautiful patterns in No-Sew Knits! Get your copy today.

Learn everything you need to know about seed-stitch edging to create simple, yet beautiful knitting edges in your projects!

P.S. What's your favorite neckline—crew, V, boat, cowl? Leave a comment and cast your vote!

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Edgings and Insertions, Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

8 thoughts on “Using a Seed-Stitch Edging

  1. My favorite neckline is a v-neck because it is so versatile and flattering and comfortable. I was SO happy to see your comment under the picture about the length of the sleeves. WHO dictates these impractical and unattractive fashion statements????? At least with knitting we can do our own sleeve length, but I am sick of all the ready to wear clothing with those ridiculous sleeves that need to be rolled up or shortened.

  2. Favorite neckline: boatneck. Looks good with hanging jewelry like pendants or strings of beads, with scarves or cowls, and looks nice under a blazer or jacket.

    I agree about the silly overlong sleeve thing. It makes grown women look like little girls playing dress-up in their mothers’ clothes. On the other hand, I have disproportionately long arms and when I knit a sweater like the one on the model I know I’m not going to have to add extra length to get a normal-looking fit. Bad fashion trend for the win!