The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Ties that Bind 2 August 13, 2008

Filed under: Knitting Projects,Musings — Cailyn @ 3:47 pm
Tags: , ,

The Knitting Gods were not appeased. But that’s ok. See what I care. I’ll finish those socks even if they send a dragon to stop me! (Please don’t send a dragon!)

I think I’ve opened a dangerous door with that cast off experiment the other day. There are so many, many different ways to cast off… I wish I had time to test them all! While I’m sure that EZ’s Sewn Bind Off will forever remain the stretchiest cast off, sometimes it’s just not right for the piece you’re working on. Or the actual sewing drives you nuts. Or, like me, you keep loosing your tapestry needle. Thus, I present to you

A Study In Stretching, Continued

Same deal as before, all swatches knit with Knit Picks Memories (discontinued) on Size 2 needles. They’re 20 sts wide and 11 rows tall, cast on using the long tail method. I pinned the swatches down unstretched and measured the width. Then I stretched the swatches as far as they’d go, pinned them down again, and remeasured. This article in Knitty has detailed tutorials for two of these cast offs; I might make a tutorial for the third.

Suspended Cast Off

Suspended Cast Off

This is one of the cast offs from Knitty. I really liked knitting this one- it has a nice rhythm to it. It’s done by knitting 2 stitches, passing the first over the second, but don’t drop it off the left needle. Then knit the next stitch, going around the slipped stitch. Drop both stitches off the needle and repeat. It looks really pretty, just like a regular cast off.

Suspended Cast Off, Stretched

Suspended Cast Off, Stretched

And it’s fairly stretchy. I think this one has potential as a sock cast off, especially if done in with the next size up needle. Further research will be required on this specimen.

Crochet Cast Off

Crochet Cast Off

As you can see, this yields a cast off edge identical to the suspended cast off. (So identical, in fact, that I almost mixed them up… multiple times.) This one requires a crochet hook in a similar size to your knitting needles. Which can be a problem if you either don’t have a lot of crochet hooks or if you can’t ever find them. The crochet cast off is essentially the same as a normal cast off, but using the crochet hook instead of the right needle and drawing the new stitch through the old one instead of passing it over.

Crochet Cast Off, Stretched

Crochet Cast Off, Stretched

Good, but not great. A little stretchier than a regular cast off, but not as stretchy as the suspended or sewn. I think the annoyance of having to find a hook in the right size puts this cast off far down on my list.

Zig Zag Cast Off

Zig Zag Cast Off

This is a very intriguing cast off. I read about it on Weebleknits and it originally came from Ask Athena from Knitter’s, I think. That site has a lot of cast offs that will need to be tried… someday, lol. This is worked with a combo of slipping stitches, k2togs, p2togs, and passing the slipped stitches over. This creates an interesting zig-zag look to the cast off edge which I think will look better on some 2×2 ribbing instead of stockinette.

Zig Zag Cast Off, Stretched

Zig Zag Cast Off, Stretched

Oh boy, does that stretch! Not as much as EZ’s Sewn Cast Off, but really, that’s like comparing any other swimmer to Michael Phelps. EZ and Phelps are just in a different league. This cast off has the clear advantage of being worked right on the needles, no sewing required. I think this could work out really well for socks or mittens, especially if you want a unique edge. I’ll be making a tutorial soon, because this one might be hard to understand from the written descriptions.

There are so many more cast offs to try… tubular, double knitting, increasing stitches… I can only do a few at a time before I start to hate making those swatches, so this might have to be a recurring topic to cover more of them. We’ll call it… Casting Off with Cailyn or Bind Off to Success! or The Evening Stretchfest. Something like that.

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