Knitted hems are a very neat and clean way to finish an edge. When using a hem for a toe-up sock, it's vital that the "seam" is extremely stretchy so that it will go over the foot easily. In order to achieve this stretchy cuff, I like to whip stitch my live stitches to the inside of the hem. This tutorial shows you how to use a lifeline to guide you, and how to sew down your hem without any binding off required.

The sock shown in this tutorial is Resin.


1. Arrange the all the stitches so that they are on the cord, not on the needles.

(You can do this on double pointed needles if you wish, but it will be more difficult to insert the tapestry needle to place the lifeline. Consider switching to a circular needle at least for placing the lifeline.)


2. Thread your tapestry needle with smooth, contrasting color waste yarn.

(In this example, my sock is worked with Hazel Knits DK Lively in Jay Blue, and my waste yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Nekkid.)


3. Leaving the stitches on the cord, thread the tapestry needle through a number of them. I'm usually comfortable with about five.

4. Draw your yarn through.

Repeat steps 3-4 until all stitches have waste yarn in them.


Here's what it looks like with waste yarn trailing out both ends of the round.

I recommend cutting your waste yarn, leaving a 6 in/15 cm tail. Leaving it attached to a ball of yarn can lead to lots of unfortunate tangles.


To continue working, jut insert your needle and work as usual, ignoring the waste yarn.


Here's what it looks like after you've worked a bunch of stitches.


Once you've completed your hem, you should be able to see your lifeline and your hem, split in the middle by a purl turning round.


Now, turn the sock or other project inside out (or, if working flat, just turn to the wrong side.)


Turn cuff/hem in at turning round.


Cut working yarn, leaving a 24 in/61 cm tail and thread through a tapestry needle.

Insert tapestry needle into first stitch on the needle as if to purl and draw through, being careful not to pull too tightly.


To help you see where the beginning of the round is, you may want to use your tapestry needle to draw one end of the waste yarn through to the wrong wide of the work, as shown.

Insert tapestry needle into the first stitch with waste yarn in it and draw through, being careful not to pull too tightly.

To make it go more quickly, I often insert the tapestry needle into both the stitch on the needle and the stitch with the waste yarn before drawing the yarn through.


Repeat the last two steps until all live stitches have been whip stitched down.

Here's what it looks like when a bunch of stitches have been whip stitched.


And what it looks like from the wrong side when it's all completed.


And what it looks like from the right side after it's all completed.

At this point, you can simply firmly take hold of one end of your waste yarn and draw it out of all of the stitches.

Weave in your ends and block.


Now you have a beautiful, finished cuff.

Pattern that uses this technique:



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