I hope you are all well and feeling optimistic about the availability of vaccines for Covid-19. My husband, Arthur, is getting his tonight and I will be in the next group – hopefully soon! It doesn’t mean we are done with masks and other cautions, but it does lend some security and hope of visiting with my grandsons again. I’m getting pretty adept at being able to recognize a smile in someone’s eyes, even when the mask hides the real smile. That will have to do for a while.

I find that I am getting to all kinds of half-finished projects, things I have wanted to do for a while, sewing, family tree research. I’ve started about 6 different kinds of true perennial foxgloves for the garden, will start some tomatoes and eggplants in a month or so and move the foxes from the cellar grow lights out to the greenhouse with a little heater to keep them going. I am really looking forward to being back outside again!

I’ve been playing at the machines again – working on things I think of as QT3 (Quick Tips, Techniques and Trims). These are not always things I would work an entire sweater with and in the current posting, I think the technique would be perfect for occasional bands of texture to break up a plain stockinet sweater or to divide bands of Fair Isle patterning.

First, however, credit where credit is due! I have taught in Norway on several occasions and found that the students were really interested in trying new ideas and asking my favorite question: “What would happen IF…” This trim came about because a very inventive student named Sissel Berntsen went one step further with the LK-150 bind off method I was teaching the group. She recognized the loops that were formed on the empty needles as having potential and went right on knitting.

So, I started where Sissel left off and added a few “what ifs” of my own. I don’t think I have even begun to tap the possibilities of exploiting those loops and I know some of you will take it to the next level – at least I hope you will! The video will show you exactly how to proceed, but here are the specifics for each of the swatches that follow:

A single row of this bind off can be used as the turning row for a hem, producing a nice crisp edge that might also provide the beginning row for some fancy crochet. Worked mid-fabric, it adds an interesting texture to the work.

Here I repeated the bind off method three times, knitting one plain row between each repeat so the effect is maximized.

For this example, I began on the left (as I did for the others), unthreaded the carriage and instead of free passing it to the right, I left it on the left side. After working the bind off method from left to right, I nudged the loops forward on the needles and worked a row of latch tool cast on (chaining) from right to left, behind the fabric so that it showed on the right side. When I reached the left side, I slipped the last loop from the latch tool onto the edge needles and rethreaded the carriage. You may find that you want to start on the right and then chain from left to right – depending on which way you find it most comfortable to manage the latch tool. I think it might also be interesting to see how it looks with a row of chaining before the bind off  method.

This next swatch creates a chained effect on the right side without having to use the latch tool. Instead, I used the Figure-8 method shown in the video and in the diagram below to create almost the same texture much more easily.

Figure 8 Wrapping

These two examples were worked using the garter bar (GB) to turn the work over. The lower example was worked as follows: Knit 1 row, ending COR. Unthread the carriage and leave it on the right. Turn the knitting over with the GB and then work the bind off method. Rethread the carriage, knit 1 row and then turn the knitting over a second time to return to the purl side facing you.  The upper example was worked as follows: Turn the knitting over first, knit 1 row and then work the bind off method. Turn the knitting over again, slipping the loops (rather than actual stitches) onto the prongs of the GB.

The last example was knitted using the triple wrap method shown on the video and in the diagram below. The more ways you can include additional wrapping, the more texture you will be able to force to the knit side of the fabric.

Triple Wrapping

Those of us in the northern hemisphere still have several cold months ahead of us, not to mention covid distancing and isolation. The ones in the southern half of the world are experiencing summer and there are bound to be some sticky, hot days to retreat into the air conditioning! So, make some lemonade from the lemons and think of it as more creative time to enjoy at home! Running out of ideas to knit? Check out the teaser for my VIP Sweater Workshop course, the patterns for the Twisted Eyelet Pullover or the Winged Ladder Sweater and all of the free downloads on my website.

Some of the specialty tools on my web site have already sold out and are now discontinued. If there are any tools you’ve been wanting to add to your collection, don’t wait much longer because once they are sold out, I will not be replacing them. I normally mail out orders the same (or the next) day they are received but am finding that the US Post Office is still very sluggish, so be patient!

Stay safe and well and busy!

Susan

Winged Ladders and Twisted Eyelets should keep you busy for a while!