Tips for a Knitted Hem Edging with Mitered Corners

Finishing your project with a folded hem edge - also called Quilt Binding or Blanket Binding - is a great way to achieve a polished look. Stitches are picked up and knit all the way around, increases and decreases are worked to create mitered corners, and the hem is sewn down to the back side, creating a smooth and tidy edge with comfortable stretch. You can add this detail to cardigans (like Nine Patch), blankets, and more. Julie has a few tips for getting it just right.

Recommended Tools


Stitch Markers

To mark your mitered corners.

Shop Stitch Markers


Tapestry Needle

To sew down your folded hem.

Shop Tapestry Needle


Yarn Snip

To snip your seaming yarn between edges.

Shop Yarn Snip

A Few Tips...


Use a Smaller Needle

As soon as you start the band of your edging, go down at least two needle sizes. This keeps the edge neat and prevents it from flaring out or becoming wavy.


On Vertical Edges, Pick Up 3 Sts for Every 4 Rows

When picking up stitches for the vertical edge, you'll pick up 3 stitches and skip the 4th all the way along. This is roughly the ratio of rows to stitches, and will give you a nice even edge.

You can see this demonstrated in our tutorial How to Pick Up Stitches for a Button Band or Collar.


Decide Your Turn Row

The turn row will determine where your hem folds. You can knit a plain purl round (shown here) for a simple flat fold, or create a picot edge by working [yo, k2tog] all the way around.


Increase/Decrease Every Other Round at Corners

When working your mitered corners, place a st marker in the center of the corner and then work increases on either side of the marker every other round. After your turn row, you'll work decreases on either side of the marker every other round.


Bind Off on the Last Corner Decrease Round

When working the decreases for the back side of your folded hem, work the bind off at the same time as your final decrease round.


Increase Needle Size for the Bind Off

When knitting the bind off (including the last decreases), return to original needle size. If you tend to bind of tightly, go up another size or two. This will prevent the edge from being too tight when sewing it down.


Seam Before You Block

Sew down your folded hem to the back using a whip stitch, then wet block the sweater when you're finished. This will give it a neater final look.


Use Separate Yarn for Each Edge

When sewing down the folded hem, use a separate piece of yarn for each edge (as opposed to one big piece for the entire thing). When you reach a corner, cut your yarn and continue with a new piece. This will make it easier to get the tension correct for both the horizontal and vertical edges.


Adjust the Tension as You Go

If you find that your whip stitching is too loose, pull on your yarn to tighten it. If it's too tight, stretch out the hem edge to loosen it. You can adjust your tension in this way while sewing the edge down, so you have a nice flat edge.

Patterns that Use These Techniques


Nine Patch

Our Nine Patch cardigan has a folded hem edge all the way around, from the bottom to the top back neck. It also uses intarsia to create those colorful squares, and is a great stash buster for fingering to sport weight yarn.

Nine Patch pattern page



Renee's folded hem is only on the bottom, so there are no mitered corners or vertical edges, and the hem can be tacked down with a three needle bind off. You also have the option of adding in a twisted cord drawstring.

Renee pattern page

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