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A Bind Off Study

Over the weekend, I finished my latest Hitchhiker Scarf.  As the bind off row approached, I was absolutely, 100%, without a doubt certain I would lose this round of yarn chicken.

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There’s just no way that is enough yarn.  I’ve done this enough times that I’m comfortable giving it the eyeball and I’m usually right.  I did what I normally do, ignored all evidence and moved forward.   I knew it was going to end poorly.  I don’t know why I moved forward.  I just did.

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and it worked out okay!?!  I’m still shocked over how much yarn I had left.  It just does not compute!

I used the Icelandic Bind Off here.  It continues to be my Bind Off Of The Year (Or BOOTY for short!)  It got me thinking about bind offs in terms of yardage.  Obviously, if I had used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, I would have used more yarn but I’ve sworn off JSSBO.  I don’t typically need a bind off to stretch, I just don’t want it to be tight.  For me, JSSBO is overkill most of the time.

As I seriously scrutinized this minute detail, it was a good time to pull out my newly acquired copy of Principles of Knitting.  I found it for $3 at a used book sale!  I was pretty stoked, it was the one book I was looking for!  Yippee!

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Turns out, it says nothing about the relative yardages of different bind offs and it doesn’t even mention the bind offs I use most.  (Now I’m wondering what the updated edition says…so much for this reference book answering questions!  LOL!)

With no help there, I decided to simply collect my own data.  I grabbed the nearest yarn & needles.  Worsted weight on a size 4.  I cast on what seemed like a decent amount of stitches, turned out to be 32.  I knit a few rows and then I bound off.  I marked the beginning and end of the bind off, ripped it out and measured.  I repeated this 5 times for each bind off.

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I started with the basic PSSO bind off, that would be the standard by which all others are judged.  I had certain expectations.  Turns out, they were wrong.  Theories are lovely but until they are reduced to practice, they’re only theories!  (apparently my inner scientist really wants to go back to work!)

In addition to the PSSO standard, I also tested the Icelandic Bind Off, the K2Tog tbl Bind Off and the (new to me) SSK Bind off.  I wanted to include JSSBO but I got sick of the experiment before then (and obviously, you’re adding a yarn over between each stitch so, it must use more yardage.  This may, in fact, be the most flawed part of the experiment but we’ll never know.)

I expected the K2Tog tbl and SKK to be the same.  I thought the Icelandic Bind Off would be the biggest yarn hog and the PSSO method would be the most conservative.

The Results:  They’re all exactly the same.  D’oh.  The PSSO Bind Off actually had the highest average, but the differences were insignificant across the board.

And so, when faced with a daunting round of yarn chicken, my go-to bind offs are pretty much identical.  Now I know…knowledge is power!

I feel like sewn bind offs are the next step.   I’m not a fan but It seems like they can accomplish a nice edge with less yardage??  Maybe I’ll suck it up and do a few swatches.  Any excuse to crack open my new Principles of Knitting!

 

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The Freddy Problem

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Turns out the Freddy problem isn’t much of a problem at all.  Thanks to everyone who had sizing suggestions last week!  I read all the links, measured carefully and promptly decided to ignore what appeared to be facts.

My armhole depth was theoretically, long enough.  I ripped back and added a few more rows anyhow.  I think the appearance was throwing me because it’s a bit wider than the standard garment.  That was by choice.  I hadn’t thought of the downstream effects though.  Now the sleeves are going to look a bit skinny, in comparison.  Oh well.

It think it’s all good.  It still looks like a sweater.  It’s not as though I’ve added a third sleeve or a second neckline.  So…I press forward!  It’s gonna be so cute!

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Heisenberg FO

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I’m an organic chemist by training.  I spent 15 years in the lab doing research.  There’s an old saying about the motivation of people who go into chemistry, you’re either a drug chemist or a bomb chemist.

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Unless you’re Walter White, then you’re BOTH!  Don’t mess with him.  He means business and he’s not afraid to use science.

Yes, this is Heisenberg AKA Walter White from Breaking Bad.  I adored that show from the get go.  I’ve always wanted to knit some of Jesse Pinkman’s beanies but they’re standard store bought fare.  They aren’t jumping to the top of my list anytime soon.

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So, when I saw the Heisenberg Cup Cozy pattern, I knew that chart needed to be on a hat.  I had to use the acid green Tosh Merino in my stash.  It fit perfectly!  I don’t wear hats often but I think I’ll be making an exception with this one!  I love it!

