Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and wondering how to handle it…still not sure, but I think I should say something…the October issue of Knit’nStyle (#181) is out and usually I try not to be too picky – you know, so long as they spell my name right, I don’t really take offense to too much else and even if they miss the ‘e’ off Ann occasionally, I’m not really upset. And the hyphen thing, I just have to look the other way…and sometimes when they hand-knit-ify something, I do grimace a bit.
I gotta tell ya, I’ve NEVER used the term ‘bind off’. I know that’s a strong
word – never- and I have learned that it can be shorter than you’d think so I
use it rarely - never, I mean. I must admit, I don’t always read word for word what they’ve
done to my stuff ‘cuz it can make me crazy, but this time, it's hard to miss.
me explain…my techniques article in the current issue…oh, let me go back a
bit further… I did start a new series of articles back in #178 which I titled
W-5 (What? When? Where? Which? Why?) and explained that I would give three or
four methods of some technique (the what), then explain when and where to use
which one and why and/or why not. I guess they didn’t get my Canadian humour of
the W5 thing and they left that out so the articles just ended up with sort of
lame titles, like ‘single-bed machine cast on methods’ – oh wow!! That’s a real
MAO title (heavy sarcasm)!
when I sent in this article (cast-off methods which they shanged to 'bind off methods for mking'), I never thought (there's that word again!) to make sure they didn’t change
anything important – I don’t get a final proof copy and I only get to see it
when I get my comp copy about 3 to 4 weeks after the subscribers. The reason
I’m saying this now - I mostly use a rather specific CAST OFF method that is an
important part of my finishing techniques and a very crucial part of a lot of
the trims and edgings that I’ve developed. If this MAO-approved method of CHAIN
CAST OFF is not used, I am not responsible for whether your trim or edging lays
flat or not. I do describe it in each pattern – the last row must be knit loose
enough so when those stitches are chained off, it does not restrict the width
of the finished edge. Though I have given other methods in this article, here’s the important part and what it should have said:
Chain Cast off
practice, this is the quickest method and produces the softest, least-bulk cast-off.
Basically the final row is knit by the carriage, providing an even stitch size
and those stitches are chained off to finish the piece. Knit last row at a much
looser tension, 2 to 3 numbers higher (for mid gauge machines) than the main
tension. This should give a loose enough row to chain off without making the
cast-off row too tight. A looser row can be obtained by removing the yarn from
the overhead tension, dialing the loosest stitch size and hand feeding the yarn
for the final row. If the main knitting is at a large stitch size and there is
not room for the carriage to make the looser row, hand knit the final row,
bringing the needle butts back appropriately to achieve the required stitch
size. After knitting the row, break the yarn. Push all needles out with the
work behind the latches. Beginning at the side away from the tail, with the
latch tool, grab the first stitch and remove from needle. Push this stitch
behind the latch of the tool and pick up the second stitch from the next
needle. Pull the second stitch through the stitch on the tool, casting off the
first stitch. Pick up third stitch and pull through second stitch on tool.
Repeat across row, being careful not to pull the work off before all stitches
are chained off. At end, pull tail of yarn through last stitch to lock. The
evenness and stretchiness of this cast off relies on the size of the last row
which must be loose enough to prevent unnecessary restriction. It can be used
in any application, providing the last row is made in a suitable size. The
chain of the final row will lay on the knit side of the work. If it is
necessary to unravel this, it is very quick to release last loop and rip out.