I’ve started knitting new swatches yesterday. At first I thought about doing the ribbing by turning my work around for each row (which I don’t care for, as it slows me down). Then, as I got bored with all the turning, I began stretching what I’d already knit and to my surprise the ribbing began to look much better. 😀
I’m thinking about weaving in the ends on the two swatches with ribbing that I’d done some time back, washing and blocking to see how they look after a spa treatment. After I’m done with the blocking, I’ll measure the swatches again, as I have a sinking feeling that my measurements were off. If that’s the case, I have no other choice but to re-do them.
Speaking of re-doing, at least one of the cable swatches has to be re-done for sure, as the bind-off is flaring and I found out a way to eliminate/minimize that. This process is, after all, about learning, right?
Over all, I’m quite pleased with the swatches I’ve knit so far. I haven’t done any of the color work ones, so my feelings about my progress might change (I hate color work).
One thing lead to another and I found myself going through the pages of the group Knit Tips and Techniques on Ravelry. Since the binding-off thingy was still bugging me, I took a look at the link for bind-off techniques.
Well, I found what I called my default bind-off here. On the article it’s called “Decrease Bind-off”. Live and learn…
On other news, I started the “official” swatches two days ago, got to the third one (yes, I’m knitting them in order) and some other shinning thing caught my eye.
I found out that if I stop in the middle of a swatch, I’ll get a row (or parts of a row) with distorted stitches. Since these are swatches, I might be able to do each one without stopping. Guess that means I’ll go back to square one.
Those distorted stitches aren’t the only reason I’m thinking of redoing them. At least one of the swatches has an awful ribbing, which I know can be done better.
I like my cast-ons and bind-offs to be as non-intrusive (read almost invisible) as possible, so I learned a few different methods to do both. My reasoning is that you don’t see sewn garments that are finished with just a zig-zag st, then why should my knitting have edges that don’t match? Now, when knitting swatches or something where the top and/or bottom edge won’t make a difference, I do my “default” bind-off: k2tog, slip the st just made back to the left hand needle, knit it together with the next st, repeat until you run out of sts.
This bind-off is fast and a no-brainer. Since I found out that my cast-on was kind of unorthodox, I decided to check my bind-off also, because, chances are, it wouldn’t be what the examining board calls “basic bind-off”.
Not only the bind-off I described above isn’t the “basic”, I couldn’t find any references to it anywhere…I’m going to get some more books from the library to check them out, since I don’t think something this simple wouldn’t be described somewhere. I know, for a fact, that I’m not the only one who binds-off this way, but the fact that it isn’t described in the books I have at hand right now makes me scratch my head and wonder what else I do differently from people in the Northern hemisphere…
The most common bind-off I could find tells me to k2, pass first st over the second,knit one more, pass first over second, so on and so forth. It makes for a smaller chain at the top edge which I like and takes as little time as the one I’m used to. It is also stretchier(? more stretchy?) than my default one. There is only one little caveat: the last stitch comes out too long.
I’ve tried to knit that one stitch tighter to no avail and then, last night while doing yet another pre-swatch, I decided to pass the stitch over without knitting the last stitch. Voilà! Problem solved.