Thursday, 18 May 2017

How To Bind Off With Double Knitting

Simple Alternating Bind Off

A Guide To Binding Off For Beginners

There are multiple ways of binding off your work once you have completed your double knitted project and you may feel a little overwhelmeds with the variety of choice that you have. 

One of the easiest methods I have used creates a lovely alternating pattern on the bind off edge and is very similar to a regular bind off. If you are new to knitting and want to find out how to do a simple bind off first then please watch the "How Do I Bind Off?" video in my article Learn How To Knit.

The Simple Double Knitting Bind Off

So you've got through to the end of your project in one piece and you're now ready to take that cracking piece of work off the needles and get it into the world. But how do actually do that when working with two strands of yarn and potentially a pattern that you've been working with? Carry on reading to find out.

This simple alternating bind off works very well in conjunction with an alternating cast on as the two edges will reflect nicely.

The Set Up Stage 

The first thing you want to do - if your pattern doesn't already incorporate this - is make sure that you end your piece with two rows of stockinette to create a nice edge in which to work from. This is the easiest way to ensure that you will not be distracted by any patterns on either side of your project and you knit and purl with the respective colors when binding off.


It is possible to bind off in pattern but that is more complex than what we want to deal with here. If you feel confident that you will be able to keep track of which strand you will need to bind off in pattern then that's great and you should go ahead and do that to give your pattern the finished look you desire.

The second step in this stage is to do your first two stitches as you have been. In the photo you can see that I have done my knit and purl as normal and have paused before I actually start the bind off process.

The Bind Off Process

Now that you have done your set up rows and stitches you'll now begin the process of binding each stitch off the needles.

First Bind Off Stitch
1. From your first set up stitch (in this case the white stitch in the photo) insert your left needle into the front loop of the stitch and pull it over the second stitch (black stitch in the photo).

Purl Stitch On Bind Off

2. For your second stitch you'll need to bring both yarns to the front of your work as normal and purl the stitch in the normal way.

Bind Off Prep After Purl Stitch

3. Binding off after having done a purl stitch requires a change to your yarn positioning. Usually you would put both yarns to the back of your work however to get the nice symmetrical bind off you will only move the back yarn to the back. In the photo you can see that I have been working on the "white" side so I will keep the white yarn to the front and put the black yarn to the back before binding off.

Halfway Through Binding Off

4. Repeat the last three steps (of course remembering to do your knit stitch at the beginning) until you reach the end of your work. Your bind off will begin to look like the photo with an alternating color scheme and you will get have a lovely horizontal edge too (see first photo).

5. The final step for binding off is to pull the cut yarn through the final stitch to secure it and then weave in your ends.

Finishing Off

So now you'll have your work finally off the needles and you have a bind off the catches your cast on and now no one can tell the difference between each end which is especially good for scarves and things like dish scrubbies. I love this simple bind off for scarves especially as it ends up being a very stretchy bind off and it doesn't pucker the fabric at the end of the scarf.

More Information



Friday, 5 May 2017

How To Rip Out Knitting Without Losing Your Project

The Uh-Oh Moment

Spotting a mistake in your work can be a gut-wrenching moment, especially if you've carried on for a couple of inches and it has completely wrecked the pattern you've been working on. After you've settled down from the panic stations you'll realize that it is possible to fix! There are a few options available to you depending on what type of mistake has been made but the two methods I'll be talking about are Tink-ing (backwards knitting), Frogging (ripping that mess out), and The Life Line (similar to Frogging but with a different set up); the other options involve a crochet hook and I'll do a separate article for those.

Tink-ing

This is a nice easy method of correcting mistakes if you have spotted it on the same row. Tink-ing is basically un-working your stitches until you reach the problem stitch. All you need to do is to pick up the stitch below on the right needle with your left needle and then pull out the yarn as you position the old stitch on the left needle. Repeat this process until you reach the offending stitch, correct the mistake and then carry on as normal. 

Tink-ing is a very handy process for catching these early mistakes and I find myself doing it quite a lot in complicated patterns, especially with double knitting or color work. A quick tip I would like to share is to also use a stitch marker to mark the wrong stitch and I place it just to the right of the stitch so that I definitely unpick that stitch and don't go too far. 

Frogging

This method is useful when you need to take out a larger portion of your work and it will take far too long to do it via Tink-ing. The reason this method is called Frogging is because you are "ripping" the work out and the rip, rip, rip, of the yarn sound like a frog.

To start frogging your work you'll first need to find a section of your knitting that you will be happy to pick up your stitches from. You'll then want to select a slightly smaller needle or a tapestry needle so that you can easily pick up the stitches from the fabric. I personally like to pick up my stitches from the knit side (if it's not reversible) so make sure that you pick up from left to right.


Once you have got these stitches picked up then you can take your live stitches off the needle and then start ripping the yarn back until you get to the stitches on the needle. When you are ripping back the stitches I find that keeping a medium tension throughout allows you to wrap up your yarn into a ball, or around the existing one, to keep everything neat. You may find that some stitches get stuck, you may have a "sticky" yarn fiber or accidentally split a stitch while knitting so if this happens use the Tink-ing method above to work out the stitches without having to cut or break the yarn.

After you have Frogged back to the stitches on the needle if you find that you have picked them up from the wrong side then simply transfer them over to the other needle. Another way to pick up is to use a longer double pointed needle that way you can start knitting from either side without having to worry about transferring those stitches.


The Life Line

This is exactly what is sounds like; if you have a difficult or new pattern that you are following and you want a bit of safety if you make a mistake then The Life Line is for you. The whole process is similar to Frogging but you actually put in a piece of spare yarn across your work at a point you would be happy to rip back to if you were to make a mistake.


The beauty about The Life Line is that you can put multiple reference points in or simply take out the previous reference yarn and put it in the new section whenever you need some reassurance; just think of it being your own little knitting insurance policy.

I also use The Life Line as a progress keeper as well. For larger projects such as the Drop-Shoulder Jumper shown in the photo you need to knit for a long time to get the length right and it's often easier to make a note of where you stopped last time (the orange yarn reference) and measure from there. I find this method a lot easier as it's sometimes difficult to lay out your project and measure it when you're on the go (such as commuting) but just doing the top bit of your work is so much easier.

Beginner Knitters

Those who are new to knitting will probably find that they need to use these two methods quite often but don't fret, as you get more practice at knitting different projects, styles and patterns you'll find yourself making fewer mistakes. 

If you don't know how to knit and would like to start then check out my article Learn How To Knit.