A few weeks ago, I’ve got my hands on the “Japanese Knitting Stitches” book by Keiko Okamoto. The subtitle of this book states that it is “a stitch dictionary with 150 amazing patterns”, and it is indeed a collection of amazing patterns. They are not just unusual and interesting, but also fun to make with lots of colourful stitches and incredible finishing details.
One of these unusual details is a triple leaf element that is a part of the Triple Leaf Edging. The edging shown in the book has a zigzag shaping, but the element itself also looks great on a straight edging (as you can see from the photo below). So I simplified the original edging a bit to focus more on the triple leaf element.
It is a stunning arrangement of knit stitches and occasional yarn overs. The trick is to know which stitches should be knitted, but we’ll get to that part a bit later.
First, let’s start with the setup.
This edging is worked over 5 stitches. The edging itself is three stitches wide. Then we make a yarn over to separate the edging from the project and to make sure the edging curls nicely to look like an i-cord. Because the yarn over adds an extra stitch, we knit two stitches together to compensate for this additional stitch.
To make a little swatch, I cast on 10 stitches – 5 stitches for the edging and 5 stitches that represent a project. The type of cast on is not important. I used the long-tail cast on for this swatch.
Right side row of the edging: knit 3, make a yarn over, knit 2 together.
Then work the stitches of the project in any stitch pattern you like or as instructed in the pattern you follow. To make things easier, I’ll work the rest of the stitches of my swatch in stockinette stitch.
Wrong side row of the edging: purl all five stitches of the edging.
Work the right side and wrong side rows of the edging until you get to the spot where you plan to add the triple leaf element. I’ll work for 10 rows but if you want the triple leaf elements to be further apart, work more rows.
Finish with a wrong side row.
TRIPLE LEAF ELEMENT
Now it’s time to add that beautiful triple leaf detail to our edging. We’ll do it at the very beginning of a right side row.
1. Knit the first stitch, but don’t slip it off the left needle. Then make a yarn over and knit the same stitch again, then slip it off the left needle = 3 stitches on the right needle. This step is shown in this part of the video.
2. Slip all three stitches from the right needle to the left needle.
3. Knit those three stitches again (don’t turn the work!). Pull the work down to shape the i-cord.
4. Work steps 2 and 3 four more times = 6 rows of i-cord. This little piece of i-cord will form one segment of the leaf.
Slip the stitches to the left needle.
5. In row 7 of the i-cord work a centred double decrease as follows (you can also watch it in this part of the video tutorial.
a) Insert the tip of the right needle from left to right into the first 2 stitches as if you are going to knit them together. Take the left needle out of these stitches, slipping them to the right needle.
b) Knit the next stitch.
c) Pass the slipped stitches over the knitted stitch and off the right needle = 1 stitch left on the right needle.
6. Insert the tip of the left needle from front to back into the stitch at the very bottom of the i-cord (it is the stitch that we worked into in step 1). Let’s call this stitch “the original stitch“.
7. While keeping the yarn at the back of the work, slip the stitch from the right needle to the left needle.
8. This step is a bit unusual. We are going to make three stitches just as we did in step 1, but this time, we’ll do it from the original stitch, and the last stitch of the i-cord worked together. Here’s how it looks.
a) Insert the tip of the right needle from left to right into the first two stitches on the left needle (those will be the original stitch and the last stitch of the i-cord).
b) Knit these two stitches together, but don’t slip them off the left needle yet.
c) Make a yarn over, knit these two stitches again and slip them off the left needle = 3 stitches on the right needle.
9. Now work steps 2 through 5 to make the i-cord that will form the second segment of the triple leaf.
10. Insert the tip of the left needle from left to right into the last stitch of the first piece of i-cord. Here’s how.
11. Then slip the stitch from the right needle to the left needle. Make sure the yarn is at the back of the work!
12. Work step 8 to make three stitches from the last stitch of the first piece of i-cord and the last stitch of the second piece of i-cord held together.
13. Repeat steps 2 through 5 again to make the i-cord that will form the last segment of the triple leaf.
14. Now insert the tip of the left needle from left to right into the last stitch of the second piece of i-cord. This step is shown in this part of the video tutorial.
15. Keep the yarn at the back of the work and slip the stitch from the right needle to the left needle.
16. Knit 2 stitches together. These will be the last stitches of the second and the third segments.
That’s it! Now we have a lovely triple leaf element attached to the side of the edging.
Continue to work in the established pattern – first, knit two stitches, then make a yarn over and knit 2 stitches together. Then work in the pattern required for your project.
Work the wrong side and the right side rows of the edging until you get to the spot where you plan to add another triple leaf element. Then repeat steps 1 through 16 to decorate your edging with one more lovely arrangement of i-cords.
This edging is not just beautiful. It’s a sure way to make a one-of-a-kind project and to impress all your friends and family with your knitting skills. Just don’t tell them that, in fact, the triple leaf edging is quite easy to make, even though a bit fiddly 🙂
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Matching Cast Ons and Bind Offs” Book
Discover six pairs of cast on and bind off methods that form identical edges on projects worked flat and in the round.
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.
Dealing with Unfinished Projects
Dictionary of Knitting Symbols and Abbreviations – E-Book
Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified
How to Shape Neckline Without Binding Off Stitches – E-Book