Last winter I read a post from backstrap weaver Laverne Waddington about how she uses cross-knit looping as an edging. That set wheels turning in my head. I did a little sampling in September, and finally finished a project — a bag with I-cord handles that hangs from the “ears” on the back of the chair by my spinning wheel.
I wanted to use the cross-knit edging technique to combine components knit the “regular” way — that is, with a pair of knitting needles, pulling up yarn from a continuous ball. (Looping, on the other hand, uses one needle and you the entire length of shorter thread through on each stitch.) I knit the base of the bag in stockinette, then did sections of garter stitch, sideways ribbing, and stockinette in the round (which I turned inside out).
Once the knit components were finished, I butted the edges and joined the sections with cross-knit looping. When all the pieces were assembled, I finished the rim with more of the same. Here’s what that looked like:
|Cross-knit looping as an edging|
At the end of each row, the thread passes through the fabric. That puts you in position to stitch the next row — simple and brilliant.
|First stitch in new row of cross-knit looping edging|
It makes a lovely selvedge, and adds stability to the edge.
In the pictures, you see me working with the bulk of the fabric to the left. I tried different hand positions throughout the project but didn’t photograph them. Usually, I decide on a preference based on how gravity “drops” the thread and how my non-dominant (left) hand is positioned to help with tension control while my dominant (right) hand manages the needle. I’m going to try another piece with different hand positions, but think I prefer working with the bulk of the fabric to the right (not the way you see pictured).
When the bag was assembled and edged, I used regular looping to add a deep outside pocket (for knitting needles), a short outside pocket (for my MP3 player, with spinning podcasts), and a big looping freeform flower with a dense center where I can stick tapestry needles and find them again.
Thank you, Laverne, for the inspiration to do something different with cross-knit looping!