kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Finishing the Edge

If there's anything I can do well, it's make a wavy edge when I'm whipping with yarn.  After doing several rugs, especially ones with a curved edge that needed a lot of steaming to get them to lay flat, I came up with a solution. 

This may not be the 'Right' way to finish, but it works for me.  It can be used on small mats or wall hangings where the piece will not get a lot of wear and tear.  I use a more conventional method on rugs that may be used on the floor. 

First I steam my finished piece to get it to lay flat.  Then I carefully measure around the mat and mark it 1/2 inch from the hooked loops.  Make marks every inch or inch and a half and then connect the dots to make a circle.  I then cut on the line.  I serge or zigzag with the machine to finish the edge.  If you don't have a machine available, you could use glue on the edge. would have to be a glue that stays flexible, because the edge is going to be turned up.

I usually use yarn to whip the edge, doubled in a large needle.  Now for the solution part- I put a piece of cord in the edge under the whipping.  This is cotton cord that I buy in the hardware store in the section where 'packing supplies' are sold. 

I cut the cord three times the diameter of the rug (if it's round) plus 10 to 12 inches.  My mat is 10 inches across:  10 inches X 3 is 30 plus an extra 10 inches makes my cord 40 inches long.

I then lay it on the edge of the mat and roll the serged edge up over it.  I then take my first stitch with my yarn, going down from the top, right against the edge of the hooked loops.  Leave a 5 inch tail of cord.

Pull your yarn through until there are short tails.  Trim them to about 3/4 of an inch.  Tuck them to the left against the cord.  Iwork from right to left toward my fingers as they are holding the edge.  If you are left handed, you will probably be working in the opposite direction.  Right???

Roll the serged edge up over the cord and the tails and take another stitch right on top of the first one.

Pull your stitch taut and continue on in this manner.  After I get about 5 or 6 inches done, I get to the Not Laying Flat Anymore part!  See how it's starting to get wavy!

This is where the string saves the day.  Holding the mat flat , gently pull on the left end of the string.  DO NOT pull the right end of the string through the edge by tugging too hard!  Just ease the edge along the string until the mat lays flat.

Continue whipping and pulling the string.

When you get to the end of your yarn, flip your mat to the underside and take a long stitch back under the yarn you just whipped and cut it off.

Begin the next piece of yarn in the same way you started at the beginning by tucking the tails in with the cord and stitching over the turned edge.

Continue in this manner until about 2 1/2 inches of unwhipped edge remain.  Pull the cord if necessary to make the edge lay perfectly flat.  I'm sorry I forgot to take a picture of this part!!! 

The cord I used has 3 or 4 strands twisted together.  I separate one strand out on each end and tie these two strands together with a square knot.  I do it this way to eliminate bulk where I tie the knot.  I clip the tied ends off to about 1/4 inch and clip the remaining strands off so they lay flat but not overlapping inside the rolled edge.  Continue whipping until the whole edge is covered.  Then flip the mat and take a long stitch back through the already whipped yarn and cut off the ends.

You're done!

Happy Hooking!


  1. Good going there, Pat! I never thought to tug the string a bit. I really do love the way you hooked that star!

  2. I'm not a whipper but I like the way you do it ~ if I ever decide to whip a rug, I will definitely refer back to this post!! Thank you!

  3. Pat ~
    I've never whipped a rug, but I do love the way it looks. I'll have to remember this should I one day try it.
    Thanks for the tutorial!
    Pug hugs :)

  4. Thanks for posting those instructions. It takes the fear out of whipping a curve!

  5. You make it look so easy! Great tutorial! I like the whipping on your round mat even though I've never tried it on any of my rugs. Maybe I'll have to try it on my Forest Secrets challenge rug! (wink) Thanks for posting this Pat! Cathy G

  6. Hello Pat this tutorial is great. Very simple to understand and lots of photos.

  7. thanks for sharing.. I haven't whipped a rug yet but might try it on the next one after seeing this.

  8. That look great. You do beautiful hand work.

    I have been measuring out 1 1/2 inches serging and folding up twice. I like the look with the cording inside. Then whipping it with wool noodles.

  9. This is probably a dumb question, but what is it about the string that makes the mat lay flat? Is it the weight of the string? Or does it have more to do with the pulling of the string?

  10. The mat lies flat because of the pulling of the string. You have to be careful and only pull it tight enough to make the wavy edge lie flat. If you pull the string too tight, it will make the mat 'cup' which is just as bad as the wavy edge.
    No, that isn't a dumb question!


Thanks for visiting!