07 December 2012

Casting Off-On

My design process is such that I sometimes come up with what I want visually before I figure out whether or not it can be knit. In the Albedo Shawl, I decided I wanted a horizontal line that would divide the border pattern at each end from the swath of plaited basket stitch in the center. What I came up with is casting off-on.

The principle is that binding off will create a horizontal line of chain stitch. Of course, if you bind off, then you don't have any live stitches on the needle. So one way to accomplish my goal would be to bind off and then knit up new stitches to replace the ones I just eliminated. But why eliminate them if you know you want them right back? So I decided to cast them back on as I bound them off. In this way, I avoided the hassle of knitting up stitches.

As you'll see in the videos, the technique is a little fiddly. You need to slip stitches back and forth between left needle and right needle in order to have them in the correct location for binding off. Basically, cast on a new stitch by making a yarn over.
Work the stitch to be bound off in pattern.
Slip that stitch from the right needle to the left needle.
Cast on another new stitch with a yarn over.
Slip the first stitch on the left needle back over to the right needle.
Work the stitch on the left needle in pattern.
Pass one stitch over another (bind off one) on the right needle.
You'll continue slipping a stitch back and forth between needles so as to place yarn overs on the right needle and out of the way of the binding off.
At the end of the row there will be one spare stitch that didn't get bound off. At the earliest opportunity, eliminate that stitch by working it together with a stitch in the selvedge.

On the wrong side, I worked the casting off-on in pattern with the plaited basket stitch. I crossed each pair of stitches first, then I bound them off-on. Again, it is fiddly. But on the other hand, you only have to manage it for one row.

1 comment:

Jay Petersen said...

I'm going to try this!