All right, I know it’s a pillow, not a garment, but after this brief digression, I promise I will show you how to apply this technique to clothing items too, including ready-to-wear fabric clothes, not just knits!
It all started with this pillow, hand-knitted (by me) with Knittique’s Scraplet Skeins. (Click here to go to Knittique’s Etsy shop; the link will go straight to the color shown here. The Entrelac Pillow pattern is also available in this shop.)
I decided to add a little trim. As it happens, I had a skein of a fabulous ruffling yarn, a novelty that’s super-popular right now. (The latest issue of Vogue Knitting magazine has an editorial featuring ruffling yarns.) So far, I haven’t seen anyone else use ruffling yarn for a pillow trim (of course it’s possible), but there are lots of reasons to try it:
• Ruffling yarns typically have pretty low yardage, but the prices tend to be steep. A small project like a pillow will usually only require 1 skein (I had a fair amount — maybe a third of the skein—left over after finishing my pillow);
• Working on a project of this size will get you comfortable with the techniques for using ruffling yarns, before you invest in trim for a larger piece;
• It’s a quick and easy way to jazz up even the plainest of pillows!
Generally, ruffling yarns are flat, with varying widths, and one edge that has holes or spaces; the idea is that you pull a coordinating yarn through several of these holes at a time (so you’re gathering the ruffling yarn), then work a stitch, and repeat that process to create the ruffle. You can clearly see these holes on the upper edges of the yarns in this sampler:
Here’s what I used to trim my 14″ square pillow:
• Yarn A: 1 skein Katia “Ronda”, 98% acrylic/2% polyester, 100 gr., 44 yds., in color #204 white with black edge
• Yarn B: approx. 25-30 yds. of worsted-weight yarn, ideally in a color that matches the color of the original edge of your pillow (I used black); this quantity may vary, especially if you have a larger pillow, so you may want to have more on hand)
• Crochet hook, U.S. size F (you may vary this depending on the thickness of the yarn you use to attach the ruffle)
• a 14″ pillow cover; a knitted or crocheted one will be the easiest to trim (I’ll have a tutorial later for using these trims on fabric)
You need to know how to: Single crochet, weave yarn ends in.
yo = yarn over
sc = single crochet
st(s) = stitch(es)
Okay, let’s trim that pillow!
If you haven’t done this already, remove the cover from the pillow form. (If this isn’t possible, don’t worry; it may be a little awkward holding the pillow while you’re working, but it’s doable. Incidentally, I design all my pillows with overlapping panels on the back for easy removal.)
Set up: Holding the cover with the back facing you, attach Yarn B to your starting corner. Insert hook through existing trim/edge, yo, pull loop through, yo, pull through loop (slip stitch); tighten this st to anchor your trim in the corner.
Gather ruffle (same instructions are in photo captions): You should have 1 loop on hook (Step 1, not pictured). Insert hook back into same st as where you started; 2 loops now on hook. Then, holding the end of the ruffling yarn in your other hand, thread 5 holes onto your hook (Step 2), yo (Step 3), and carefully pull yarn through the 5 holes and the pillow edge st (Step 4); you should have 2 Yarn B loops on hook. Yo (Step 5), pull through both loops to complete sc (Step 6).
Continue & finish: Repeat Steps 1-6 around the edge of your pillow, working 2-3 sc in each corner st (Step 7, below). Note: my pillow already had one row of sc around the outside edge, so when I was adding this trim, I made 1 sc in each st of that original trim. This is a good guideline when trying to figure out how many sts to work on each side. When you have worked your way back to where you started, work an extra st or 2 so that the 2 ends of the ruffling yarn overlap. Cut Yarn B, leaving a 3-4″ tail, yo, pull yarn all the way through, tighten to fasten, and weave all loose ends to inside of pillow (if possible). Trim ruffling yarn ends. Optional: you can fold under the raw edges of the ruffling yarn ends, and hand-stitch them down for a neater finish.
Step 8 (the most important one): Find your fabulously-trimmed pillow a place of honor, and invite your friends over to admire your handiwork!