Wednesday * April 23rd 2014

On Binding Off

I love Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. I use it for socks or anything else that requires give.*

I used it in my Mitered Non-Cross Blanket.

However, that extra yarn over also means more yarn is used. That’s the point, isn’t it? The extra yarn gives you more stretch. Quite honestly, it also was not necessary in a garter stitch blanket. Seriously. By the time I thought about it, it was too late to switch to a different bind off method unless I wanted to rip  the border on all the finished squares and re-knit them. I wasn’t willing to do that, but I was worried about running out of the natural colored yarn I was using for the border.

BindOffs

click to enlarge

Why is it necessary to re-knit those squares? Jeny’s bound off stitch is visually different from regular bind off stitch.

From the pictures on the left, you can see that bound off stitches with Jeny’s method look like they are wearing turtle neck sweaters. That’s from the extra yarn over in the bind off.

However, regular bind offs have a tendency draw in if you aren’t careful. Why? All that extra stitch manipulation pulls and tugs at the recently bound off stitch, which makes them tighter.

SuspendedBindOff

click to enlarge

What do I do?

I use a suspended bind off. What’s suspended bind off? Basically, you keep the just bound off stitch on the left hand needle while you knit into the new stitch. This prevents you from pulling on the recently bound off stitch and distorting the bound off edge. I used suspended bind off in the above picture (below Jeny’s bind off.)

This bind off is not stretchy at all, when compared with other bind off methods. If stretch is not required, like for a blanket or a flat edge of a sweater or scarf, this is an excellent bind off.

* The only bind off I like better is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind off, but that requires extra equipment — a darning needle, and guesstimating how much extra yarn you need for the bind off beforehand. I never guess right. If you are binding off a very long edge, the length gets unwieldy and ratty from drawing through all those stitches, unless you are willing to splice in new yarn.

(Yes, I know I desperately need a manicure.)

No Comments »Knit, Technique

Scraps

While I had the sewing machine out, I decided to work on a scraps project I had on the back burner for a while now.

Below are some of my less than successful samples early in my weaving career. I have no idea why I kept them. Good reminders, I guess of when the sett is not quite right, or when you beat too hard. But I did keep them, just like I still have some of my early hand spun yarn.

WovenScraps

I had thoughts of turning them into pot holders after buying some pot holders in Italy. Yes, I bought pot holders while I was in Italy. Those were made from scraps of linen. I love them. They remind me of my visit to the weaving studio.

So, with these in hand, I cut up an old terry towel as “batting” and off I went.

PotHolders

These won’t win a beauty contest anytime soon, but I will enjoy using them.

What do you do with your hand woven scraps?

No Comments »Sew, Weave

Bags

ProduceBagsWhile I was brainstorming for the bag for CNCH 2014 gallery, I came across Daisy Janie’s produce bags. I had some fat quarters on hand as well as scraps from the Scout Tee so I whipped a couple of these up. Even with french seams, these took less than 30 minutes to make.

It’s unlikely these will ever be used for produce. I worry about the tare weight, but it’s likely to be minimal. I may use them at the farmers’ market when things are weighed out before put into bags.

In any case, they make perfect wine gift bags, complete with handle, or knitting project bags, because one can never have enough knitting project bags!

I still haven’t figured out what to do for my CNCH bag…

No Comments »FO, Sew

Scout!

I came across the Grainline Studios Scout Tee pattern on the web and decided to try it out last weekend. It’s a downloadable sewing pattern — a first for me.

I printed out the pattern on regular 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper — all 19 pages of it. As you can see below, there is a 3″x3″ square block on the pattern. This is a check to make sure that the pattern you printed is true to size. (I forgot to do this step.) Then I took my Exacto knife, a metal ruler and a roll of tape and proceeded to cut and tape the pattern together.

ScoutLayout

Then I rough cut the pattern before tracing them out.

ScoutTrace

I have a roll of children’s easel paper that I use for pattern making, along with some graphite tracing paper and a pointy stick. Pattern weights make sure all the pieces stay put while I’m tracing. This is recommended so that you don’t have to print and tape all over again, should you decide to make adjustments or sew a different size. This turned out to be a most excellent decision on my part (see below).

Scout

It took me over 6 hours from start to finish, that included cutting and taping the pattern out. Future shirts shouldn’t take that long. I used French seams so there are no exposed raw edges, then top stitched the seam flat because I hate the feeling of the seam. If you choose to not do any of that, you can cut your sewing time by quite a bit. I was too lazy to pull out the overlock machine, but that would be another option. (I know I created more work for myself this way, but you know I don’t do easy.)

How do I like the end result? Eh. There were several problems, most of them of my own making.

  • It’s just too big. I made size 14 but I should have made size 12. I added too much ease to my measurements because I was worried that the woven cotton would not allow me to pull it on easy. I shouldn’t have worried. The top is cut generously.
  • The quilting cotton is too stiff. Along with the generous cut, I look pregnant. It probably would be okay with a belt.
  • The neckline gapes when I lean over (or slouch) and you can see all the way to China. This may be the fault of the two problems above. I won’t know until I make another one in a fabric with more drape and smaller size.

The pattern is clear and instructions are easy to follow. I like it well enough that I would definitely make another one. I won’t change the neckline until I see what the top looks like in a smaller size and different fabric.

I can also seeing lengthening this into a summer dress.

 

1 Comment »FO, Sew

Hippo!

Hippocritter

I used Dale Baby Ull for the Hippocritter instead of DK yarn because I wanted something smaller (and something readily at hand). Stuffed with some wool locks I had sitting around. (I didn’t have any Polyfill in the house.)

StormyHippo

Stormy Approved!

1 Comment »FO, Knit

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