Decorative Details

You can liven up a knitting project by adding decorative details. You can add a pompom to a hat, fringe to a scarf, or tassels to the corners of a cushion cover. Sometimes a little embroidered stitch running along the edge in an accent color is enough to transform a plain sweater into something really eye-catching. Turn to this chapter for the basics on finishing touches: fringe, pompoms, tassels, embroidery, and crochet trimmings. These embellishments are not hard to do, and another half-hour of finishing will be time well spent. Please note that some of the steps in this chapter contain knitting abbreviations that are commonly used in knitting patterns. For a full list of the abbreviations, see the Appendix.

Make Pompoms and Tassels 188

Add Fringe 190

Make a Knitted Ball 192

Make a Knitted Flower 193

Make Twisted and Knitted Cords 194

Fancy Knit Borders and Edgings 196

Knitting with Beads 198

Crochet Embellishment 200

Embroider Your Knitting 204

Make Pompoms and Tassels

You may want to accent a scarf, hat, or sweater with one of these decorative additions. Tassels and pompoms are both made from bundles of cut yarn, but they each have a completely different effect. You can use the same yarn that you used to knit your project or a contrast color. Try using a combination of two or more colors at once for a colorful appearance.


1 Cut two pieces of cardboard into circles the size that you want your pompom to be. Cut a pie piece out of each circle and then cut a circle out of the center of each of the circles. The two pieces should be identical.

2 Hold the two cardboard pieces, one on top of the other, and wrap the yarn around them tightly and densely. Cut the yarn end.

Note: Use less yarn for a loose pompom, as shown, or a lot more yarn for a dense pompom.

3 Insert the scissors between the two circles and under the yarn, as shown. Cut the yarn all the way around the outside of the cardboard circles.

4 Bring a 12-inch strand of yarn between the cardboard circles and around the center of the cut yarn. Tie it tightly in a square knot.

5 Remove the cardboard and trim the edges of the pompom to make it nice and round.


1 Cut a piece of cardboard into a rectangle the length that you want your tassel to be.

2 Wrap the yarn around the cardboard to the desired thickness.

3 Thread a tapestry needle with a 12-inch strand of the same yarn and insert the needle between the cardboard and the wrapped yarn. Tie the strand's ends in a knot at the top edge of the cardboard.

4 Cut the tassel free along the bottom edge of the cardboard.

5 Wrap a 10-inch strand of yarn around the tassel a few times, about % inch down from the tied end, and tie the ends tightly in a knot. Conceal the strand's ends by threading them through a tapestry needle, pulling the needle through the tassel top, and trimming.

6 Trim the tassels' ends to neaten them.

Tassel Forms

You don't have to use cardboard to make tassels. DVD cases, slim paperback books (like this one), and notepads all make excellent tassel forms, and you can use the short or long side, depending on the length of tassel that you want.

Add Fringe

Fringe works well on scarves, throws, sweater hems, and ponchos. Combining two or more different colors or yarn to make fringe can have a lovely effect, so experiment by holding var ious odds and ends together next to your project to see how they look. Fringe can use up a fair amount of yarn, so make sure that you have enough before you begin. To make fringe, you need—in addition to the yarn—a pair of scissors and a crochet hook.

1 Determine how long you want your final fringe to be. Then cut the yarn to double that length, plus an inch extra for the knot.

2 Hold the strands together, with the ends matched up, creating a loop at the top.

3 Hold your knitting with the right side facing you. Insert the crochet hook from back to front into the lower-left corner, just above the cast-on row.

4 Use the crochet hook to take hold of your loop of folded strands.

Fringe Benefits

Fringe doesn't have to go in the usual, predictable places. You can attach fringe along the vertical fronts of cardigans or knit jackets. A short row of fringe at the cuff of a baby sweater or women's jacket also adds a unique touch. Try adding fringe to the base of a rectangular knit bag, or around the perimeter of a knit cushion cover. The possibilities are limitless.

Make a Knitted Ball

A knitted ball is a fun accent to hats, scarves, shawls, and pillows. You can sew it directly onto your knitting, or first sew on a knitted cord (see p. 195) and then attach it so that it dangles. To make a knitted ball, you need a set of double-pointed needles several sizes smaller than your yarn recommends.

