Marathon Bind Off

My Southern Skies shawl has had quite the story.  From it’s humble beginnings as a failed Ponchini, to it’s angst ridden, yarn chicken phase nothing has been simple.  It was no surprise when then prescribed bind off rebelled.  It was downright uncivilized!


Loose and ugly, just flapping there like a weird afterthought.  I knew it had to go instantly.  Going down a needle size to tighten it up wouldn’t really help.  The perpendicular garter stitch just wasn’t working.

I really like the idea of an i-cord bind off.  It’s one of my favorite.  I like to try different things though, so I’d sort of pushed this idea to the back hoping to find something better.  I wasn’t really feeling it but it was time to try anyhow.


Nope, another glaring fail.  Hated it instantly.  So now what?  Time to get creative.

I wanted to combat the edge flip.  And have I mentioned how badly I lost that round of yarn chicken?  (No, no I haven’t)  It was brutal but I think I limped along *just enough* that I’m in a completely acceptable place to bind off.

Ran out of yarn, did not run out of beads!  Look what I’ve got still…


In a flash of brilliance, I decided to aim for two birds with one stone…or bead, as the case maybe!  Add the beads to the bind off, adding weight to stop the flip and stop these pretties from becoming stash (At which point, I’d have to come up with a way to use them, which almost certainly means another project full of pitfalls because I didn’t have enough beads.  It’s a vicious cycle, let me tell you!)

With all of my theoretical problems solved, I set off to do a beaded picot bind off.  It was okay, appropriately pretty and not at all looking like an afterthought.  It was still a bit prone to curling though.  So out came another failed bind off.

I wasn’t ready to give up on the beaded picot though.  It really was attractive.  What’s the point of spending money on cashmere, spending months beading it and then throwing on any old bind off.   You don’t wear an Oscar de la Renta gown with Tiffany jewels and finish it off with Jean Nate.  You just don’t.   I really wanted to make the beaded picot work.

I heard, once, a row of K1,P1 will smooth the transition between the body and the hem of a sweater.  This is a vaguely similar situation.  The alternating knits and purls balance the tension of, at least, that one row.  It seemed like a good idea.  It should tame the tension of the stockinette curl a little bit and I only needed a little bit.  Maybe, just maybe…this would work.

600 stitches later, I had worked my K1, P1 transition row.  This is about the time it occurred to me that I was seriously embarking on a 600 stitch beaded picot bind off?!?  OY!  Really?  Yes.  Really.  and just my luck…


…it’s beautiful.  I love it.  This is clearly what was supposed to happen.  It just took me a while to figure it out.  Now it’s going to take me a while to execute it.  Funny how this project started 18 months ago without one speck of urgency.  It sat untouched for 95% of 2016 but suddenly, now, I want it done immediately!!  It’s the softest thing ever.  It’s definitely going to be worth the effort that went into it.

Assuming, I make it through the bind off, which requires using two needles and a crochet hook, while balancing a bead on a floppy little picot nub.  Wish me luck!  :)

If you’ve actually made it this far, here’s how I’m doing my bind off…

*CO 2 sts to the left needle (using the knitted CO), k2tog tbl, bead the next stitch, knit the beaded stitch, pass the 1st stitch over the 2nd stitch (the k2tog stitch over the beaded stitch), BO 2 sts, repeat from *




  1. Knit Potion

    Wow! Your perseverance is paying off big time!! This is going to be stunning. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of beads, but clearly I just haven’t seen them in the right application. This is PERFECT!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FogKnits

      The most important less in knitting is not how to knit or stop an edge from curling, it’s that knitting is a process! I always get the best results from experimentation and frogging! It’s so hard for beginners to grasp but it’s inevitable!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. madgeface

        I completely agree – the people I’ve seen who’ve tried knitting and walked away just never got comfortable with the mechanics, which is just a small part of the process.


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