Adding ruffles to a project can add a little (or a lot) of frill to an otherwise plain piece. Or, it can add another layer of decoration to an already ornate piece. A great side benefit is that you automatically get extra fabric and don’t have to worry about a loose bind off. It happens naturally!
I love ruffles (no surprise if you know me). It might be because they originate in math. Or just because they’re pretty.
Working a ruffle is easy. I know of at least 2 ways to work ruffles, and I’m sure there are more.
The traditional way
The traditional way is by increasing rapidly. You’ll either use the recommended needle or up to a few sizes larger. If you’re not sure what size to use – make a swatch.
Row 1 (RS): *K1, kfb, rep from * to end. If you have a stitch remaining, work a K1.
Row 2 (WS): Purl
Repeat the above 2 rows. I suggest at least 3 times. Then, just work plain stockinette for up to an inch (it can be no stockinette at all). This is really an aesthetic preference and you might do one way with a certain yarn and another way with a different yarn.
Then, you can either just bind off, or work a few rnds of garter stitch and then bind off.
Here’s how to work the KFB:
You can also add a ruffle by working it before/after ribbing. This one’s easy:
To do this before ribbing, work in stockinette for about a half inch. This will become your ruffle.
Then, work ribbing. Since you want the ribbing to cinch in, I’d suggest a ribbing such as 2×1 or 2×2. A very large ribbing such as 7×1 won’t cinch in much and isn’t a good option for this.
The best part about this? There are no unusual stitches – it’s just knits and purls.
Where can you put a ruffle?
The obvious place is at the edge of a shawl, But there are lots of places:
- At either edge of fingerless mitts
- At any of the edges of a sweater (neckline, sleeves or body)
- At the cuff of a sock – like Sunrise Chevron socks (pictured at right)
- At the edge of a shawl (I couldn’t make a list without this one)
Give a ruffle a try. Add a pretty touch of frill to something you’re making!