Unraveled: Fiber Q&A 05 – Binding Off

Hi All! We are again tackling a highly-personalized topic for knitters. Continuing from our last Unraveled blog post in the series, which was dedicated to cast on methods, today we will discuss bind off methods.

While there are many bind off methods available to knitters, here are several methods which will be utilized repeatedly. We think these methods are great tools for any maker to have in his/her knitting arsenal.

“Why are you sharing several bind off methods but only highlighted a few cast on methods?” you ask. It’s simple really. With a cast on, there’s just “empty space” with needles and a bit of working yarn. However, when there are infinite types of projects and stitch combinations already on the needles at the end of a project, selecting the correct bind off really pays homage to the finished project. It can even “make or break” it.

The Bind…Off (BO)

 

 

 

 

Knitted BO Method: This is the most basic bind off method and should be utilized with right side of fabric facing knitter. Tight knitters should go up 1-2 needle sizes to prevent puckering.

Knit two stitches, pass the first worked stitch over the second worked stitch, leaving remaining stitch on right needle. *Knit another stitch, and pass first worked stitch over last worked stitch, leaving remaining stitch on right needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Stretchy BO Method: This bind off method is great for most all projects, but especially for lace knitting (where projects are aggressively blocked) and for finishing projects which may need to stretch and shrink (e.g. hats, cuffs, socks, et al). This method is already stretchy (most makers do not need to go up a needle size) and is worked with right side of fabric facing the knitter. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

*Knit two stitches together through the back loop and move worked stitch back to the left needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Stretchy Rib BO Method: This bind off method is quite useful for rib combinations (1:1, 2:1, 2:2, et al) when the maker doesn’t want that “flare out” at the end of their project. You know what I mean…that stretched out appearance which can make brand new garments look worn and socks not stay up on the leg. This method is worked with right side of fabric facing the knitter; the method alters based on the “next” stitch. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

Based on rib stitch in row below, knit/purl first stitch. *Looking at the next stitch to be worked, twist existing worked stitch by turning right needle 360 degrees (clockwise for an upcoming knit stitch and counter-clockwise for an upcoming purl stitch), and then work the next stitch as usual in the rib. Pass first worked stitch over second worked stitch.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Icelandic BO Method: This semi-stretchy bind off method is appropriate for binding off those projects knit in garter or with slipped stitches because the resulting edge has very defined horizontal bars. This bind off can be completed from either right or wrong side facing rows. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

*With yarn in back, insert your right needle into the first stitch as if to purl. After insertion, take tip of right needle and insert into second stitch on left needle as if to knit. Wrap working yarn around right needle and knit that second stitch. Move worked stitch back onto left needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Picot BO Method: This decorative method can really finish a lace project beautifully. There is a simple math equation used herein. Basically, the maker should bind off twice as many stitches as he/she casts on. The more stitches cast on, the larger the picot bump. Also, due to the additional cast on stitches, this bind off method utilizes about twice as much yardage to bind off. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

For a small picot – *Cast on two stitches. Knit two stitches and pass first worked stitch over second stitch. Knit the next stitch and pass the first worked stitch over the second stitch…three more times. Slip remaining working stitch back to left needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

I-Cord BO Method: This bind off method is the most complicated and possibly the one utilized the least. However, understanding how this method works is of great benefit when the maker wants to create a beautifully smooth finished edge to a garment and is also beneficial for baby blankets and wash cloths. This method creates a closed edge (and can use 3 or more stitches depending upon the maker’s preferences) so it holds up to wear very well. It also utilizes a lot of yarn to finish the project. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

For a 3-stitch I-Cord, cast on three new stitches. *Knit two of the new stitches. Knit the third new stitch along with the next “old” stitch together through the back loop. Move all three stitches on the right needle back to the left needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Feel free to share this or any of our blog posts with your greater fiber community and/or those newbies you’d like to teach to knit. Sharing is caring, and we love welcoming new fiber artists and makers into our community.

Happy and peaceful stitching, y’all!

