Knitted Borders and Corners

Tutorial for turning corners in a knitted border

Before I started the knitted-on border to my Pie Are Square Shawl, I tested a lovely little lace edging on a small swatch. I wanted to see how the lace edge worked up before I committed to using it in my project. And like the tricksy yarn-y blogger that I am, I made that little self-imposed exercise into a how-to tutorial and posted it here.


Knitted on Borders and How to Make Them


I’m always doing that. I steal from my on-going crafty life and use it as fodder for posts. I insert it into my knit and crochet classes too. Yep, I’m pretty clever at getting lots of mileage out of whatever projects I have going.

After that little knitted-on border tutorial, a few people make inquiries about turning corners with the border. So now that I’m at a corner in my Pie Are Square Shawl that needs turning… I’m totally ready to post a little tutorial for that topic! Funny how that worked out isn’t?

How to Turn a Corner with a Knitted-on Border

There reason you will not find many explanations for how to turn on corner with a knitted-on border is because the specifics will be different for every border. A lot of what you do will depend on the pattern/motif you’ve chosen for your border. If you are tackling this on your own, you’re going to have to make some judgement calls.

But there are some general steps to follow and some techniques that will work in each case.

1)  You are going to use short rows. That means for some of the rows in your knitted-on border, you will not go all the way back to the edge and pick up a stitch from the main piece.

2) Short rows means you’ll have to “stop and turn”. Where you do that, stop and turn, will depend on your pattern but do it as close to the edge of the main piece as you can. You want to preserve as much of the edge pattern as possible.

3) You’ll need to start these short rows before you get to the actual corner. You’ll work them through the corner and past it.

4) Lifelines are your friend. You’re going to be making some educated guesses here which is a gentler way of saying you are making it up as you go! Lifelines. Use ’em.

An Example…

I’m using a lace edge called Diamond Edging that I found on Its a twelve row repeat and that link includes instruction in both written and charted form.

I like charts. Its easier for me to keep track of my place in charts.

Diamond Edging

So my first step in turning the corner is to look at this chart and identify the places I can “stop and turn” without wrecking the lace pattern. 

where I’ll stop & turn to make short rows

I decided that on Rows 2, 6, and 10, I’ll stop one stitch before the end. Then I’ll turn. Then I’ll start Rows 3, 7, and 11 on the second stitch in that row. The other rows are worked without modification.

I need to start this modified, short-row version of my lace border before I get to the corner. I decided to start it 7 stitches before and work 5 repeats. Now that was a guess and it worked out for me. The corner laid flat. But it could have gone all wonky on me which is why before I started I…

A lifeline is your friend

set a lifeline.

Then I started my short-row-version repeats. Here is how it looked after 2 of those.

I think you can tell from this that the lace edge is wider on the outside edge that it is where it attached to the main piece.

And here is how it looked after 5 full repeats.

I was happy with it. I didn’t feel the need to rip out and re-do (but I have in the past). After the corner I went back to a straight-a-way and used my lace edge pattern as it was written (no more short rows).

That’s my short row method for turning corners. It works for any border but there may be some trial and error involved. My advice is to make your best guess, be ready to try it a second time, and don’t get too persnickety about this. Knitted-on border are flexible; they adjust to the fit and drape of the main piece. Any minor issues that you see can probably be fixing in blocking.

Like free tutorials? Great! I have scads of them to suck up your free time help you out.
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6 Comments on "Knitted Borders and Corners"

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I have yet to knit a border on a knit piece. (Knit borders intimidates me). I usually crochet a decorative border on. On the other hand, I finally learned just how wonderful the use of a lifeline can be. And glory to God, they are absolutely wonderful. It only took me 25 times of either dropping a stitch or loosing my place and knitting the wrong stitch pattern which caused me to have to start completely over from scratch d/t the complexity of the pattern. And each time, I was on row 50 or so. I wanted to pull my… Read more »

Thank you for this very helpful tutorial. The pictures are invaluable!


The Shawl is really coming along. I’m impressed not only by your skill but by your stick to itness. This is the kind of moster project that ends up in the back of my Someday closet.