Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Designer Secrets - Smoothing Stair Step Cast Offs

Please note the little stair steps created by each bind off in the photo above and then compare to the photo's below.

I'm working on cardigan designs and I was thinking about details that I need to discuss with my sample knitters. I wanted to give them a reference on smoothing the stair step bind offs at the armhole, neckline and shoulders so I went to my usual resource the Vogue Knitting reference book. The first time I couldn't find anything but I checked again before I wrote this post and finally found it under "Sloped bind off". It's the kind of little detail that is never included in a pattern but makes seaming easier as well as tidier on the inside of your garment. It also turns out that Vogue uses a different technique than the one I use.

Their version (page 50) means thinking ahead to the row before the bind off and skipping the last stitch, turning the work slipping the next stitch and then passing the skipped stitch over the slipped one and then continuing the bind off.

The version I use is - I complete the first bind off as normal and then on the next "step" on a right side row I work the first decrease as a SSK and then complete the bind off normally. On the wrong side rows I do a P2 together. So if the instruction was to bind off 4 stitches and then 3 on the next row I would bind off 4 stitches and then on the next row SSK (RS) or P2 together (WS) and bind off 2 stitches.

BTW Canadians often say cast off instead of bind off, stocking stitch instead of stockinette and occasionally tension instead of gauge.

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