De squares, de squares

The lovely thing I’m learning about community blankets, ever since last summer when I was “volunteered” for putting together a baby blanket, is the creativity that goes into a small piece of knitting. This time, the pattern was set, so we had the inventiveness in the colors. This blanket will be in honor of Peter Bergmann, who was the husband of Kay Gardiner. As you can see, Brandy has quite enjoyed herself with the packages and knitwear:

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A Smooth Ending

I’m in the middle of doing a lovely sweater designed by Wendy Bernard called Slinky Ribs. Clever, clever design, and I’m loving her approach of changing up a design if you want to tweek it. It’s not like I need permission, but helpful that a designer recognizes that we knitters will do it, and gives some advice along the way.

I’m most sticking to the pattern (raising a neckline, making 3/4 sleeves instead of short cap ones, options in her pattern already), but I did decide on a different cast-off for the sleeves.

I had 2×2 ribbing. The question was — how to bind off so that it looks good and has the proper stability. Here was my solution:

  1. I changed to one smaller needle size (from 4 to 3 in this case) and continued in pattern for one inch.  This allowed me to continue to a smaller part of my arm in pattern without decreasing.
  2. I then did a min-twist kind of stitch to switch from 2×2 ribbing to 1×1 ribbing.  Why did I want to do this?  I wanted to do a tubular bind-off, which is easier to do with 1×1 ribbing.  The mini-twist is this:  (k1, drop next stitch off needle [it should come forward], purl the next stitch behind the dropped stitch, put dropped stitch back on the needle, knit that stitch, p1)  repeat between the () until the end of the round.
  3. One round in the same 1×1 ribbing (this is optional).
  4. Then I switched to double-knitting (this part is expendable, but I think it gives more stability to the edge, and gives the option of putting in some elastic at the edge if you want to do so.  (1st round – knit the knits, slip the purls wyif. 2nd round – slip the knits wyib, purl the purls.).  Lot’s of places to find videos and descriptions of this, I know Lucy Neatby has a cool DVD on this technique.
  5. Finally, do a tubular bind-off — check the Google or You-tube for some good videos.  This page looks pretty good, and it includes the double knitting technique. (Edited to add that The Nostalgic Knitter has now posted a video of my technique.)

Here’s the final result:

Slinky Ribs Detail

The orange stitch marker shows where I changed needle sizes for the smaller ribbing. You can’t really tell that I’ve switched from 2×2 ribbing to 1×1. This is a firm and elastic edge. Yay!

And I couldn’t help adding this one:

Brandy Approves