I'm stuck on Pie Are Square Shawl border


I have attempted the Sawtooth Border on my test version of this shawl three times now, and I’ve frogged it all three times. I can get the first “tooth” done, which works back and forth starting with about 8 stitches. You work through the pattern of decreases and end up with 3 stitches on the left needle and lots and lots of other stitches on the right needle, and then she says this:

I’m especially confused by the part I put in Red. I have no idea what she is hinting at here. My first “tooth” came out nicely, and then I worked my down the right side of it picking up stitches, etc, etc. I got to the “Now: (K2, Sl 1 …” part that she says to repeat 8 times, and I ended up w/ not enough stitches left to do the repeat 8 times. Like way not enough stitches!!

I know this is probably confusing to hear w/out having seen the pattern, but any help anyone has to offer is much appreciated.


DM what book is the pattern from?

I think it is out of Knitting Around by EZ

… I think… :??

Amp, you’re right, it is Knitting Around.

I tried again last night after I posted this, and I’m still stuck. It’s like there’s a mistake in the pattern or she left something out. Or, perhaps, I’m just dense. It’s just not making any sense to me, and I can’t find errata for this book, and Elizabeth Zimmerman is dead. :crying:

Does anyone else have this book so they can look @ what I’m seeing and help me out?

If I can get to it today, I’ll take some pictures of what it looks like after the first tooth & see if that helps. Argh!!!

It appears that you said you picked up down the side of your tooth, but the directions say to pick up down the selvedge side. What if you turn the whole thing? Then you’ll have 3 st on the right needle and you can pick up the rest from the edge. I’m picturing the tooth on your right needle at this point.
If this makes absolutely no sense, forgive me. I know I have this book somewhere and I’m planning on organizing them today, so I’ll have a look.

Ingrid –

Actually, I’ve tried it both ways, and neither way seems right. The way the first 17 rows of the border are written, you end up with 3 stitches on the left needle at the tip of the tooth, and then she says to pick up 8 stitches on the selvedge edge w/ the left needle PLUS 3 stitches from the right needle. Well, if I do this, then I’m going to knit the front of the shawl together!

I really need to knit up the tooth again and take some pictures to show you all where I’m stuck. I have a feeling I’m missing something, or that EZ is assuming that I know more about adding a border to something than I really do.

I’ve also posted this same plea for help over on the Knitter’s Review forum, but I haven’t had any takers yet. :verysad:

I found my book. So you’re picking up the 8 selvedge stitches with the left needle for the tooth. The three from the right are for the attached I cord, which is that 8 times repeat. So you may feel that you’re knitting the whole thing together, but maybe it seems that way while you’re making the Icord?

I’m sure you’ve tried to do it exactly as she says, but I have to suggest this just to get it off my mind.

I could just cry. Right now, I think I’ll just take a break and come back and try again.

Thank you, Ingrid. I’ll let you know what happens, and perhaps I can post pictures of where I’m stuck. :frowning:

Well, Ingrid, your “thinking out loud” has helped me make progress. Picking up the stitches on the selvedge of the tooth is what I needed to hear. Before, I was just certain that I was suposed to be picking up stitches on the selvedge of the shawl itself. (She even has a schematic in the book w/ arrows pointing to the shawl selvedge.)

So, I picked up the 8 stitches PLUS three more from the right needle. So, I’ve tried the:

Then, with right needle, K2, Sl 1, K1 picked up stitch (a selvedge stitch), psso (3 stitches). Replace the 3 stitches onto left needle.

Now: (K2, Sl 1, K1,psso) 8 times.

I am still ending up at the top of the tooth with 3 little stray stitches on the needle and nowhere to go!!

What do you think the “(3 stitches)” means? Am I supposed to repeat “K2, Sl 1, K1 picked up stitch, psso” until I am down to 3 stitches? I don’t see how that is going to help. I am still knitting from the bottom of the tooth up, and it would seem that I should be going top down, but I can’t figure out how to get turned around in the right direction.

Off to take a break before my neck becomes completely immobile!

I’m pretty sure that those three are for the i-cord. NOW do you pick up the next eight for the next tooth from the shawl selvedge rather than the tooth? so you’l have your three, plus eight. Those three get worked in the i-cord attached to the tooth, then the step after 18 puts the i cord on the other side of the tooth. Then you do a tooth with the attached i cord, then the icord, all the way arounmd. Am I making sense here?

Doggone it … I wish I could show you what I’m ending up with.

Here’s what I’ve tried:
[ul]* At the end of the first “tooth,” I had three stitches left on my Left needle @ the top of the tooth.

  • I picked up 8 stitches along the right side of that first tooth with the left needle, and then moved 3 more over from the right needle.
  • I then did: K2, Sl 1, K1 picked up stitch (a selvedge stitch), psso (3 stitches). Replace the 3 stitches onto left needle.

The only thing this does is leave me w/ one less stitch on the Left needle. (Basically I ignored the “(3 stitches)” comment, assuming that she meant there would be 3 stitches remaining on the right needle @ this point – except for all those stitches that will eventually turn into teeth should we figure out how to do this – and those were the ones to replace onto the left needle.)

So, I moved on to the next step:

(K2, Sl 1, K1, psso) 8 times

Except, I can’t do it 8 times. I don’t have enough stitches. I end up @ the top of the tooth with 2 stitches left, and all of the other stitches on the right needle.

So, I tried repeating the “replace the 3 stitches onto left needle” after each of the repeats I marked above with “**.” That sort of worked, and it made a nice I-cord on the edge, but that left me w/ 3 stitches @ the tip of the tooth.

