The perennial problem of the curling hem

The perennial problem of the curling hem

This is the photo (pinched from the V&A archive) which inspired the Tara top.

As of right now, I’m this far along:

Super slinky, nicely-fitted around the boobs, and a hint of a bustle. The diagonal lines above will be threaded and gathered to create a soft drape at the hem.

Needlesstosay then, I didn’t want a big chunky hem buggering up the design as it needs to be floaty and light at the bottom. This runs face first into the problem of curly-whirly stockinette.

As any knitter will know, stockinette is one of the most beautiful and prolific stitches in the knitverse. But, it also rolls if left to its own devices. There’s some technical reason for this about the knit stitch being tighter than the purl one but I prefer to think that it’s just cursed.

Some people swear by blocking to correct this (which absolutely does not work. I tried the post-blocked top above on and it rolled up like Daffy’s dickey (which sounds so wrong…)) The only solutions I have found are to add a hem on to the bottom, which is why many tops have ribbing. You can also use double stockinette, garter stitch, moss etc, basically anything that has a few purl stitches on the right side to balance it out.

Not everyone wants a different patterned or chunky-monkey hem though so I’m on a mish to find an alternative….

And I’m thinking CROCHET EDGING dum dum duuuum.

In true Blue Peter fashion, here’s one I made earlier:

This is my K-drama inspired layered top. If you’ve ever watched K-drama then you’ll know all about the car crash fashion. I love it! Frankenstein coats, sleeveless PVC macs, and the weirdest and most-wondeful chunky knits. And by the gods, they love their layers.

I’m not brave enough to go for the PVC mac but I can have a stab at the layering. The photos above are my version. The lacey hem is a repurposed doily pattern for full-swirly goodness attached via blanket stitch. And boy is it heavy!

Heavy enough to weight down an intransigent curly hem, me thinks.

And so, to the project at hand.

It begins! I used the same size crochet hook and yarn that I used for knitting the top. One round in and the roll is still fighting.

Round 3: a whiff of a curl remains. But look at that blend! Nice

The fourth and final round: nary a curl in sight! Hurrah!

This has to be one of my favourite methods of smoothing out the stockinette roll. I wanted a lacy effect for this top but plain sc would work as well (or fake knit stitch…. hmmmm) for a subtler edge.

So, there we are, the tyranny of curly stockinette is at an end. The Tara top is almost complete and the pattern will be out later in the month on Ravelry

Happy knitting!



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