1 CO 8 sts, and divide among 3 dpns, leaving a 6-inch tail.

2 Join round, and using a fourth dpn, knit into the front and then the back of every stitch—16 sts.

3 K3 rounds.

4 Next round: K1,ml,*k2, ml; rep from * to last stitch, kl — 24 sts.

5 Knit every round without further shaping until the ball measures 2 inches from the cast-on edge.

4 Next round: *K2tog; rep from

0 Cut yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail. Pull the tail through the remaining stitches, cinch tight, and secure.

Q Stuff bits of polyester stuffing into the ball through the hole at the cast-on end until it is firm.

0 Thread the tail that is left from casting on through a tapestry needle, and weave it in and out along the cast-on edge. Cinch tight and secure. (You can use this end later to sew the ball to your knitted item.)

! Weave in the end at the top, pulling it down through the center of the ball and trimming it to neaten up the top.

Make a

Knitted Flower

Knitted and crocheted flowers adorn knitting projects by adding a delicate touch. This is just one of many ways to make a knitted flower. You can accent the center of the flower with a button, or create two or more flowers in different gauges and layer them for a more three-dimensional look. The thickness of your yarn will determine the size of the flower.

2 Row 1: Knit into the front and back of the first stitch, k1, turn, sl 1, k2-4 sts.

3 Row 2: Knit into the front and back of the first stitch, knit to the end-5 sts.

5 Row 4: Knit into the front and back of the first stitch, k3, turn, sl 1, knit to the end-6 sts.

8 Rep steps 2-7 (rows 1-6) three more times, to create three more petals.

9 Rep steps 2-6 (rows 1-5) for the fifth petal.

0 BO stitches.

  • Sew the bound-off edge to the cast-on edge to shape the flower. Weave the needle in and out around the center hole, and cinch tight to close the center of the flower.
  • Sew the center of the flower-adding a button or a layer of two buttons-to your knitting. You can also attach a large French knot (see p. 205) or a knitted ball (see the previous page) to the center.

Make Twisted and Knitted Cords

You can use twisted and knitted cords for all kinds of useful details, such as hat ties, bag handles, and mitten cords. Twisted cords are easy to make. You can also attach pompoms or tassels to the end of a twisted cord for an added effect on hat or sweater ties. Knitted cords also have all sorts of decorative uses. Try looping and configuring one into a heart or flower decoration for a hat, or use a row of knitted cords in place of fringe.


1 Determine how long you want your twisted cord to be. Then cut a few strands of yarn three times that length. Knot the strands together at each end.

2 Insert a knitting needle at each knotted end and pull the strands taut. Twist one of the needles in a clockwise motion until the strands are tightly spun together.

Note: If your strands are longer than your arm span, anchor one knotted end on a coat hook, a doorknob, or other stationary object.

3 Maintain tight tension on the strands, and take care not to let them untwist; fold the strands in half-holding the fold loop firmly in one hand-so that the knotted ends line up with each other. Let go of the ends; the cord twists itself together, forming an elegant rope.


1 Cast on 5 or 6 stitches to one of your double-pointed needles.

2 Knit across the stitches but do not turn your work.

3 Push the stitches back to the other end of the double-pointed needle, so that you are ready to work a right-side row again. Insert the second double-pointed needle into the first stitch to knit as usual, firmly pull the working yarn from the end of the row, and knit.

4 Repeat steps 2-3 until the cord is the desired length. Bind off or cut the yarn and pull it through all of the stitches to tighten.

Easy Matching Buttons

Sometimes it's difficult to find buttons that suit your project. You can make your own buttons using yarn that matches or accents your knitting. Knitted cord knots and knitted balls all make excellent buttons, and they're not too difficult to make. To make knitted cord buttons, simply follow the steps above until your cord is about 4 inches long. Tie it in a single or double knot, and sew it onto your project. See p. 192 for instructions on how to make a knitted ball.

Fancy Knit Borders and Edgings

Sometimes a plain sweater or hat needs to be dressed up a little. You can work a fancy ruffle or border at the edge to add that accent to your knitting. The following ruffles, borders, and edgings are all easy to create. You can work them in the same color as your knitting or in an accent color.


