This week, as I've been knitting the last few lace repeats on a new shawl design, the question of how to end the shawl has been rolling around in my head. Originally I had thought to make the end a match to the beginning and that would have looked fine; the simplest solution is often the best. But I kept having this niggling thought that I wanted to do something different than planned, something a bit unexpected or at least not symmetrical. Asymmetry is a design principle that I've been employing and enjoying in my work a lot of late. After years of designing on the needles, listening to my wooly muse, I know to pay attention. It may not get the shawl done as quickly but experimenting and allowing for something unplanned often is the key to creating a really good design. So I kept knitting and thinking. Finally after letting the shawl, now complete except for it's edge, rest for a day or two I decided to use a favorite lace edging. What really tickles me though is the way I set up the edge before I began to knit on the border. I think I will do this every time from now on.
Here's the three row set up: work a purl ridge on the right side by knitting on the last wrong-side row of the lace pattern, then on the next row work *yo, k2tog, repeat across the row, finally work another right-side purl ridge by knitting across on the wrong-side. Below is what the set up looks like before attaching the edging.
Do remember to make sure your stitch number is correct for your edging repeat and adjust that number by fudging a stitch or two on that last wrong side knit row if necessary. I was attaching to live stitches of the shawl but this would work for picked up stitches on an edge as well. And that is it. As you knit on the edging (I usually use an ssk to join and then slip the first stitch of the next row as if to purl with yarn in back) the join tucks into the purl ridge and the edging looks to me like it has somehow been grafted or attached via the yarn overs in the set up rows. As I said, it just tickles me. Give it a try next time you are attaching a sideways lace edging. Let me know what you think.