Tubular bind off

tubular_bindoff

I’d frogged an old sweater so I could remake it into something that I’d like better and wear more. I’ve started working on the new pullover, and this time, I decided to finish the neck first, instead of leaving it till the end like I always do. 1×1 rib seemed like a good match for this pullover, and in continuing my learning process, I decided to try out something new — a tubular bind off.

It took three tries before I considered it good enough. πŸ™‚

At first, I tried TECHknitter’s way — 4 prep rows and then grafting. But it ended up making a very visible band at the upper part of the rib. In hindsight (you’ll see after you read on about all my tries), I think it was because the stitches were large, and as a result, loose.

I then undid the ribbing partially, and tried with only 2 prep rows, like many other tutorials say. This looked better, but the ribbing looked oversized. I realized that it’s been so long since I’ve knit a proper 1×1 ribbing, and have become used to knitting 2×2 or 3×3 ribbing using the same needles that I knit the body with, that I’ve forgotten to reduce the needle size for this ribbing.

This time, obviously, I had to undo the ribbing completely. I then used needles two sizes smaller than the main ones, and picked up more stitches than I had earlier, and finally, the ribbing is more to my liking.

I love the seamless look that tubular cast off gives. ❀ It makes me think of infinity pools. πŸ˜€ With smaller needles, and resulting tighter stitches, I think TECHknitter’s use of 4 prep rows can make it look even better — the slant at the top where I graft the knit and purl rows would be less pronounced then. I’m not gonna rip out the neck any more though, it’s just something that I’ll try next time! It looks good enough for now, right?

As an aside — I do have to admit that I’ve started liking grafting after using it in so many projects! πŸ™‚

I thenSave

Ashton shawlette (or Happy Mother’s Day!)

I finished the Ashton shawlette for my mom a couple of weeks ago, and eagerly awaited her return from a vacation to surprise her with it. And was it a pleasant surprise or what! She loves the colors and the lace in the shawl. πŸ™‚ It’s not as drapey as I would like, but it’s definitely pretty cozy. My mom thinks she’ll use it to keep warm during her next vacation. πŸ™‚ Though today is not the day she received the shawl, I’m writing about it today, so I’ll consider it my Mother’s Day gift. πŸ˜‰ (Alright, alright, I presented it to her on the eve of my parents’ wedding anniversary, so it did end up as a gift, albeit for a different occasion. And today, we gave her handmade cards.)

Ashton shawlette

I spent quite some time blocking the shawl, and the lace opened up really well, but the points are still not to my satisfaction. (Remember that I had the same problem, but much more intensely annoying, with the Lemony shawl? These points are definitely much better than the almost-non-existent ones of the Lemony shawl.) I used the super-stretchy bind-off described in the pattern, and I used larger-sized needles for it. It looked fine while blocking, but did I need to knit the bind-off stitches still looser? I’m thinking of blocking again, because the edge has slightly curled up. (My mom keeps insisting it’s fine.) Maybe that’ll help?

The pattern definitely has been a good learning experience with different lace stitches. I’m more confident with lacy patterns now, and managed to designe a pattern of my own for a top that my sis asked me to make! Yay! It required a lot of testing to get right, but I did it, I designed a lacy pattern. So yeah, yay! πŸ™‚ (I’ll upload photos when I click them.)

Now to tame those pesky points…

Lacy Hearts cardigan — the beginning

When I moved back to Bangalore, I brought back some denim yarn with me, intending to make a cardigan with it. Since my last cardigan was for my sister, this one would be for my mom. Now, my mom normally isn’t very precise or vocal about her preferences, so I had to have multiple interactions with her to learn how she’d like the cardigan to be. Though she doesn’t mind cables in cardigans, she didn’t want cables in the one that I was going to make, and she would just like some minimalistic pattern on it. (No-pattern was what she really wanted, but I vetoed that because the cardigan would look too plain.)

I’m good at coming up with cable patterns, but I can’t say the same for lacy patterns (it’s on my things-to-learn list), so I had to look up something that I can use. After a lot of searching, I zeroed in on the beautiful Lacy Heart Curtain pattern. I decided to use just a two-column width of the pattern in the cardigan — that would make the design minimalistic. I made a swatch of the pattern with my yarn, and it looks pretty good —

Swatch -- Lacy Heart Curtain pattern

Swatch — Lacy Heart Curtain pattern

I also mentioned in my previous post about having to match cast-on and bind-off stitches for this bottom-up cardigan. I decided to go with the Twisted German cast-on and Icelandic bind-off stitches — they seem mostly similar, and are pretty stretchy.

I’ve already taken the measurements for the cardigan, figured out basic calculations for the pattern, and started knitting the front-right portion. Hopefully, I’ll have something to show in my next post!

Eyelet-patterned raglan cardigan – finished!

The cardigan is finally done! For the edges, I finally ended up using a regular 1×1 ribbing. (Nothing like the ol’ ribbing for sweaters…) It went pretty slow because I was busy with other stuff, and then I had to wait for my sister to model it — she was busy with other stuff. She is, by the way, happy with how it looks and wears. Phew! [Wipes sweat off brow.] We finally got some time today to click pictures of the cardigan. Here it is —

Eyelet Cardigan

Eyelet Cardigan

While I was knitting the ribbing, I got to thinking more about the cast-off (bind-off.) For this cardigan, I simply cast off in pattern, i.e. continue with the 1×1 rib pattern while slipping the previous stitch off the right needle. It’s easy that way for top-down sweaters because all borders are knit towards the outside from the middle of the fabric. Whether it is the body and the sleeves — where one just switches to the ribbing after the last main row, or at the neck and the front — where one picks up stitches and makes the ribbing, the bind-off is the last row for all parts of top-down sweaters. Not so for bottom up ones knit in parts — there, the body and sleeves have borders whose bottommost rows are the cast-on rows, but for the neck and front, the bottommost row is the bind-off row. And that means that the cast-on stitch needs to match the bind-off stitch. So it’s research time, since I’m going to make my next cardigan in a bottom-up fashion.

The next step that I want to take is to write pattern instructions. Not for this cardigan — it has some increases that are non-uniform and need careful counting, and since patterns need to be written for various sizes, it’s more than I can handle. Next time I think of a relatively easier pattern, I’ll give instructions-writing a go!