Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tutorial: Sewn Bind Off

This is such a useful bind off--or "cast off", as I was taught to call it. It mimics the longtail cast on, so naturally it lends itself to situations where you would like the start and finish to look alike. Also, I find that it curls a great deal less than a regular bind off, and has the additional virtue of having a bit of stretch. And it's surprisingly simple to execute. All in all, just about perfect!
The important thing to keep in mind with this method is that you must break off your yarn and begin the bind off with a new length of yarn. You will be working from the right side, starting at the LEFT HAND edge. You can work directly off the knitting needle, or you can place all the stitches onto a length of waste yarn and work off it, or you can slip some or all stitches off and work from live stitches. Knitter's choice.
Thread a blunt tapestry needle with enough yarn to get you through the whole bind off. *Go through the second stitch from the left as if to knit, then go through the first stitch as if to purl, rep from * to end. KEEP THE YARN COMING FROM ABOVE AT ALL TIMES. If you've ever worked "outline stitch" in embroidery, that is what you are doing here. It looks like this:

This is one of those brilliant "unventions" of Elizabeth Zimmermann. There is a drawn illustration of it on p38 of the 2013 edition of "Knitting Workshop". Like so many of EZ's techniques, it's beautifully simple.

 Why the tutorial now? It's how I bound off/ cast off "Glenora" (currently in test knitting). Yesterday I found myself knitting Glenora at Glenora. This view was taken while waiting for the ferry,

and this one from the ferry. The water was an odd luminous blue/green. I hope it wasn't an algae bloom.

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