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Stretchy Knitted Icelandic Bind Off

December 19, 2016

Icelandic Bind Off.jpg

 

For most projects, doing a basic bind off is fine, but some projects require a special bind off.  I will never forget a scarf I made many years ago where I did a basic bind off.  To my horror, after the thing was off my needles, I realized that the bind off side had curved.  It also had no give whatsoever and the bind off really ruined the finished piece.  Ever since then, I’ve learned to do stretchy bind offs when needed.

My favorite stretchy bind off is this simple one that uses a tapestry needle from Elizabeth Zimmerman.  But this bind off would not work with my Capella Shawl project, because the bind off edge was just too lengthy and it would not have been practical to use a tapestry needle and such an enormous length of yarn.  So it was the Icelandic Bind Off to the rescue.  This is a stretchy bind off that is perfect for a garter stitch edge and it is done right on the needles.  It’s simple once you do a few of the stitches.  I have step by step photos, followed by a video if that helps you more.

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for the video).

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Baby Boy Textured Stitch Pullover Sweater & Pom Pom Hat

December 9, 2016

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I just finished this little pullover sweater and hat for a little boy.  Once again, this is a seamless construction with lots of knitting in the round.  I may never make another garment with seams again!  I really like knitting from the top down and having no seams to sew up.

dino-sweater-on-needles

The sweater is a pattern from Frogginette and is very detailed and well written.  I knit the 12 month size and came out with a 20″ chest, which was exactly what the pattern said so my gauge must have been right on (did I do a gauge swatch – no, I’m so bad about that!).  I knit this in Cascade yarns Superwash, so the baby’s mother can put the sweater in the washing machine.  The yarn relaxed like crazy after I blocked it and I was concerned it relaxed too much but the gauge ended up correct, so I was okay.  The color I used is 862 Walnut Heather.

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I used Addi Lace Circular needles, using Magic Loop.  The Addi Lace were really nice on this project because the textured stitch pattern required a “knit 2 tog without dropping stitches off your needle then knit the first stitch again and then drop the stitches off” and it was easier to do with the very pointy lace needles.

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dino-sweater-collar

The hat pattern was just something I improvised and incorporated the textured stitch pattern from the sweater.  It’s super easy – just knit a few rows of stockinette stitch so the edge curls and then knit a little square and cast off, doing a three-needle bindoff.  Super simple. I added two pom poms, which I thought was cute.

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Hope you’re knitting something!  

Elaine

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow me here.

Sweater Pattern:  Boy Sweater from Frogginette
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Walnut Heather
Needles:  #6 and 8 Circulars Addi Lace
Ravelry Page

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Capella Shawl

November 30, 2016

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(For all of you who are on Instagram, I just wanted to let you know that I started an Instagram feed of my knitting projects.  If that’s something that  you would like to follow, you can find the link here.)

I just finished a big knitting project.  If you like lace knitting, this Capella Shawl from German knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer is a real winner.  I thoroughly enjoyed knitting this.  It’s a beautiful lace pattern but the garter stitch banding is the finishing touch that I really think makes it different.

capella-shawl-front

I used Quince Chickadee yarn for this shawl, although the pattern calls for fingering weight.  This pattern is from Quince and if you have never checked out their website, hop on over there!  They have wonderful patterns and super soft, squishy yarn that’s sourced and made right here in the U.S.  I love the fact that they are producing these yarns in Maine.  You can read about their story here.

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I am a big believer in Addi Lace Circular needles.  I use them for all my knitting, flat or circular, lace or not and have replaced all my old needles with these.  If you enjoy lace knitting and have never used these, you will be amazed!  The tips are so pointed and sharp, you can easily knit intricate stitches, pick up stitches and especially knit twist stitches.  This pattern has a S2KP: “slip 2 stitches tog knitwise to the RH needle, K1, pass 2 slipped stitches over knit stitch” and that is so much easier when using  lace needles.

capella-shawl-with-needles

I did an Icelandic bind off because of the garter stitch edge. I thought a regular bindoff would not be stretchy enough, but Jenny’s Super Stretchy Bindoff would be impossible to do for this length of garment.  The Icelandic bind off worked great and I will be posting a video on how to do this bindoff soon.

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I followed the chart on this pattern and except for one lone row of Purl only, you really have to pay attention to your knitting.  That’s the reason this project took me so long – it was hard to watch TV and knit this at the same time!   Was such an enjoyable knit, though. I hope you get out your needles and try it.  And check out Isabell’s patterns – she is a fantastic knitwear designer.

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Pattern:  Capella Shawl
Yarn:  Quince Chickadee in Kittywake
Needles:  Addi Lace Turbo #6     40″ circulars
Ravelry Page

 

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Shawl Baby Sweater and Garter Ear Flap Hat

November 14, 2016

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I had to interrupt my Capella shawl knitting for something really important – a baby gift for a little boy!  I knitted a little shawl sweater and a little hat with ear flaps. These were two new patterns that I had never knitted before and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them and can highly recommend them.  And an added bonus:  they are both free patterns!

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The baby sweater is a pattern called Baby Sophisticate by Linden Heflin. I especially loved the construction of this sweater because there are no seams to sew up!  You knit in the round (my favorite) for the yoke, place stitches for the sleeves on holders, knit the body, bind off and then just place the sleeve stitches on your needles and knit those in the round.  You then pick up stitches for the shawl collar and button placket.   I knitted this sweater using my favorite Magic Loop method on circular methods.  You can find a tutorial for it here.

The pattern page is here but if you would like to see some of the more than 8,000 sweaters that people on Ravelry have knitted from this pattern, you can see them here.  I like to check out a project’s Ravelry page before I begin a project, so I can see how other people knitted the pattern, check out different color options and read notes and tips that people write about that pattern.  If you are not a member of Ravelry, join now!  It’s free, too.

The buttonholes were easy to do – just one YO and that’s it.

For the yarn, I inexplicably used an acrylic yarn.  It was an impulse buy.  I never buy acrylic yarn, but the colorway just jumped out at me.  I used Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand yarn in Grey Marble.  After I blocked the sweater, the yarn softened up a little.  But I didn’t like knitting with it much – it doesn’t have any give, like wool.

Pattern:  Baby Sophisticate Shawl Collar Sweater
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand Acrylic in Grey marble
Needles:  size #9 Addi Lace circular needles
Ravelry Page

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THE HAT:

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The little hat is so adorable – it’s a pattern called Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho.  If you don’t know about Purl Soho, it’s a wonderful yarn shop in New York City.  They have a fabulous web site.  If you have never been on it, you will be amazed at the projects, tutorials, tips, patterns and ideas.  And so many of the  patterns are free!

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I love the hat because the design is just a little different – a little whimsical.  It’s a very easy, fast pattern.  After casting on, you knit the two ear flaps in the round, using short rows, which I love to do.  Then you continue on knitting the hat, shaping the crown in garter stitch.  Easy peasy!  I used my beloved Magic Loop method on circular needles.

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I love the cute little tassel on the top – how sweet is that?  Only takes a minute to make it. If you’d like to check out all the different versions of this little hat on Ravelry, the page is here. 

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Pattern:  Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand acrylic in Marbled Grey
Needles:  #8 circular Addi Lace
Size:  I made the small size, but on #8 needles
Ravelry Page

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