Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sockology

Having finally finished the first tabi, I can now offer an opinion on binding off. I pulled out my copy of "Knitting Without Tears" and took a look at the options offered therein; I already knew the regular knitted bind-off wasn't going to work for me, so I looked at the sewn bind-off. At first glance it seemed a little intimidating, but once I did the first couple stitches it got easier and easier. EZ mentions something about rolling, but I didn't notice that it rolled at all. And, to make things even better, it has a good bit of give; definitely more give than a regular bind-off, I think, so I might stick with it unless other patterns call for a specific method. It's possible, though, that the long tail needed to do it might get tangled up. That's the only drawback I can think of, especially since it doesn't happen if you're doing a knitted bind-off with live yarn coming from a ball rather than a cut tail.
I wouldn't say this is a problem, per se, but what happens when you get to the end of the round? Since knitting in the round is essentially a continuous spiral where the end is slightly higher than the beginning, how do you finish when you get to the end of the round? This doesn't seem to be addressed in any of the books I've read. It's not the hiccup that bothers me--nor does it bother me when I'm doing Fair Isle-type work which definitely does have a hiccup indicating the end of the round--but the little gap, sure does. I'm not sure I handled it the right way, but I poked the needle through the stitch that would have been the beginning of the next round if I'd continued knitting, then started weaving in the ends without tying a knot. The weaving in of the long tail ended up taking about ten minutes because I wanted to make absolutely sure it wasn't going to come undone even without a knot.
The other thing I had to do was go up a needle size and use heavier yarn. I just can't seem to get six stitches per inch using fingering weight yarn and size 2 needles. Argh! But it's fine. I like sport weight yarn. I just wish I'd bought more than one color when I was in Minnesota! The idea of socks with contrasting heels and toes is just more appealing somehow. :p

5 comments:

Rachael said...

I hope you share pictures! I want to see what you've made! :D

I weave in ends exactly as you've described when I work in the round. I kind of make a little bridge, I'd call it, to hide where the beginning and the end are and to cover up the fact that one side is a little higher than the other. Sometimes, I try to make a kind of false stitch, but it doesn't always work.

And I never make a knot... I'm confused about that. I usually take the long tail and put it through the last loop, pull until the loop looks like all the other ones and then start weaving in as invisibly as I can manage. Is that a knot? I'm not sure... Do you do something different?

La Duchesse said...

You know how when you're doing embroidery or cross-stitch, you pull the tail through a loop rather than tying a proper knot? That's what I usually do before I start weaving in the rest of the tail.

Yes, I'll take pictures. I just finished the second sock tonight! Tomorrow, tomorrow. :P

Rachael said...

Hm... I don't usually make knots in embroidery either. I usually run the thread under several stitches on the back side to secure it. But I think I know what you're saying anyway... And I think that's the same thing I do when I bind off. I think.

La Duchesse said...

I'm not explaining it very well. I stick the needle through the last stitch so that the tail creates a big loop, and then I put the needle through that loop and pull, and the tail pulls it tight. Does that help at all? So far no socks have come unravelled, but maybe I should consider finding a better system for tying off the tails before I weave them in.

Rachael said...

Oh, no! I see now! Yeah, that's exactly how I finish off knitting...