Her instructions then say to “REPEAT from row one,” which would build another tooth. Now, if I just jump into this, I’m going to be diving back down to the edge of the shawl from the tip of the tooth, and that will fold the tooth & twist it. It seems like I should be working from the tip of the tooth down instead of from the bottom up, doesn’t it?

That’s it! I’m breaking out my needles and some spare yarn, if I can find
any. :rollseyes: I’m going to try this so I don’t lay awake tonight! I’ll be back.

I did it. :happydance: The bottom line is, don’t try to second-guess EZ.

I found picking up stitches with the left needle difficult so I just used a dp and picked up as normal and slid everything down. Ok so I’m assuming you got the first tooth ok.

Then with the Left needle, you pick up the eight selvedge stitches of the TOOTH and the three from the right the needle. Whether you can pick up the eight with your left needle, or picked them up with a dpn like I did, your yarn strands across the back. I don’t think this is of any consequence. This is why I said that about EZ. When the yarn isn’t in the right place as we’re used to, we panic. I just let it be.

the Now: (K2, sl1, k1, psso) row is the applied i-cord. YOU REPLACE THE THREE STITCHES ON THE LEFT NEEDLE EACH TIME. You work your applied I cord back up the side the the tooth.

Then with the left needle, you pick up the eight stitches, take the three on that end of the needle and start on the numbered row 1.

I think the problem came in because she’s not specific about replacing the three stitches on the needle every time when you’re doing the 8-repeat section. The only reason this made sense to me was because I’ve made applied i cords in this way from patterns written using “EZ’s applied i cord.”

Try it and see what happens. I don’t think I left anything out, but I do now have a baby sweater that was waiting for a zipper (for about a year) that now has three “teeth” on it!

I got the first tooth OK to the point where I was ready to add the i-cord on the right-hand side. So, after finishing row 17, I had 3 stitches on my left needle after turning. So far so good??

Then, I picked up 8 stitches on the right-hand side of the tooth + 3 stitches from the right-hand needle. This left me with 14 stitches on the left-hand needle, and the first three stitches are those I had left at the end of row 17. Is this correct? Also, the first stitch to then be worked is at the bottom of the right-hand side of the first tooth?

I did this, and I have a lovely i-cord border on the right-hand side of my first tooth now, and 5 (count them!!!) FIVE (!!) stitches at the top of the tooth!!! (Imagine me becoming a bit maniacal at this point.)

And this is where you lost me. Where does she say to pick up 8 stitches again? What 8 stitches, and what 3 on what end of which needle??? (Do we have an emoticon indicating :insanity:?)

And how can I start on Row 1 again when I’m at the top of the tooth?? :crying:

I’m having serious doubts about my ability to follow directions. I think I’m going to frog back to the beginning of the tooth and work through all 17 rows of it again. This is so frustrating.

Please know how much I appreciate you sticking with me throughout this. It gives me hope to know that you got it to work!!

Well, I frogged down to the shawl body and started over with the first tooth, and my results were the same. The only thing I can figure is that I’m not picking up the 8 stitches in Row 18 correctly. I always end up at the tip of the tooth with 2 stitches on the left needle, and the infamous 3 stitches on the right needle, and I don’t know whether to replace them onto the left needle or not.


I possibly will not be able to log on here again until Wed. afternoon or later. So, I guess I will just tuck my little project away and try not to think about it until them.

Thank you, Ingrid. I’m nominating you for the Golden Needles Award.

I couldn’t get back sooner, back at work. After you do the i cord up the side of the tooth, the next eight stitches you pick up from the selvedge of the shawl itself, plus the stitches left on the needle. You pick up the next eight stitches for the next tooth on the LEFT needle. You should have 3 st left from the i cord on the second side of the tooth, plus the eight should be 11. Then you start back on Direction 1 in the left column.

The key here is that the yarn is picked up on the LEFT needle. It gets confusing because the yarn end is on the “knob” end of the needle, so I just let it strand back when I started knitting. It was OK. I had to use a dpn to pick up the stitches and slide the stitches to the other end because for the life I me I can’t pick up st on the left needle.

I hope this is a little clearer. I’ll check in later and see if you got this.

Hang in there!

Oh, how I wish I could say, “That’s it! I’ve got it now.” :verysad:

I feel like a complete idiot.

So, I’m going to post a couple of completely horrible pictures from my cell phone to see if you and I are speaking the same language here.

Pic #1 is at the end of Step 17; Pic #2 is after picking up the 8 stitches along the selvedge + the 3 from the right-hand needle. You can see that the working yarn is coming up between the last picked up stitch & the 1st of the 3 from the right needle.

Does this look right? I’m going to go knit the i-cord onto the tooth again, and then take another picture.

OK … so here’s a picture of what I ended up with after knitting on the i-cord. As you can see, I’m back at the top of the tooth with 3 stitches on the left needle & 3 on the right. (This is after 8th repeat & before replacing those 3 stitches on the left needle.)

How in the world do I get back down to start the next tooth? This can’t be right.

Since I can see that the above isn’t going to work, I thought of a question: When I pick up the stitches on the tooth selvedge, do I pull the working yarn through to create the stitches (that’s what I did above), or do I simply pick up the actual selvedge yarn as the stitch. I tried this tonight, too, and it still didn’t work quite right, but it makes me think I might be on to something. :??

you’re not supposed to do each one individually, are you?