One of the things I love about knitting is that no matter how long I've been doing it, I can always learn something new. Something that's been on my list to learn for quite a while is a tubular bind-off. Mary has been raving about this bind-off for quite some time, and it seemed like kismet that May(be) Queen called for it. As with most knitting techniques, once I actually sat down to do it, it turned out to be not nearly as difficult or as scary as I'd imagined -- really it was more time consuming than anything else.
When you do a tubular bind-off, what you're essentially doing is creating a horizontal channel (or tube) along the edge of your fabric. In this particular pattern, I was working in 1x1 rib, so there was a two-row set-up for the bind-off. In each row, I knit the knit stitches and slipped the purl stitches with the yarn in front. Next, I slipped the stitches to two needles, the knit stitches to the needle in front and the purl stitches to the needle in back. The final step is a very long graft. If you're someone who hates grafting the toe of a sock, I'd advise against this bind-off. Me? I happen to love grafting, so I didn't mind at all. I think the edge will improve with blocking but is already very attractive, and I'm excited to do it again for the other hem of this split-hem sweater.
[As an aside, I wanted to mention that I am making an effort to use the more generic term "grafting" to describe this method of stitching rather than "Kitchener stitch." The stitch was so named because it was believed that it came about during WWI, when the Earl of Kitchener was the British secretary of state for war and women were encouraged to knit socks for British soldiers. But the man was also responsible for some pretty terrible humanitarian tragedies, like concentration camps in South Africa, that I'd rather not associate with knitting.]
Also, I thought I'd share this photo of the "shark fin" sock on the foot, so you can see how it fits. It could use some blocking, but I'm quite happy with it.
As further proof of the pattern, I'm going to knit the second sock toe up, and then we'll see if anyone can tell which was knit which way at a glance. It's going to be a frigid weekend, so I'm hoping I can set aside some time to sit down with my numbers and write up a draft of the pattern to get to my tech editor. (And if any of you wants to test this out before it's formally published, let me know!)
Are there any knitting tricks you've picked up recently or that you want to try?
Have a wonderful weekend!