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

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8 thoughts on “A Smooth Ending

  1. Marie,

    Thanks, I do this with socks too – you get a great flexibe edge (just gotta keep the cast-off loose enough), and it won’t fray.

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  4. I watched Ann Budd’s bind-off video, and she doesn’t bother switching the 2×2 ribbing to the 1×1 ribbing for the tubular bind-off for 2×2 ribbing. She just went straight into the 4 setup rows of knitting the knits and slipping the purls (which you would have to alternate when working in the round), then transfer to two needles, and then proceed with Kitchener’s stitch. Any reason to switch the 2×2 ribbing to 1×1 ribbing? Slipping 2 stitches does created a stranded yarn, but that yarn ends up inside the tube.

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