1 CO twice the number of sts that you want to end up with. (For example, if you are knitting a sweater back with 60 stitches, you CO 120 for the ruffle.)

2 Work in St st to the desired length of the ruffle, ending with a purl row.

3 K2tog across the entire row. You end up with half the number of st CO.

Note: You can work 3 rows of g st to reinforce the decrease row.


1 CO a number that is a multiple of 2 sts plus 1, and that is 4 times the number of sts that you want to end up with, minus 3. (For example, if you want to end up with 60 sts, CO 237 sts for this ruffle.)

2 Row 1 (RS): K1, *k2, pass the first of these 2 sts over the second and off the needle; rep from * to the end of the row.

3 Row 2 (WS): P1, *p2tog; rep from * to the end of the row.

Note: You can work the ruffle on smaller needles if you want it to be tighter.


1 CO a number of sts that is a multiple of 5 sts plus 2 (for example, 17, 22, 27, 32, and so on).

2 Row 1 (RS): Kl, yo, *k5, [pass the second, third, fourth, and fifth sts over the first st and off], yo; rep from *to the last st, k1.

You now have a multiple of 2 sts plus 3 on your needle.

Q Row 2 (WS): P1, *[p1, yo, k1 tbl] all in the next st, p1; rep from * to the end of the row.

You now have a multiple of 4 sts plus 1 on your needle.

4 Row 3: K2, k1 tbl, *k3, k1tbl; rep from * to the last 2 sts, k2.


0 Rep rows 1-12 until the edging is the desired length. BO sts, and sew the edging to your knitting.

Knitting with Beads

Knitting beads directly into your work is an embellishment that can have varied effects. You can create elegant purses and evening wear by knitting delicate glass beads with fine yarns, or you can create a more casual look by knitting wooden beads into a thick, sturdy, natural-looking yarn. Because beading has grown in popularity, you can find a wide selection of beads at large craft stores. Be sure that your beads and yarn have compatible care instructions.

O Thread the end of the working yarn into a needle that is small enough to fit through the hole in the bead. Thread all of the beads that you will need onto the working yarn, sliding them down toward the yarn ball.

2 Cast on stitches and work your knitting pattern's instructions.

3 When you get to the point on a right-side row where you are ready to add a bead, bring the working yarn to the front, between your needles.

4 Slide the first bead up the yarn so that it rests snugly against the last knit stitch.

5 Use the tip of the right needle to slip the next stitch on the left needle knitwise to the right needle.

6 Bring the working yarn to the back, adjust the bead so that it is placed where you want it, and knit the next stitch snugly to hold the bead firmly in place.

You have now beaded 1 stitch.

Stringing Small Beads

Threading yarn through the holes of small beads can seem impossible, but you can use a beading needle and thin sewing thread to bring the yarn through the hole. Thread a beading needle with thin thread. Loop the thread around a fold in your yarn and then insert both ends of the thread into the eye of the needle. Slide the bead over the needle and then pull the needle, the thread, and the yarn through the bead hole.

Crochet Embellishment

You don't have to be a crochet expert to finish your knitting with simple crochet edgings or chains. A crochet edge can neaten and firm up an unstable or curling edge, and also add interest and color to a plain-looking project. In this section, you'll learn how to work a chain, which will enable you to add decorative cords, button loops, and picot trim to your crochet edgings. A picot edging makes a fancy trim that looks great on feminine sweaters and baby knits.


1 Make a slipknot, leaving a 6-inch tail. Insert a crochet hook of an appropriate size for the yarn into the slipknot.

2 Wrap the working yarn around the crochet hook from back to front (creating a yarn-over loop) so that the hook catches the yarn.

Q Holding the working yarn in your left hand and the hook in your right, pull the yarn-over loop on the hook through the slipknot.

You have now made 1 loop in a chain.

4 Repeat steps 2-3 until the chain is the desired length. Cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail, and pull it snugly through the last loop to finish the chain.


1 Choose a crochet hook that is one or two sizes smaller than the needles that are used for your knitting. Insert the hook into your knitting at the right corner of the edge.

