Spinninglizzy's Weblog

Falling down the slippery fibre slope

First Leaves of Spring, and A Discussion of I-Cord Bind-Off Techniques

First Leaves of Spring, and A Discussion of I-Cord Bind-Off Techniques

Did you know there are at least three different ways to bind-off with an i-cord edge? Why would you need more than one?!

This is Laura Aylor’s elegant “Woods in Winter” pattern:
The pattern as written calls for a simple bind-off, shown here:



Reflecting over the original bind-off overnight, I decided the next morning I really wanted an i-cord bind-off to match.

Bind-off C:
Cast-on 3 stitches
*(K2, K2Together, transfer the 3 stitches from R back to L needle)
Repeat *
When 3 stitches remain, K3Tog, cutting yarn and pulling through.


After finishing a 3-stitch bind-off (the other two edges are in 3-stitch i-cord), it seemed to me that this edge looked too puffy and large compared to the other two. Also, I noticed this bind-off had an underside (which shows on the right-side of the knitting) with a “laddered” stitch pattern. It would be very pretty in some knits, but doesn’t match this pattern. And finally, the preceding rows of all purl stitches (on the right side) made it look even more chunky.

First: ravel the purl stitches and re-knit the last row so there are  2 rows of knit stitches on the right side before starting a bind-off.

Here is the result of testing three different bind-offs, using only 2 cast-on stitches this time:



I-Cord C bind-off:
Cast-on 2 stitches
*(K1, K2Together, transfer 2 stitches from R back to L needle)
Repeat *
When 2 stitches remain, K2Tog, cutting yarn and pulling through.


I-Cord B bind-off:
Cast-on 2 stitches
*{K1, K2Together through back loop, transfer stitches from R back to L needle}
Repeat *
When 2 stitches remain, K2Tbl, cutting yarn and pulling through.

I-Cord A bind-off:
Cast-on 2 stitches
*[K1, Slip1, K1 and pass slipped stitch over, transfer stitches from R back to L needle]Repeat *
When 2 stitches remain, K2Tbl, cutting yarn and pulling through.

Bind-offs A and B were similar, but I felt that A had a slimmer, flatter shape, which better matched the other two edges of my shawl. With a different pattern, if it did not matter, I would choose B, as it is much faster for me to knit!





12 April 2016 Posted by | Knitting | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Yarn Left Behind

Salvaged Gold Vexillum, aka “Yarn Chicken Knit”

Go ahead, dare me. I can’t walk away from a challenge of yarn chicken. I’m not sure I know how. I so dislike “wasting” any extra yarn, that my mistakes tend toward knitting my projects until the finished pieces no longer look fitted, and are a tad too large. But this is not usually a problem with accessories like scarves.

I had 550 yards of Blue Moon Laci yarn left over from the 1750-yard skein used to knit Tropfen for my husband.


This yarn, in the colourway “24 Karat”, is so luscious, I wanted to steal his scarf many times over, so the leftover yardage were destined to become something for me. Enter Vexillum, by Paper Moon Knits.


The pattern calls for fingering yarn, but my yarn is laceweight. Fortunately, I had a lot of it, and all was well until approaching the finish line. I had weighed my remaining yarn many times to guesstimate how much to leave for the i-cord bind-off, although I did have a few strange readings when getting toward the end of the skein. For instance, how could I weigh the remaining yarn at 5 grams, only to knit an additional four rows and read the next weighing at 7???!!!

Nevertheless, during my Friday morning knitting group, I definitely had enough for the i-cord bind-off, but talked myself into knitting an extra two rows first. “Yarn Roulette,” a friend told me I was playing.


I had my extra rows completed by the time I joined a second knitting group Friday evening, and proceeded to bind-off. However, nearing the end of my yarn, it was obvious that it would not be enough to finish. Fortunately, I had a trump card: a precious butterfly of yarn left over from my Tropfen project:


I was dismayed to find that it was not long enough! My fingers shaking with anxiety, I found a last meager bit of yarn wound on little card.  This was a lease tie on the original skein. It was so small, there was no real reason why I kept it! One friend noted helpfully: “You could always hack off a little off the end of your husband’s scarf and use that!”


I parsimoniously spit-felt-joined this last fragment of yarn, regretting my earlier squandering of possibly five inches of my yarn butterfly with my preferred Russian join. More stroke-inducing binding-off later, I was devastated to acknowledge that I still did not have enough to finish the i-cord bind-off. I finished the last 1.5 inches with a basic bind-off. It was a relief be able to finish the scarf, but where was the gratification or triumph?



Two hours later, back at home, my son was pushing around something on the floor with his toes. “Mama, is this garbage?” “Nooooooooooooooooooo!” I snatched this precious salvage from him the moment I recognised it for the gold it was: a scant 9″ of my yarn! Hero of the hour! I’m still a contender to challenge the yarn again!


Half an hour of undoing two inches of bind-off later, I spit-joined a scant inch of my wisp of treasure to that tail, and joined the other end to the leftover tail still attached to my cast-on edge. I bound-off warily, praying over every stitch, and… success!

My nerves were so frazzled that I broke apart the joined cast-on and bind-off tails at midpoint before thinking to photo that epic moment. Less than four inches left at each end to weave in!


I don’t think I’m much wiser or repentant, but… I AM still undefeated at yarn chicken! Victory!






12 April 2016 Posted by | Knitting | , , , , , , | 4 Comments