 

 

 

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Armhole Depth

I picked up the Freddy Krueger sweater again.  It’s a very basic raglan shaped, stockinette stitch sweater.  I’m not following a pattern, just making it up as I go.  It should be a no brainer.  Naturally, this means I’m over-thinking it.  Or am I?

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It looks okay at first glance.  Upon closer inspection though, I think the armholes need to be deeper?

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I know for myself, a 9″ raglan line gives me a comfortable armhole depth.  I, also, know, that given my gauge, I typically have to work a few rows even before I divide for the sleeves, when working from a pattern.  I’m wondering if I should have done the same thing here.

I have no idea what the proper measurements should be for children’s sizes though?  This particular measurement doesn’t appear in many patterns.  I tried to do some research.  I found one pattern with a schematic that went as far as indicating the measurement, labeling it with an abbreviation for easy reference and then failed to give any actual measurements??  Seriously? Why do all that work and not follow through?

Anyone have suggestions?  I’d love some sort of size chart to refer to but a quick eyeball from toddler parents is just as good.  I’m aiming to fit a 2 year old.  I think that armhole is too short.  I think I need to rip back and add at least an inch before the sleeve divide.  I don’t think I can mess it up by making it larger.  I wouldn’t want a baggy armpit on an adult sweater but given the mechanics of dressing a child, a bit extra is even a good thing.

What do you say, knitting blog hive mind?  Are we in agreement?  I’d rather rip back and get it right than have a cute sweater that doesn’t fit.  :)

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Know Your Audience

I’m betting a San Francisco craft fair crowd will be heavily nerd.  These latest hats were created for them, or rather, their children! These are baby sized hats because who doesn’t love a nerdy baby?


I tried to go with something more classic…an elephant or a heart.  I couldn’t do it. I needed more personality.

The Space Invaders have been in the queue for a long time.  There are definitely more of them to come!

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Friday Photo Dump

Here’s all the random photos I’ve been collecting on my desktop.  I’m cleaning up and getting rid of this clutter!  (because digital cleaning is so much nicer than actual cleaning!)


This is from the short row hat binge two weeks back.  I like the colors, I like the shaping, I like the fit, I like all the wedges, I like the stockinette texture!  I do wish the short rows were just a bit less harsh.  I used the standard wrap and turn for the short rows.  My intention is to try YO short rows and/or German short rows to improve it.  I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  It’s on the list.  Soon come.


I’m really putting the hiker into this Hitchhiker.  It’s been on the go and making good progress.  This was a particularly photogenic day in Golden Gate Park.  It’s had me wishing I was back in Iceland.  I stood in front of a lot of waterfalls taking selfies wearing that hat in Iceland!

Several days later, the sun came out briefly.  I had to run and hide in the nearest bar I could find.  And this happened…

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What you don’t see is the Golden State Warriors logo, painted on the window next to the Warriors graphic you do see.  The whole Warriors mashup has always tickled my fancy, so shadows and the garter ridges lining up just right and then there’s that weird green dot?  It must be a fairy.  I don’t think there could be any other explanation for it?


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and then, my mom painted me a sock blank!  I can’t wait to get started!  I’m trying to talk myself into socks but it’s not going well.  I think it needs to become something that will be seen!  I want to see these colors!


And then, Rocky didn’t get mad when I forced him to be a pom pom photo prop.  He didn’t help much though.


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And then, Trillium Sequoia’s birth announcement showed up with this photo.  Trillium is the white flower on the hat, the pinecones are from a Sequoia.  The whole thing is just so sweet!  I find it irresistible.  And they did a very nice job of hiding just how huge the hat really it.  I don’t really know how big babies are?  She’ll be growing into it soon enough.  Perhaps a dress to match?  (this is how I end up with 10 projects on the needles…)


I have done a little de-cluttering around the house.  I came across a bag of stuff from my cross stitching days.  I always wanted the back to be clean.  Looking at it now, I’m completely impressed with myself.  I don’t have the patience or focus for it anymore.  Every time I try to cross stitch now, I fling it down out of total boredom and disinterest in about 9 minutes.  I loved it once upon a time though. How else do I explain that pheasant??

And with that, my desktop is clear and it’s time to start the weekend!  Hope you have a good one :)