This has caused me to pay attention to how I bind off–and I’ve been doing a lot of it lately because I’ve actually been finishing things, and I am always knitting swatches! But I started noticing that I always tension my bind off to match my knitting. I don’t consciously do it, but if I’m binding off and I notice it pulling in, I undo it and try to relax the bind off by pulling more yarn into the stitches as I do the new stitch. Likewise, if I need it to contract a bit, I tighten up my stitches as I go. This might be accomplished with another size needle, but I don’t do that because I would have to go find another needle and that is not my way. Damn it, I’m not leaving the couch!
So here are some quick thoughts on getting the bind off you want. There are many ways to bind off, but this is just about a plain bind off, in pattern.
1. Your bind off should be exactly the tension of the knitting, UNLESS the pattern specifies something else.
2. Bind off in pattern and adjust your tension to match your stitches; I think the bind off will want to become a little tighter because of the action of pulling the stitch over and off the needle, so hold onto the stitches to keep them the size they need to be.
3. Like the cast on, this can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your final piece, and have a huge impact on the ease with which pieces will block and then go together.
4. If it isn’t right here, no amount of fiddling or blocking will solve it, so taking the time right now (on the couch!) will help you get the result you want.
This blog post was written 18 months ago according to my computer. I’m cleaning out unfinished blog posts, but this one was too good to throw out! I’ve added some swatches. I think I’ll address again in an upcoming newsletter, so you should go here to sign up. Click on the Sign Up button under Inside Scoop.