Auntie Ann Knits

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tubular Bind-off -- Part 2

After having done the 1x1 tubular bind-off on one sock, I tried, mightily I tried, to do a 2x2 tubular bind-off on the other sock. Tubular bind-off is a lot like grafting. I get grafting (having had a grafting epiphany of my own, similar to Nona's. I carefully read the instructions in the Stanley book, did two set-up rounds (which requires both some extrapolation from the stated instructions, and 4 times round the sock), then bound it off.

It would not go over my foot.

I loosened it up, forcing extra yarn through the tortuous route that the yarn took in such a bind-off. Several times. By the time I got it loose enough to go over my foot, it looked like crap and was still a bit too tight on my calf.

I did some research in knit-blog-land. Great resource. I undid the bind-off (by now, this was almost harder than sewing it in the first place since the yarns didn't want to let go of one another). I undid the set-up rounds. I had read somewhere that they weren't all that necessary and that the slipped stitches make it a bit tighter. I didn't really think the primary problem was the set-up rounds, but I undid them anyway, and re-knit them in 2x2 ribbing.

I re-read the instructions and followed them even more carefully this time. The second time I followed all the instructions to the letter, dropping stitches off at the time stated, even when that hadn't seemed necessary the first time. This did make for a better bind-off.

But it still didn't work.

I ripped it all out again, and re-did it with two rows of 1x1 rib followed by 1x1 tubular bind-off. After all of the above, this now seemed like such a piece of cake. I can practically do 1x1 tubular bind-off in my sleep. 2x2 is not twice as hard, it's at least 4 times as hard. It's exponentially harder.

I was happy with my socks now. I wore them all day yesterday.

At the end of the day I said to myself, let's just see what Ms. Wiseman (what an apt name) has to say about this.

Ms. Wiseman says of tubular bind-off, "Can only be used for knit one, purl one ribbing."

And her book comes already wire-bound. 'Nuff said.


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