Froggy (froggy_dear) wrote in knitting,
Froggy
froggy_dear
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The importance of Binding Off

Many in this community are accomplished knitters and understand the importance of choosing the correct bind off.

I didn't. Not until I made a pair of tall toe up socks.



Our tale begins with the reciept of two balls of Simple Stripes by our heroine, froggy_dear, from a secret pal. She resolves to use as much of both balls as she can. (okay, enough third person. Sorry 'bout that.) I decided that a toe up sock was the obvious solution.

So I knit toe up socks, binding off in my usual manner. That is, k2, slip the first stitch on the needle over the second and drop it off the needle. I bound off in pattern using the same size one needles I used to knit the sock.

It did not go well.


To compound my frustration was the fact that I had knit them both by this time and done the same thing with both. Why I didn't come to my senses earlier is anyone's guess. The belief that it would be fine, maybe? Not trying on my finished sock? I'm honestly not sure.


So I picked out the bind off of one of the socks. I researched binding off - thank you, google - and discovered Elizabeth Zimmermann's Sewn Bind off. Looked like a good option. So I got out my trusty tapestry needle and off I went.

No beans. It was definately stretchier, but I pulled the yarn tight as I bound off, thus negating some of the potential stretchiness.

Still too tight.

At this point the socks were cast aside for a couple of months because the idea of picking out the sewn bindoff frustrated me.

The story ends happily though. Last week, the socks were rescued from the bottom of the knitting basket, both bind offs were picked out (one more painfully so than the other) and redone. The winning bind off? Simple binding off in pattern, like the first ones, but with a size 5 needle - and very loosely.
2006July15 - socks saved 002

And that is why it is important to consider the proper bind off with the proper tools before you plunge into it. Another knitting lesson learned. It also happens that there's a pretty awesome article on binding off in the latest Knitty. Just for reference.

And bonus sock specs:
Yarn: Simple Stripes from knitpicks
Needles: Size one Addi Turbos, magic looped
Pattern: One dash Wendy's generic toe up pattern, one dash my own. I incorporated graduated ribbing at the back of the calf, along with leg increases, to accomodate my widish calves.

Wanna detail?
2006July15 - socks saved 003
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