22 July 2011
13 The knitsofacto bind off
I promised you a tutorial for the bind off I stumbled across while experimenting with just-so edges for Demne, and here it is! Oh, and I've added a picture to Demne's Ravelry page of young Finn wearing his little cardigan ... he's just so cute!
Demne is knitted cuff-to-cuff, and both cuffs and the button and buttonhole bands have bound off edges*. In consequence there's no need to worry about matching cast ons to bind offs, but two of the bind offs are prominently center front and I wanted them to blend well with the seed stitch bands. That's a section of the bound off buttonhole band in the picture above. What do you think?
I liked my bind off enough to ask Lal and Francesca to test knit it for me - thank you so much you two - and happily I got positive feedback from them both. Francesca declared it to be "the best garter stitch bind off ever" - you can see what she meant in picture 5 below - and encouragingly she both tried and failed to find anything quite like it elsewhere. Not that I suppose, not for one moment, that I'm the first to have invented a twisted purled bind off - think of all the knitters down the centuries puzzling out solutions to their knitting problems and you know there can be nothing new - but maybe I'm the first to have written it down?**
So, how do you work my knitsofacto bind off? Like this!
Working with needles two sizes smaller than those you have used to knit your garment*** purl the first stitch and place the new stitch you have just made, purlwise, back onto the left needle (not pictured). Next, insert the right needle into the first two stitches as if to knit them together (1), but instead slide them from the left needle (2), twist them anti-clockwise (3) and replace them, purlwise, onto the left needle, keeping the right needle to the front (4) ...
... now purl these two stitches together (5 and 6), and then place the new stitch you have just made, purlwise, back onto the left needle (7), snugging the stitch into position (8), before working again from (1). Continue until you have purled the last two stitches together and then, as with any other bind off, pull the end of the yarn through the remaining stitch to finish. It's the right side that I've pictured here, but the reverse has a certain knobbly cable-like appeal too.
*Courtesy of a couple of provisional cast ons
**If you have seen this bind off somewhere else please do let me know.
*** If you knit tightly you may only need to drop one needle size ... experiment if you're unsure. If your needles are too big the bound off edge will flare slightly, if too small it will be too tight.