Gents help please!

I am finally going to design a jumper for my boy (enough practice on me). He hates rib bands so I thought about knitting a hem.

I have seem this once in a book (didn't know whatI was looking at, at the time) and have looked around on the web but coan't track anything down that is clear enough.

I know I need to use a provisional cast on but the purl turning row has me a little bafelled. Some instruction say to slide through a third needle, others say just to pick up the cast on row.


1. has anyone used this successfully and could pass on any tips?
2. is there a site that explains this so well I will

thanks for any tips :)



davidUK's picture

I@m with your partner - I'm not a great rib fan. I've just knitted Rowan's Nevis cardigan which is in a rib and just starts with no edge.

Also, start knitting in stocking stitch - do a reverse stocking stth row (ie. purl on the knit side) and then carry on in stocking stitch. This provides a great hem line and you turn it up and stitch it. It looks very neat and you can do it on a smaller needle for neatness.

greeting from the UK and happy knitting


Check out http://whitknits.wordpress.com, she has detailed descriptions. Also, Elizabeth Zimmerman books go into detail about them.

rmbm612's picture


Paul ,

Go to this link for instructions on crochet casting on. It will make sense after you watch it.

MathewGnagy's picture

I don't always care for ribbings either...I am with David on the hem, i would recommend doing the part that you turn back in with a needle that is couple of sizes smaller than that which you will use for the body of the sweater...the mechanics are difficult to explain...but I promise...it looks better in the end. If you do the Turning of the hem in the same size as the body, the hem has a tendency to look thick and bulky...if you do it in a smaller needle, this problem is mediated...somewhat.

As a designer, I tend to use a few garter ridges in place of a ribbing, it puts the same visual line, but doesn't draw in like the elastic ribbings do.

I also like to replace the ribbings with a narrow cable panel knit as a long strip which you knit until its length is equal to whatever your hem measurement should be.

I then turn the strip on its side and pick up the body stitches along the edge. Again, it gives the visual placement of the ribbing, but is far more interesting and not elastic.


Take light into dark places

Take light into dark places

Kerry's picture

Goood advice from David, Lars and Mathew. First time, I didn't use a smaller needle for the inside of the hem and it was too bulky. I used a purl row after about 2 or 3cm, knitted the inside on a smaller needle and somehow managed to knit this to the body. When it came to the sleeves, I couldn't manage this last step so cast off and hand sewed the hem.

As Mathew has suggested, you can knit a strip the length of twice the width of the finished jumper, I used an Elizabeth Zimmermann suggestion of garter stitch. When it is the right length (and it only needs to be 2 or 3cm wide) cast off and sew the ends together, then pick up the number of stitches you need to knit the body of the jumper. Hope this helps.

PaulJMC's picture

Thanks for the info guys!!

I'll let you know how I go - One more to finish off first and then into it!


In cielo non c'e vino...beviamolo sulla terra!