Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stretchy bind-off

For the last three of my finished sweaters, I talked about using my new favorite stretchy bind-off wherein I do the knit stitches as Kf&b, pass the first stitch over the second, then pass the last bound-off stitch over that one. I thought I would ramble on a bit more about this bind-off and show some photos of swatches.

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.

1 comment:

Mr. Puffy said...

Wow Betty that's a great technique!!! Thanks for sharing it ~ your sweater knitting skills are really impressive and you have so many great ideas on how to modify patterns. Speaking of which enjoy that big cozy sweater you just finished it looks wonderful :)