01 of 02
Setting Up Your Knit Hem
Using a hem on the bottom of a sweater or hat is a great way to give your project a professional, finished look when you don't want a ribbed edge. A picot edge is really cute on girl's projects, but a plain hem is great, too.
The problem with knit hems is that you usually have to sew them up after the knitting is done, which adds a step to your finishing.
This technique allows you to seam as you knit, so it's finished before the knitting is. It's faster than stitching a hem, too.
To set up the hem, just follow the instructions in your knitting pattern. For a plain hem, you might knit 3 rows in Stockinette, work a purl row on the right side (called a turning row, it helps the hem turn where it's supposed to), then work 3 more rows in Stockinette.
Work 3 rows in Stockinette, so you will be ready to work on a right side row next.Continue to 2 of 2 below.
02 of 02
Stitching Up a Knit Hem
If you were knitting a hem on a garment in a normal way, from here you would just continue on to the body of the garment and finish the hem at the end by folding along the fold line (or the row with the yarn overs in the case of a picot hem) and sewing the first three rows to the back of the work.
Instead, we are going to "sew" the hem right now as we knit the next row. Fold the first three rows to the back of the work, either on the turning row or the picot edging row, depending on the type of hem you are knitting.
Put the right-hand needle into the first stitch as if to knit, then go through the first stitch of the cast on edge and knit these two "stitches" together.
Repeat across the row, working the stitch with its corresponding stitch along the edge, until you have worked all the stitches. This results in a hem that is sewn down firmly but rips out as easily as frogging your knitting should you need to.
From there, continue to work the body of the garment as indicated in the pattern.
Now that you know how to do this you can easily add a "sewn" hem or a picot edge to any knitting project you like, from sweaters to hats or even the edge of a dishcloth for extra cuteness.
That one row will take a bit longer to work, and in the beginning, it's a little fiddly to pick up the stitch on the edge in the right place, but it's a lot quicker and easier than sewing the hem down by hand and there are no extra ends to weave in. It doesn't really get any better than that.
This method is used in the Picot Edge Fingerless Gloves pattern from Dawn Prickett. The Royal Llama Silk Hat from Plymouth Yarns uses a picot edging where the seam is sewn after the knitting is done, but you can easily use this method instead so there's no finishing other than weaving in ends when you're done. Carole Julius has a great pair of picot-edged socks, too, which are otherwise Stockinette and really simple to knit.