Happier selvedges for swatch blocking

I don’t know if you noticed on Saturday, but I’ve hit on a combination of selvedge stitches that I like for blocking my swatches. I might even like it for lace shawls and such. At any rate, it’s easy to knit, and it’s easy to block with blocking wires. And I like the way it looks.

Chart for a selvedge that's good for use with blocking wires

It’s a three stitch selvedge, and has half as many yarnovers as my first attempts. This seems to be just right: enough yarnovers that the selvedge is evenly blocked, but not so many that the yarnovers overlap and are annoying to pick up with the blocking wire.

Here’s how it works:

Cast on three selvedge stitches on each side, aside from the stitches cast on for the swatch itself.

Chart for a selvedge that's good for use with blocking wires

Rows 1 & 2: k3, (swatch stitches), k3.
Rows 3 & 4: yo, k1, k2tog, (swatch stitches), k3.

At first I found myself confused about keeping track of whether it was time to make a yarnover or not, but then I came up with a way to tell: look at the stitches at the other end of the needle.

If you are about to knit a right side row, and you see three knit stitches on the needle at the far end, it’s time for a YO row. If you see a YO hanging on the far end, it’s time for a knit row.

If you are about to knit a wrong side row, and you see a YO hanging off the far end of the needle, it’s time for a YO row. If you see three knit stitches at the far end, it’s time for a knit row.

Finally, I had trouble at first with my YOs trying to cross over the first stitch. This seems to be a result of tight knitting. i don’t know how to explain how I got past this, but it did come with practice.

 

  • Designers, please feel free to use this selvedge in your patterns.
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5 thoughts on “Happier selvedges for swatch blocking

    1. Er, correction – every row starts with a YO, k2tog, k1. That means the loops technically alternate from side to side, but it makes them much easier and more identical.

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