Friday, November 30, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I've been on the search for the holy grail of button bands for quite a while. I like button bands to be sturdy in order to prevent button band "gaposis" in fitted cardigans. Here are some of the things I've tried:
- Knitting a separate double knit band and sewing it on -- It can be almost too thick and it's a pain to sew it on, even though I don't mind sweater seams.
- Sewing a ribbon backing on the underside -- It's way too much work and I don't like the look and the band does not stretch.
- Using a linen stitch -- This is okay, but I don't love the stitch pattern on a button band.
- Using a needle size of a much finer gauge -- This is my favorite method for worsted weight yarns because you can achieve a pretty dense fabric that way.
- Using an attached I-cord and leaving gaps for the button holes -- I love this method, but it does not look good on all sweater styles. Sometimes you just need a ribbed band.
I buried my button holes in the purl stitches. I've also been on the quest for the perfect sturdy button holes. These are almost there. They look pretty good and are extremely sturdy. Here's a close-up of the button bands. You can see that the ribbing has more separation between the knit stitches and the purl stitches look slightly different. The thickness is not obvious from the photo though. Another thing I like about this band is that knit stitches at the bottom do not scrunch up and curl under like they do with the normal ribbing.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
I'm mainly a sweater knitter, and a lot of sweaters use the K2 P2 ribbing to finish necklines, armholes, sleeve openings, and front bands. I like the K2 P2 ribbing, but I was always trying to get the perfect tension while binding off. Usually I end up using a needle size that is 2 sizes larger but that's not always the best tension because it depends upon the actual needle sizes. Also, I don't really like the look of looser stitches on the bind-off.
I tried the popular Jenny's super stretchy bind-off, but I don't like the big bump caused by the yarnover, and I found it too stretchy for ribbed necklines and such, since they don't need to stretch as much as socks do. Here's a swatch of the bind-off for just knit stitches, and you can see the bumps at the top.
I knew that I needed to add more yarn to the bind-off row to give it stretchiness, so I decided to just try doing a Kf&b, because that almost doubles the yarn length. It does have a thicker look on that last bind-off row, but it's not that bad, and it stretches about the same as Jenny's bind-off if I do it on every stitch.
So then I decided to try it with every other stitch, and I found that the stretchiness is just about right. The stitches with the Kf&b don't look that different from the stitches with a K only. I used a cable cast-on for the swatch, and this stretches about the same as the cast-on.
So, for K2 P2, I do Kf&b for just the knit stitches when binding off, and I've found that it always gives me just the right amount of stretch. It does not look that different from a normal bind-off in ribbing.