Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cast Off One

Had to share that I finished and cast off the first sock of my pair! It was a mile of 2x2 rib, but I powered through. Putting in the little twist pattern did help get through it. You can see the spiral when it's not all stretched out, but once I put them on, it more or less disappears. I'd show you a picture, but I am going to wait until I have the pair done.

(Ok, ok, I'll give you a peak)

Now as to the cast off [aka bind off, for some of you]: I have always done it in the regular way (knit 2, * pass first stitch over second, knit 1, repeat from *). In ribbing, I will sometimes get fancy and cast off in the ribbing pattern. This will give it slightly more stretch than knitting every stitch. Other than that, I'm a straight forward caster offer.

But recently I have been reading about sock techniques, just to learn, you know, and expand my horizons. I read about EZ's method in The Opinionated Knitter which is more sewing than knitting. And then read some threads on Ravelry that said they had an even better and easier method than EZ's. Wow, I could barely believe it, but I could try.

I tried the so-called superior method which involved * knitting two stitches together, only dropping the first stitch, repeat from *. I took a lot of pictures so I could share this method. I knit through the back loop first. It looked nice, but wasn't very stretchy. Then I tried knitting through the front loop in case I misunderstood the directions. It also looked nice and also didn't stretch much. The whole point was to get a stretchy cast off so that it gives enough to get over my heel, but still will hold my socks up. The so-called superior method was not working for me.I then said to myself: trust EZ.

I then said to myself: trust EZ. So I used EZ's sewing cast off. And guess what? It was stretchy, yet bounced back enough to hold up my sock. I love EZ.

So I took a couple pictures to share this method with you, just in case you are the type of person that understands even the simplest of instructions better with a visual demonstration. (And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I married someone like that.)

First. Cut your yarn about four times longer than the row or round you have to bind off. Thread onto a tapestry needle.

Step 1. Push needle through first two stitches from right to left
and pull yarn through.

Step 2. Push needle through just the first stitch from left to right
and pull yarn through. Drop this stitch off the left needle. And repeat steps 1 and 2 until you've worked through all the stitches. Keep everything relaxed and certainly don't pull the yarn too tight. (You'll lose all that stretch.)

When you're working in the round if you really want to add the finishing touch, then on the very first stitch that you would drop off, slip it onto the end of the needle to the right instead. This will make it the last stitch you sew through (as well as the first) so that you perfectly complete your round. That's it. Easy peasy, eh?

That's all I have on socks. Well, I did cast on the second one yesterday and have all the toe increases done. Now I just have to decided where I want the white stripes on this one. (You didn't think I'd make them identically matched, did you?)

As for other things, last night I finally got around to blocking my Birthday Cowl:
I've been using it again the last couple days (BIG temperature drop) and the curling edges were driving me crazy. And whenever I was the least bit warmed up, it was itchy (a little). So I soaked it in some water with hair conditioner, and pinned it down. I'm hoping it will be dry by tomorrow because I'll have to leave the house again, and they're telling me it will be cold.

Don't the colours just look great when it's laid out flat like that, and how you can really see the path of the bias rib? The colour's called Snow Bird. I just love that for some reason I can't figure out. Snow Bird.

Kind of wishing I was a snow bird right now...come, spring, come!
-christina

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