Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: April 2014 Page 1 of 2

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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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

What do you do with your hand woven scraps?


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…

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