 

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Two As One

Hi Everyone,

The ladies here at The Fibre Studio are frequently amazed and gratified by the generous acts of service within our greater fiber community. One of our favorite yarnies is Ginny S. Our Ginny crochets “The Ginny” shawl for many of her friends and family. These gifts, made from some of the finest yarns and generously-proportioned, are truly gifted from the heart.

Ginny’s magnanimity made us think about those that knit for self AND for others, and we wanted to create a product for those customers who want the ultimate in color flexibility, but who still want to make something special. After all, life is too short to knit with acrylic bad yarn.

Introducing our new Mosaic Knit Kit Builder, an “interactive” add-on built for the maker with an interest in mosaic style shawls and who may knit for others. What is mosaic knitting, you ask? Mosaic knitting at its simplest is the technique where the maker utilizes multiple yarn colors (only one color at a time) along with slip stitches to create intermingled geometric patterns.

Many of the featured shawl patterns in our kit builder utilize “odd” amounts of yarn so The Fibre Studio has identified a way to maximize yarn usage and pattern options to enable customers to identify two, 8-ounce skeins of yarn in their favorite contrasting colors and then decide which two shawls they want to make–for self, to gift, or to work with a friend.

All featured patterns combinations were reviewed for yardage requirements. Any two patterns herein will use up to TWO, 8-ounce skeins (approx 1120 yards each) of our SW Merino – Fingering, a 2-ply yarn, which is fluffy and springy in the hand.

How to Build Your Kit
1. From our Mosaic Knit Kit Builder page, select which two patterns in the kit builder you want to purchase and add them to your cart;
2. Go to the SW Merino – Fingering collection and select two, 8-ounce skeins of yarn in contrasting color ways and add them to your cart;
3. Provided you have added the Mosaic Knit Kit to your cart and meet the minimum purchase of $100, use the discount code MOSAIC at checkout to get 50% off the kit builder (i.e. one of the patterns for free).

This is a “TWOfer YOU” deal you won’t want to miss! With the purchase of TWO, 8-ounce skeins you get TWO patterns, resulting in TWO shawls. And YOU choose the kit!

We love our fiber community and the attitude of gratitude and generosity that abounds within it. We also love finding new ways to enable creativity within that community. Happy stitching, y’all!

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Easy As 1-2-3

Hi Everyone,
As you may have noticed, we’ve recently dedicated much of our blog post time to those topics (e.g. Size Matters, Color Matters, et al.) we hope will help our fiber community match patterns and yarn in a thoughtful or even courageous manner. Since 70% of yarnies buy the color ways and pattern combinations they see in photos or in shop samples, we wanted to share some of our favorite bundles on Ravelry.

Got stash? We certainly do. Like to bust that stash wide open? As do we! Below are Ravelry bundles with suggested patterns for 1-, 2-, 3- or other multi-skein projects, which will enable you to free up fiber storage space even as you create a project you love. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

One-Skein Wonder projects can be found here.
Dynamic Duo projects can be found here.
Triple Treat projects can be found here.
Knits in Kits projects can be found here.

Did you know local yarn shops and studios like The Fibre Studio receive a small wholesale income from the Ravelry patterns we sell? And at NO ADDITIONAL COST to the customer as well!? #shoplocal #shopsmall  During the purchase process, we provide our pattern customers both with a hard copy and an update to their Ravelry library. Many patterns shown in our Ravelry bundles are sold on our online shop here, and some of the online pattern pages display photos of our shop samples or customer projects completed in our yarn. Simplify your life and buy your yarn and patterns together.

Curiouser and curiouser. Let us know if there is a topic or a question you’d like answered on our blogs or emails. As a tight crafty community, you might just find that others have that same question or are curious about the same topic as you!

Happy stitching, y’all!

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Bonnie and Clyde (Inspired by the Cinema)

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde (1967), the story of real-life bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow as depicted by Warner Brothers. This movie was one of the sixties’ most discussed, volatile and controversial crime [slash] gangster films combining comedy, terror, love, and as-never-before-seen violence.

