Bands and borders

If you’re going to add button or edging bands to your work, you’ll need to attach them evenly. In this video, we’ll show you how to pick up the correct number of stitches along your work, by using pins and a coloured length of yarn.

Divide area before picking up

  1. First we are going to divide the work evenly.
  2. Lie the work on a flat surface.
  3. Then divide the edge into even sections.
  4. Place a pin at each end of the edge.
  5. Take a coloured length of yarn and cut to length from one pin to the other.
  6. Fold the yarn in half and mark the central point with a pin.
  7. Repeat this process to mark the quarter points.
  8. Now you only need to divide the amount of stitches by the amount of segments you have made.

Picking up stitches

  1. With right side facing, insert a needle through the fabric from the front to the back between the first and second stitch in from the edge for a neat finish.
  2. Wrap the yarn around the needle and pull the loop through to form a stitch almost treating the fabric as if it was the other needle.
  3. Continue in this way along the whole edge, picking up the required amount of stitches between each pin.

Sewing on a band

  1. With right side facing it is common for the end of the row to be looser than the beginning of the row. Therefore, when working a cardigan, the right front side edge will be looser than the left front side edge. This is why it is important to count the rows of the bands to ensure they are the same length. Buttonholes can also distort the length of a band and make it appear longer than a band without buttonholes.
  2. When knitting bands separately from the main garment, increase an extra stitch on the inside edge of the band for sewing up.
  3. Work the whole button band first, counting the rows as you go.
  4. Pin then sew on using flat stitch slightly stretching as you go.
  5. Continue to sew on in flat stitch but don’t cast off until you are sure the band fits.

Grafting the two bands together

  1. Lie the bands together with right side facing.
  2. Taking a third needle the same size, insert the needle into the front of the first stitch of the front band through to the first stitch on the second band, and knit both stitches together.
  3. Work the second stitch on both bands in same way.
  4. Then cast off the first stitch over the second stitch.
  5. Work the next stitch from the front and back bands and cast off.
  6. Continue in this way to the end of the band.
  7. Grafting together this way will give you a flat seam that will lie properly at the back of the neckline.
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