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Binding off- A modification

July 7, 2011

Welcome to a small 2 part series about binding off your knitting. As we all know, a nice looking bind off is crucial, no one wants to spend hours and hours (and hours and hours) working on a perfectly lovely item to cheapen it with a bind off that doesn’t suit.

Early in my knitting life, I learned the good old k2, pass the first st over the second and off the needle, k1, pass the first st over the second and off the needle bind off. I know that is not what it’s really called, but that’s how it feels. A bit tedious, but reliably consistent. The trouble with this bind off is that it is very easy to work it too tightly (more on this tomorow from our special guest poster, Audrey.) and it rolls. I wanted to post a picture to show you what I mean, but since I stopped working this type of bind off ages ago, I don’t have an example to share. But if you have ever done this bind off knitwise on a pannel of stockinette, you know what I mean. The bind off sts turn down towards the knit side of the work. I don’t like that. So what I do instead is a modified version of this bind off. I work it in ribbing, k1, p1, pass the first st over the second and off the needle. This makes the bind off row of sts stand up straight and I like this much better.

Do you see what I mean? This is the cowl of my Big Montana Tunic, which is currently soaking and getting ready to block. The bind off is done over ribbing, and follows the direction of the knitting nicely.

Another nice bind off to use is the Surprisingly Stretchy bind off by Jeny Staiman. Here is the Knitty article about it. It’s a very stretchy bind off, great for use on socks or necklines. The one thing that I don’t like about it is that it appears ruffly when not stretched out, if worked over ribbing. This could be partly me, because I knit so loosely, but I have heard it from other knitters as well. My modification here is to work the stretchy bind off as Jeny wrote it only over the purl sts in ribbing. I work the traditional psso over the knits. So it goes like this: k2, pass the first stitch over the second and off the needle, yo, p1, pass the yo over the purl then pass the first st over the second and off the needle. And so on. It looks like this:

This is the armhole of the Big Montana, with my modified stretchy bind off. It doesn’t look ruffly at all, does it.

Look for a discussion about sewn bind offs at some point in the future here at TAATdesigns. I am looking forward to Audrey’s guest post tomorow, about the perils of binding off too tightly.

One Comment leave one →
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