Thursday, February 10, 2011

Horizontal fold lines in knitting, part 2: purl sides out, knit sides in the fold

As shown in the previous post, it is easy to make a stockinette fabric fold along a horizontal line so the smooth knit side of the fabric is out and the purl sides of the fabric (the reverse stockinette) are trapped inside the fold. This is done by simply making a row or round of purls on the smooth stockinette face of the fabric, and voila: the stockinette then folds smoothly at the purl line, smooth knit side out; bumpy purl sides, back-to-back, inside the fold.

As strong as this structure of this fold is, however, no immediately obvious counterpart exists to make a fold line on the purl side, so that the bumpy purl sides face out and the knit sides are trapped, back-to-back, inside the fold.

Here is a little "unvention," the result of fooling around over a couple of years, which I believe does fit the bill.  It is WORKED from the smooth (knit) side but, when FINISHED, causes the fabric to fold so the purl (reverse stockinette) fabric faces out while the knit side of the fabric is trapped inside the fold.

Step 1: On the stockinette fabric, with the smooth (knit) side facing you, locate the stitch TAIL, illustrated in RED, below.
Step 1

Step 2: Draw the tail up and place it, right arm forward, on the tip of the left needle.
Step 2

Step 3:Insert the right needle tip into the next ordinary stitch on the left needle (illustrated in dark green), then into the loop made by the tail (red), as shown below.  Knit the two loops together from this position using the running yarn which is shown in lighter green.
Step 3

Step 4: The final result will be an assembly of two loops worked together, looking remarkably like a k2tog (Knit 2 together). If you look at the below illustration and all the previous ones, there are several stitches already worked according to this trick, with the tail-loops being illustrated in pink, the main stitch in green and the running yarn in lighter green.  The upcoming tails to be worked in this trick are also illustrated in pink.
Step 4

Here is a photo of the finished product, as seen from the purl side, with the fold line at the bottom of the photo.

The finished result

I think it makes a pretty nice fold, especially for a purl fabric.  Try it, and see what you think! 

* * *

big thank you! to the three test knitters: Anonymous (you know who you are!) Christina and Tatterbat, not only for trying this out but thanks, too for your ideas: one test knitter plans to use this for the hem of a reverse stockinette sweater, and another mentioned a set of square baby blocks--some to be made knit-side-out, using the ordinary purl-on-stockinette fold of the previous post, some to be made purl-side-out using this new technique. 

Good knitting! --TK