Glory be! I’m 99.9% finished with Amy Christoffers’s Shakerag Top from Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 6: Transparency, and I’m blissing out on the final little detail that takes this design into the realm of 100% fantastique: the edging.
The edging on a neckline is often a project in itself—you get a turtleneck going and you’re basically knitting a cowl stuck onto your sweater. You thought you were done? Not so fast, missy.
The Shakerag Top does not mess with you that way. It’s as minimal an edge as you can get—unless you forgo an edge altogether and run around like a heathen with a bunch of uncontained edgery just flopping around willynilly.
Amy Christoffers would never set us up for such a fate.
Let’s take a look at the neckline.
See that miserable array of decreases along the edge, left of the needle tip? The irregularity? The craptastic curve? Neckline decreases are like that—the geometry of stitch rows means you’re creating stairsteps, not curves. And something needs to make it look better.
(Confession: As simple as those decreases were, I was so distracted by the audiobook of Book 3 of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels that I had to make a breathtakingly literal reminder of what I needed to do at the shoulder and the neckline. There was no way I was going to get it right by “winging it” or “keeping it all in my head”—I had to find out whether Elena and Nino ever get it on!)
Picking up and knitting a stitch is such an act of redemption. Help is on the way.
If you want to hear a simple recipe for an edging, here it is. Round 1: pick up and knit stitches along the edge. Next round: bind off all stitches.
Look at what happens to the previously floppysloppy edge. It’s smooth and tidy.
And the sleeve edge is likewise all better now.
I’ll have photos of me wearing this wonderful thing once my photographer, who is 18 and five days from high school graduation, therefore done with exams, therefore keeping vampire hours, wakes up.
The Shakerag Top Knitalong continues, and if you want to see some beautiful projects crossing the finish line, visit #ShakeragTop on Instagram.
The pattern is written for one shade of yarn. If you’re craving a marled version like this, here’s my post about how much of each color you’ll need to get your marl on.