Relearning to Bind Off

My beautiful scarf is done!

Way back on my bir’day, Scott bought me some fancypants yarn that I started working into a wavy scarf. Seven months, 5.5 feet of unstretched scarf (and most of a blanket and two dice bags…) later, I have a scarf, currently blocked out on my roommate’s floor.

Hey, he wasn’t there at the time. Not my fault he came home that night after I went to bed.

Me wearing the scarf, all blocked out and purdy.
Me wearing the scarf, all blocked out and purdy.
I’m not keeping the scarf–it’s going to my much more colorful sister–but I’m really proud (and glad!) it’s done. Aside from the little dice bags to break up these longer projects, this is my first sizable finish since I started back knitting/crocheting last fall.

I’m back on Greg’s bir’day blanket now (we need not speak of when his birthday was), and just started working in the last two skeins. I panicked a bit when I did so; I knew there were seven skeins total, and there was no way I’d already done five.

Then I held up the blanket this morning, and it reached from the floor to my chest (about 4 feet). Oh. Yeah, that’ll work.

Thanks to these few projects, my book of knitting and crocheting stitches and techniques, and the guidance and expertise of my great and wonderful colleague E., I’ve learned and relearned a crap-ton in knitting these past few months, namely:

  • Adding a new ball of yarn in the same color — I used to have little knots and scragglies (and still do early in this blanket) instead of properly weaving them in)
  • How to properly weave in ends (video) — a more secure way to do so, at least. I wasn’t leaving enough yarn, and so couldn’t zig-zag enough. Best believe this scarf is mostly well-handled. The blanket will be progressively better.
  • Relearning cast-on and bind-off. Like, how often to do you do that on a big project? Can’t blame me for needing a reminder after a decade of not knitting.
  • Regaining speed. I probably couldn’t be able to finish a whole scarf in just a few evenings’ worth of hours (or 2-3 game sessions, in my case) like E. can, but I’m definitely working faster and with fewer mistakes now that just a few months ago.
  • Relearning how to handle mistakes. Knowing how to unknit is invaluable, as is picking up dropped stitches.
  • Finding better ways to handle double-stranded knitting. The trick that’s working well for me now is to use two skeins, but put one in a plastic bag so that the two balls can’t get twisted up together as I work. I’ve also tried using both ends of one skein, and that was twisty and rough going. Two skeins loose? Forgetaboutit. I took a hiatus after that one.

After the blanket, I’m debating between house-socks for Greg (for winter) or redoing my crocheted brown “triple treat” blanket. The blanket’s a nice project, but I do believe that I did just about everything wrong in it that I possibly could: wrong stitches (there were periods where I mixed the two definitions of “double crochet”), terrible tension management, lousy color transitions, etc. I’d just rip the whole thing out and redo it.

I need someone to give it to, though, and I don’t know anyone who decorates in browns.

One Comment