What I Learned From Knitting 200 Bind-Offs
198… 199… 200…
As you may know by now, I’ve been working over the past three months to bring you a new and amazing e-book on bind-offs.
What you may not know is that I did not have an endless encyclopedia of these finishing techniques in my head when I started.
To create the ebook, I didn’t want to just record videos of bind-offs that other people chose for their books, or even pass on what they said without testing everything for myself.
I wanted to dive in and analyze each of the bind-offs that I would include in my e-book, mainly so that I could offer you what no other resource does -- my opinion!
The choice was clear: I was going to have to knit them all.
And so it started with the first bind-off.
I got out all of my finishing books and started knitting swatches for each technique. I read what other people said the technique would be good for and then I worked it again, this time deciding for myself.
Then I worked it again, taking notes on not only how to do the bind-off and what my students should watch out for, but also how to explain it better in the first place.
I knitted long strips of Stockinette, Garter stitch, and ribbing, and worked the bind-offs down the rows again and again while deciding whether to include them in the e-book.
As I continued this process for all of the different techniques, eventually I realized that I was coming up to – and surpassing – 200 bind-off swatches!
Wondering Why So Many?
First of all, amazing things happen when you push yourself to learn something new.
Before working on this book, there were bind-offs that I didn’t even try because they seemed so complicated that they weren't worth learning.
But, because I persisted in knitting ALL the bind-offs and not just the “likely” candidates, I learned that many of those bind-offs aren’t as complicated as they seem at first glance - Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off is one example.
I also found that if they are more complex, they are often worth learning anyway, because they create a better final project. The Tulips Buttonhole is a great example of a vastly more complex technique that is still totally worth doing.
If the techniques were truly more complicated and NOT better than the other, easier, bind-offs? Well, I found that out too, and I rejected them faster than you can say, “Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off.”
Which leads me to my biggest surprise: I was settling for bad bind-offs.
Are There Bad Bind-Offs?
It probably isn’t nice to call a bind-off “bad,” but let’s just say that some bind-offs are faster, prettier, stretchier, sturdier, and easier than others. If you get my drift.
To find the bind-offs worthy of inclusion in the new book, as I knitted, I asked myself,
- “Did I have fun doing this technique?"
- "Would learning this help me learn a more difficult bind-off later?"
- "Is this better than anything else I’ve come across?”
This Journey Was Full of Surprises
I was surprised to find that, in almost every situation, there is a better bind-off than the one I’d been using for my projects. And I’m a professional!
Now, for every type of project I do, I have a new favorite bind-off that I know is perfect.
201… 202… 203…
Knitting more than 200 bind-offs has helped me distill the vast sea of techniques out there.
From it, I created a thorough, but never overwhelming, compendium of bind-offs that you would actually want to do.
The e-book is almost here and I’m so excited for you to see it.
You won’t have to knit 200 bind-offs like I did — only the best ones.
This Post Was Inspired By "I Love Bind-Offs" -- Available Now!
Rated 5 Stars on About.com! Learn More
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- Icelandic Bind-Off: The Best Easy Bind-Off for Garter Stitch
- How to Neaten the Last Stitch of Your Bind-Off: Flat Knitting
- How to Neaten the Last Stitch of Your Bind-Off: Round Knitting
- 5 Ways to Fix a Too-Tight Bind-Off
- What All the Bind-Offs Look Like: A Bind-Off Extravaganza
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"This guide makes it possible to find the perfect bind-off for any project & to approach the end of a project with confidence." -Sarah E. White, Editor of About.com Knitting