Living on the edge

knitting on a lace edge
So after a few miles of garter stitch knitting, I’m working on the lace edge of this Pie Are Square shawl.

I feel like that statement should be accompanied by a blare of trumpets. There should be confetti and balloons and I should be getting a “Congratulations!” card from someone. I should get a big pat on the back.

I know ya’ll would give me that pat if you could. I know that you completely understand the feeling of victory that comes when you have cleared a big hurdle on a project. I’m not sure that ya’ll know this makes you an uber yarn-nerd (like me).

But our collective state of yarn-nerdom doesn’t matter as much as this:

This is me knitting back and forth in little 9-stitch rows on my lace edge. After the 750(ish) rows in the body of the shawl, these itty, bitty rows feel like they are practically knitting themselves. Knitknit(yarn over)knitknit… turn. knitknit(purl)knit… turn.

zoom zoom

The lace edge pattern I’m using is the same one I was demonstrating in my tutorial on Knitting On Edges. Its called Diamond Edging and you can find a free copy of this lace pattern right here. I know it doesn’t look like much right now. Unblocked lace never does. But it will open up nicely I think and give a delicate touch to an otherwise hefty looking knit. In Knitting Around, Elizabeth Zimmerman finishes her Pie Are Square shawl off with a simple saw tooth edge. Her daughter Meg’s version has a fancy Cockshell lace for an edge. But you can use any edge you like and Elizabeth, if she were here to chime in, would certainly encourage me to do so. Most of her later patterns, the ones she published after becoming successful enough to blow off editors, are written in a way that sets you up to modify and embellish and make that pattern your own. Knitting Around is a book of patterns written to empower. 

In her later career Elizabeth published her stuff through her own company, Schoolhouse Press. That company took its name from the little schoolhouse that she and her husband bought in the 1950’s and turned into a family home. Doesn’t that sound just charming? So when I got to the part in Knitting Around where Elizabeth talks about how they came to buy their little schoolhouse (Knitting Around takes frequent breaks from empowering knitting patterns to tell you about the author’s life) I read it with keen interest.

from Knitting Around

I’m not sure you can make that out, but in this recounting Elizabeth says that before she and her Arnold bought it, the little schoolhouse was used by vagrants and hunters and any such passing through the area. Previous to all that, the last owner had “blown his brains out”. She speculated that this was due to the troublesome floor of the schoolhouse which had been flooded out, rotted out, replaced, and as a consequence the front door would not shut. Or something. Like all of her best writing, its very witty and very stiff-upper-lip British.

I do love her sense of humor and I’m quite glad she became popular enough to blow off editors. Otherwise we might not have an entire chapter on how to make dickeys. What’s a dickey? Its a fake thingie that you wear under a cardigan to make it look like you have a turtleneck on.  You remember Kent from Real Genius? He wore dickeys.

from Knitting Around

I predict they will be the next hot fashion trend. Everyone will be wearing them come this winter. I also predict that my mom, who does not care a whit for fashion trends and is even more wimpy about the cold than I am, will read this post and immediately call to say that she wants a dickey.

But dickey knitting will have to wait. I’m knitting on the edge of this shawl until its done. And the only thing slowing me down is that wicked little black-furred roommate of mine.


Cat butt in my knitting, cat butt in my face, cat butt on my keyboard; these are all daily occurrences around here. It slows me down but I’m used to working around her butt. So I’m sure I’ll have this lace edge done lickty split.

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"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen

24 Comments on "Living on the edge"

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Pat, pat, pat. Good Knitter. Congratulations.
Seriously, it looks wonderful already.


Sorry for the double comment. But. If your Mom was as big a whimp about cold as I am, she would wear a real turtleneck under what ever top she laid out for the day. Like I do. Every Spring it looks like I’ve lost weight. Nope, I merely took off a few layers.


🎉🎈🍷🎉🎈🍷💐🎉🎈🍷💐 Fantastic job! I love your progress reports! Even with cat butt, which I can relate to. Indeed you need more celebration: 💐🍷🎉🎈🐱🐱🐾💐🎂🎉🎈🍷🎂🎉🎈🎂🐾


Congratulations, Fanfare, HUGS & Back Pats by the hundreds!!! And what’s life without a little cat butt (or kitty feet walking across the top of your head & pulling your hair at 5am – but who’s complaining? Oh…that would be me…)


You’re project is looking great. Congratulations what a major accomplishment