2 Loop the yarn around the hook (yo) and pull the loop through.

3 Insert the crochet hook into the next stitch of the knitting, yarn over again, and pull the loop through both the knitting and the loop on the hook from step 1.

You should now have 1 loop remaining on the hook.

4 Repeat step 3 across the edge. Cut the yarn and pull it snugly through the last loop to finish the edging.

Note: If a crochet edge is causing your knitting to flare and stretch, try a smaller hook or try skipping a stitch every so often. If the edge is too tight, try a larger hook or try crocheting with a looser touch.


Crochet Embellishment



1 Choose a crochet hook that is one or two sizes smaller than the needles that are used for your knitting. Insert the hook into your knitting at the right corner of the edge.

2 Loop the yarn around the hook (yo) and pull the loop through.

3 Working from the front, yarn over and pull a new loop through the first loop.

4 Insert the crochet hook into the next stitch to the left on the knitting, yarn over, and pull a new loop through.

You should now have 2 loops on the crochet hook.

5 Yarn over the crochet hook again, and pull this new loop through both loops that are already on the hook.

6 Repeat steps 4-5 across the edge. Cut the yarn and pull it through the last loop to finish the edging.


O Choose a crochet hook that is one or two sizes smaller than the needles that are used for your knitting. Insert the hook into your knitting at the right corner of the edge.

2 Work 1 single crochet (see steps 2-5 on the previous page).

4 Insert the crochet hook back into the same stitch, yarn over, and bring up a loop.

5 Yarn over again and pull the loop through both loops on the hook.

6 Single crochet 2 (into the next 2 stitches, moving left).

7 Repeat steps 2-5 across the edge to create picot edging. Cut the yarn and pull it snugly through the last loop to finish the edging.

Note: To create more space between picots, you can single crochet 3 or 4 times in step 5.

Make Your Picots Smaller or Larger

The scale of picot edging will change with the thickness of the yarn that you use to crochet it. You can adjust the size of the picots on your edging by working fewer or more chain stitches in step 3, above. For example, you may decide to make an exaggerated picot by chaining 5 or 6 stitches at that point. Alternatively, if you're working with bulky yarn, 2 or 3 chain stitches might be all that you need.

Embroider Your Knitting

Decorate your knitting with embroidery after blocking. An embroidered edging adds interest to casual knits, scarves, and throws. Embroidered motifs look best on garter or stockinette stitch. You can use yarn or embroidery floss to stitch on your knitting.


1 Thread a tapestry needle with your yarn. Tie a knot about 6 inches from the end. Pull the needle through at the edge of your knitting from back to front, until the knot stops it.

2 Moving right to left, insert the needle at the desired depth into the edge and bring it out to the front. The needle tip should overlap the yarn coming out of the starting point.

3 Repeat step 2 along the edge to create the blanket stitch.


1 Thread a tapestry needle with your yarn. Pull the needle through the knitting just below the V that you want to duplicate, leaving a 6-inch tail.

2 Insert the needle under both loops of the V above the stitch to be duplicated; pull the yarn through.

3 Reinsert the needle into the hole below your stitch—the same hole that the needle came through in step 1—and bring it out again below the next stitch to be worked, all in one movement.

4 Repeat steps 2-3 for all duplicated stitches.


^tiVMIKV HcMif in m rtriMfl ufaiHirjf'J

L Wtfftrfjtlfl

IMAAlt rfi-sfl

Fi J


1 Thread a tapestry needle with your yarn. Tie a knot in the yarn 6 inches up from the end. Bring the needle through the knitting from back to front, pulling through until the knot stops it.

2 Grasp the yarn about 1 inch above the point where it came out, and wind it around the needle tip 3 times as shown.

Q Grasping the wound yarn, reinsert the needle right next to where it came out, and pull it through to the back to create the knot.


1 Thread a tapestry needle. Bring the needle from back to front, pulling the yarn through, and leaving a 6-inch tail.

2 Hold the yarn in a loop and reinsert the needle right next to where it came out in step 1; bring the needle back out over the loop a petal-sized stitch away.

3 Insert the needle just below the end of the petal; bring it through to the front, above the stitch, ready to work the next petal.

4 Repeat steps 1-3 in a circle, until you have completed the daisy.

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