Replace edge section

About this treatment

This treatment is used to replace a section of your knitting, either at the top or bottom edge of a panel. This might mean replacing a hem or cuff, or unravelling from the top and replacing the upper body section.

You might replace the edge section because the fabric is worn out or stained, or to create a new design. While you're replacing, you could change the length. You might be interested in the replace mid section treatment as an alternative.

Steps involved

See the photo instructions pages below, which include the steps involved in each method.


Photo instructions

There are three methods of working this treatment, that might be applicable in different situations. 

knit off, downwards is recommended in most cases, for replacing hems and cuffs

>> go to knit off, downwards step-by-step instructions


knit off, upwards is suitable when you want to replace the top of a piece of knitting (unravelling from the top)

>> go to knit off, upwards step-by-step instructions

knit separately can be used to replace hems and cuffs when you are knitting at the same gauge as the existing garment

>> go to knit separately step-by-step instructions

External instructions

There are lots of instructions in books about how to replace the edge section (usually the hem or cuff) of a garment, whether to lengthen or shorten it or replace a worn-out edge. They generally advise knitting off the open stitches, rather than knitting separately and grafting. None of these instructions advise you on how to cope with a change in gauge (for example, if you are knitting off a very fine fabric).

  • Illustrated instructions on re-knitting a welt are included in the 1948 edition of Modern Knitted Illustrated by Jane Koster and Margaret Murray (p251-2).
  • Advice on renovating a jumper cuff can be found in Continental Knitting by Esther Bondesen (p134).
  • Comprehensive advice on lengthening and shortening (which includes the alternative strategy of replacing the mid section) can be found in Knitting: your own designs for the perfect fit by Montse Stanley (p145-6). Similar information is included in Knitting for Real People by Ferne Geller Cone, along with advice for shortening or lengthening jumpers knitted in the round (p95-97).


These are the patterns that have been developed for this treatment. I strongly recommend you work through the advice below to guide you in choosing and using a pattern!

>> go to plain or slip (2tog) decrease patterns



>> go to slip (3tog) decrease patterns



>> go to 2-step decrease transitions



>> go to increase patterns



>> go to 1:1 transition patterns




>> go to advice on using/adapting the replace edge section re-knitting patterns




You can see an example of this treatment on an actual garment in the gallery.