While we won’t discuss (here) how this movie changed, even possibly romanticized, violence in film for future generations, what we will discuss is why this was possible.

For all the tragedy inherent in the real-life stories of both Parker and Barrow, the on-screen beauty of Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, as well as the 1930’s glamour so amatorily reproduced and edited by Warner Brothers Studios, portrayed a captivating and oft-emulated style thus launching the film to world-wide success.

The Fibre Studio is excited to announce we have scheduled a yarn-centric movie event, celebrating both the golden anniversary of this polemical film as well as 1930’s color and glamour by combining a new Fifty Shades of Gradient™ color way with a big-screen viewing of the 1967 movie, hosted by Fathom Events. Information is as follows:

Who: Limited Number of Lucky Fibre Studio Customers
What: Bonnie and Clyde Movie Event
When: Wednesday, August 16, 2-4:30pm [Attendees should arrive at the theater by 1:30pm to pick up their tickets, yarn, and purchase refreshments if desired.]
Where: Regal Stonecrest Cinemas [7824 Rea Rd | Charlotte 28277 | 844-462-7342]
Cost: $50
Includes: One 4-ounce cake of our new Fifty Shades of Gradient™ (approx 560 yards) in a new color way we are calling Joplin (history buffs will “get” the name) and a group ticket to see a big-screen showing of the movie.
Exclusions: This color way, inspired by the film, will be dyed in limited quantities as a debut for event-goers only and WILL NOT be revealed until the event. Joplin will not reappear for sale until The Charlotte Area Yarn Crawl in the fall.

Event tickets may be purchased at our online store here. We hope you join us for this inspired event.

Happy stitching, y’all!

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Red, White & You Sale (Two Days Only)

Hi Everyone,

To celebrate the Independence Day Holiday, our red, white, and blue yarns (specific color ways listed below) are on sale at 20% off for two days–July 3-4, 2017 on our online store here. Use discount code RWYOU20 at checkout.

Color Ways Included: Old Glory, Blue Jean Baby, Navy, Pearl, Carmine Red, Deep Woods Red, Light Red, and Red Hot Mama.

Please Note: The Fibre Studio will be CLOSED from July 1 thru July 5, 2017 in celebration of the holiday, and all orders will be dyed and/or fulfilled upon our return.

Have a safe, happy holiday and peaceful stitching, y’all!

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Summer Newes ‘n Such

Hi Everyone,
We have exciting newes for y’all–a new yarn base, a new gradient color way, a new tip, new projects, summer hours, and more.

Introducing Studio Sox
The Fibre Studio has found a new yarn base, which we call Studio Sox, and this fiber blows us away. It is a 75% SW Merino | 25% Nylon blend, and it takes color beautifully. We debuted it during our June 10 WWKiP Day celebration in color way Old Glory, and it was very well-received. Surprisingly, it has a soft and springy hand feel similar to our SW Merino – Fingering but is more tightly-plied and resilient for socks. We have some exciting ideas for our Studio Sox so stay tuned.

Holiday Hours
Please note: Due to the upcoming holiday, The Fibre Studio will NOT be open on Saturday, July 1, nor will we be open on Wednesday, July 5.

Introducing Princess
The Fibre Studio added a new color way called Princess to our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ line for our June 10 WWKiP Day celebration. It is now available on our online shop here. Princess evokes the whimsical pastel dresses of the various animated princesses, we all know and love. This color is Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Tiana, and Cinderella all rolled into one. There is a certain seaside cottage charm elicited by this color as well, and it would be beautiful knit into a lacy shawl and thrown over shoulders on summer evenings.

Flat-Bottom Girls
We have a new contender for an earlier blog post, Connections in the Round. One of our fellow yarnies was knitting a ribbed sock in our new Studio Sox. I asked her why it was flat, and she shared the most FABULOUS tip. She casts on her smaller projects, like hats and socks, and knits flat (back and forth) for two, four, or six rows. When her working yarn meets back up at the starting point (where her end is located), she connects her projects in the round–but only AFTER there is enough yarn in the project to prevent pulling, stretching, etc. When she weaves in her end, she simply uses a modified mattress or duplicate stitch up the side. Voila…a very smooth, seamless join. For those of us who use double-pointed needles, this prevents that crazy helicoptering effect that occurs when there are only 1-2 rows on the needles, and the needles are stronger than the yarn.

