How are your projects coming along? Any finished knit or crochet projects to report for 2014 yet?
I’m plugging away on my Tucked Pullover from the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of knit.wear magazine.
Deciding how to finish that sleeve took some thought.
The pattern has you pick up stitches around the armhole and knit the sleeve down. This is a pretty wonderful method as it means less finishing at the end. However, it caused me to put extra thought into how I was going cast off (or bind off) my cuff.
Sometimes when I work the basic bind off of knitting two stitches, passing one stitch over, my edge comes out a little tight. You can see pictures for the basic bind off on the Vogue Knitting Website. You can see videos of the basic bind off on Knittinghelp.com. Since cuffs are an area of a sweater that are subjected to a little more stress, I didn’t want to risk snapping a tight cast off edge.
A common solution for a tight cast off edge is to use a knitting needle one size larger than what you’ve been using. That’s an easy fix, but for me it sometimes looks a little sloppy. It’s more of an issue with larger size (US10) needles than the US5 needle I’m using to knit the sweater. You should test it out for yourself to see whether you like it.
I decided to play it safe and use the “Decrease Bind Off” illustrated in this Knitty article. (Scroll down, it’s the first bind off in the second section.)
The decrease bind off, which is the same one I used on the edge of my Metalouse Shawl, knits up quickly and makes a nice edge. However, I ended up with that pesky jog you get when casting off in the round.
Happily, the difference in height between the cast off rows is easy to fix.
When you finish casting off, leave a long tail and cut the yarn as you normally do. Then thread that tail on a darning needle.
Ta-da! You’ve pulled the two levels together and created a chain stitch to help smooth the transition. Take the tail to the inside of your garment and weave it in as normal. Check for any gap between the first and last bound off stitch and use the tail to darn over it to close it up.
What bind off method to you prefer for sleeve cuffs?
There are books dedicated to various cast on and cast off methods. Stop by your local yarn store to check them out.