Saturday, September 1, 2012

FO: One-seam shrug and a stretchier bind-off

This is the One-seam shrug from the Spring 2012 knit.wear issue. I wanted to knit this the minute I saw it in the magazine because of its unusual construction. It is knit as a rectangle and the horizontal back seam is made by a 3-needle bind-off. One short seam is sewn down the center back. (It was hard for me to visualize this until I saw one of the other finished ones on ravelry) I liked the pattern, but I didn't want to use a bulky yarn and I didn't want such an open weave, so I changed the stitch pattern and used Malabrigo worsted for a finer gauge. I used one of my favorite simple stitch patterns: K2, yo, K2tog on every row, with one K selvedge at each end. I love the result. Mine came out slightly smaller than the smallest size, but it's still quite roomy. It's very cozy but not too warm and the collar stays folded over and covers the back of the neck very well.
I want to share my method for doing stretchier bind-offs on this shrug. There are actually two methods, but they are variations on the same theme. I wanted a stretchier bind-off for the arm holes, which are bound off as knit stitches. For every other stitch, I did a knit through the front and back of the stitch. I would then slip the first stitch over the second one, then slip the stitch from the previous bind-off over that stitch. This sort of increases the the stitch count by 50% on the bind-off row only. I used the same needle size and tension for the bind-off. The horizontal back seam is done with a 3-needle bind-off, which normally results in a tight tension. It's one of the reasons I love it for shoulder seams because it allows the seam to remain firm and not stretch as I wear the sweater. In this case I wanted a stretchy seam because it sits across my back. I ended up doing the Kf&b on every stitch of the bind-off. It's more fiddly to do because of the 3-needle thing. I put the stitch from the front needle onto the back needle, then knit the two stitches together in the front and back and do the same slipping of stitches as I described above. The back is perfectly stretchy.


Anonymous said...

Very excited to see this Betty as I also was struck by that shrug in knit.wear and just today saw a shrug with a very similar construction in a department store and it fit beautifully . Thank you for your construction and stitching tips.

knitseashore said...

It looks fabulous on you -- perfect for the changing seasons.