Fifty Plus One Projects
We are always looking for project ideas to utilize our yarns in unique and exciting combinations. Below are three very diverse projects, all of which could utilize one skein of our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ and one skein of our SW Merino – Fingering. The possibilities are endless. From left to right, they are Match & Move, Bad Blood Cowl, and Allira Shawl.

     

Stay tuned for our two-day Red, White, and You sale next week. Happy stitching, y’all!

 

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Size Matters

Hi Everyone,
Last week, we discussed Color Matters and ways to match yarn bases, dye types and colors to a favorite project. This week we will discuss size because, contrary to what many say tongue-in-cheek, size DOES matter.

This week we’d like to introduce one of the biggest cowls we’ve ever seen. It’s the Bad Blood Cowl by Megan Bohlander. This cowl is basically one very long “stocking.” It feels amazing against the skin as the stockingnette side is always out no matter how the cowl is worn (long and loose or wrapped up around the neck). We have identified Bad Blood Kits here, which is perfect for public or social knitting, while the provisional cast on and grafted finish make it interesting even for experienced knitters.


While many of you have heard of our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ fiber line, did you know these fluffy, luxurious gradient cakes come in (what we fondly term) big-a$$ skeins? Yes, our gradients come in two generous sizes: in a 4 oz | 113 g (approx 560 yards) cake and a 7 oz | 200 g (approx 980 yards) cake. Instead of changing colors manually and weaving in all those ends, perhaps you could let the yarn do all the work!

Some of our favorite shawls, which use our big-a$$ gradient skeins are (from left to right): Brie Shawl in color way Seaside, River Cane Shawl in color way Old Glory, and Glacier Sweep in color way Glenda of the East.


Yarn Chicken and Other Barnyard Fiber Challenges

  • This may be the most “d’oh” tip we’ve ever offered, but honestly, the best way to ensure sufficient yarn for your project is to actually use the yarn base, weight, and yardage for your size, which is recommended in the pattern.
  • Knit a gauge! Use scrap yarn of the same type and weight as your project and knit a gauge(s), varying needle size until you meet the project’s gauge requirements. This will ensure your project will use the pattern’s estimated yardage and meet the size requirements.
  • To use a lighter weight yarn than called for in the pattern, calculate the percent increase in number of wraps per inch (wpi) from the recommended yarn weight to your desired yarn weight and then increase yardage by same percentage. For example, if pattern calls for worsted weight yarn (9 wpi) but you desire to use fingering weight yarn (14 wpi) your project will need 64% more yardage. The formula is 9 ÷ 14 = 0.64 and then (# yards of worsted in pattern) x 1.64 = (# yards of fingering to buy). [Please note: Needle size will also determine how much yardage you will need, but we are making the assumption the maker is going to use the needle size recommended for yarn weight.]
  • Playing yarn chicken (bock! bock!) is not always a fun activity. When calculating whether you have enough yarn to finish the remaining number of rows and bind off, we like the following process. Lay out your project as flat as possible (do not stretch but it must be flat). Lay out your working yarn across your project if flat (or around the project if in the round) three times for each row and six times for a stretchy bind off. You can do as often as necessary as your working yarn ball/cake diminishes.
  • This last tip isn’t about size so much as about happy endings. When purchasing yarn, buy enough (or more than enough) yarn in the same dye lot or group to finish your project. If you plan to “just buy more” if/when you run out, you may find a dye line across your project that is unsightly. Also, when making a large tonal project (like a sweater), it is recommended that the maker alternates skeins row-by-row to get a lovely and consistent result.

We hope you better understand how both color and size matters when selecting and making projects.

Happy stitching, y’all!

 

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