Monday, July 12, 2004

Three Needle Bind-Off

Hi Darcy - it was so funny - I came up stairs to scan my bind -off in progress and picked up your note about wanting to do the same thing - so here we are!



Step One - determine how many stitches you are going to bind off - the pattern said about five inches worth for my size. You want to have a large enough opening to get your head through comfortably.

Step Two - I decided to bind off 30 stitches for each shoulder. The stitches for my back are on a spare (smaller) needle. I am going to leave them on the smaller needle - it won't make any difference. My right front stitches are on my working needle (the fat light-colored one in the photo.)

Step Three - I have the INSIDE of the garment on the outside (wrong side out) because I want the ridge this bind off will create to be on the inside. Now I take a THIRD needle - in this case, it is the other end of my working circular needle and knit through the first stitch on the front needle and the first stitch on the back needle AT THE SAME TIME. I am knitting the two stitches as if they were one (put the tip of the needle through the front stitch, then through the second stitch, then wrap the yarn and make a knit stitch, slipping BOTH stitches off the left needles.

Whew!

Step Four - I am going to continue doing this maneuver, but as soon as I have two stitches on my RIGHT needle, I will bind off one by taking one of the left needles and slipping the right stitch on the right needle over the left (closest to the tip) stitch on the right needle, leaving only one stitch on the right needle.

Whew again!

Step Five - Continue to knit two stitches at the same time from the left needle followed by binding off one stitch on the right needle until you have bound off the number you determined in Step One. The needle with fewer stitches is holding one of the fronts - those stitches will form the fold down collar.

Step Six - Drop the needle holding the back stitches and finish binding off only the stitches on the front section. I always work the last two stitches as one - it seems to make a neater edge - try it both ways and decide for yourself :-)

Step Seven - Cut the yarn leaving a foot or so...fold back your collar and admire your work.

Step Eight - do the same thing on the other side. The stitches you have left in the center of the back will be worked when you crochet an edge around the neck opening. I put mine on a little stitch holder so I could move on to the sleeves.

I don't know about you - but this is where I stop and try it on - the body is finally completed except for the details so this is really the first chance to see how it fits -Success! The back is hanging lower than the front - I'm a happy camper.

Here is a video of the Three Needle Bind-Off.

My favorite resource for techniques is Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley. It was republished recently and I think you can get it for around $20. It covers EVERYTHING and has at least five ways to do anything :-)

What are your favorites?

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