While binding off the shoulders for The Sweater, I remembered the sloped bind off that was included in a Brooklyn Tweed pattern somewhere. Fort maybe? It’s a bind off that makes a more subtle cast off line when you’re casting off something in increments (like a sleeve). A regular cast off has you cast off x number of stitches, knit to the end, turn and knit the wrong side, turn, then bind off y number of stitches. The sloped bind off is essentially the same, but with one difference. Here’s an example.
Standard Bind Off
Row 1 (rs): Bind off first 4 stitches, knit to end
2 (ws): Knit to end
3 (rs): Bind off first 4 stitches, knit to end.
Which looks like this:
Sloped Bind Off
Row 1 (rs): Bind off 4 stitches, knit to end
2 (ws): knit to 1 stitch before end, turn work (leaving 1 stitch on needle)
3 (rs): Bind off 4, using the stitch that remains on the right hand needle to bind off the next stitch (ex: k 1, pass remaining stitch over the stitch just knit), knit to end.
Which looks like this:
Since this area will most likely be seamed it may not make much of a difference in the finished sweater but I think it definitely creates a more polished finish.
I have made quite a bit of progress on The Sweater. During the last few weeks, I finished the front and back, and am trudging along on a sleeve right now. In my sleeve cast on frenzy, I forgot that sleeves are easy to knit two at a time. I don’t enjoy knitting socks that way, but sleeves are decidedly less fussy than socks, especially when they’re knit flat. But I forgot. I’m one-sleeving it for the time being and willing it to grow faster than fingering weight garter stitch apparently wants to grow. I cast on for another sweater while I was still in New York, and began with the sleeve. I’m thinking that finishing the sleeves first on that one will be a good move for my overall morale. What is it about sleeves that invokes such quiet rage?
While casting on the back, I realized I’ve only knit a few other sweaters in pieces. You would think my aversion to sleeves would correspond with a hatred for seaming, but for some reason I seem (ha) to enjoy it. In a totally garter stitch sweater, I think seams are a smart bet to maintain its overall structure. I am oddly eager to sew this whole thing up.
I have made one boo boo (that I know of) so far, and I’m waiting to see if it actually needs to be fixed before I rip it out. Jut as I was finishing the front I realized I misunderstood the armpit shaping and decreased in the wrong spot, which made a more gradual slope than it should be. It’s unclear right now if there will be added bulk at the armpit as a result. Once I finish the sleeves and begin to assemble it I should be able to see whether or not I need to knit that spot again.
There is a sweater. A sweater with a history. A sweater that was bought at a thrift store perhaps as far back as the 80’s. A sweater made of some sort of scary synthetic material that doesn’t seem to age. A sweater that might simply melt if it were to catch on fire (which parts of it probably have). A sweater of confusing size. Is it a small? An extra large? Who can say? A sweater that is, and has always has been, brandless. A sweater that perhaps should not be worn in public anymore. But, a sweater that has not only been loved, but coveted, and repeatedly stolen by the women of the Burns house. I’m talking about that legendary, light blue, confusingly nubby, mindbogglingly loose gauge, single cable, sweater of my dreams. That sweater originally resided with my mother, but seems to hop closets on a semi-regular basis. It’s witnessed Disney movies, poor decisions at college, European monuments, and currently it’s cruising around South America because my sister Emily swiped it. It’s the sort of sweater that endures.
Whenever I’ve asked my mother what type of sweater she would want me to knit for her she always asks for one just like her blue sweater. I’ve attempted in the past, but alas, did not understand gauge so well. I seem to have a much better handle on it now, and before we went to the Southern Adk Fiber Festival we talked again about what makes that sweater so perfect. We determined it’s the combination of a loosish gauge, a simple design, a somewhat oversize feeling, and a fabric that is warm but not overbearing. Before we went we decided it should be a cotton/wool blend. Other than the yarn blend and general size idea, we had no pattern or other thoughts. When we got to the festival, one of the first booths we got to caught my eye right away.
This and That Farm in VT had a cotton/cormo blend spun at Green Mountain Spinnery and I was pretty much hooked from the first squeeze. We wandered around to see other options, but both really wanted to buy directly from the woman who owns the farm. It was the most incredible yarn I saw at the whole fest. So we went back to buy it, and tried to figure out how much to buy. I was in a math frenzy on my phone, and the woman at the booth mentioned someone had knit a great Brooklyn Tweed pattern out of that yarn. Brooklyn Tweed’s patterns make me salivate openly, so I asked her which one and she pointed me toward Nord by Veronique Avery.
IT’S THE SWEATER. But a grownup, public appropriate, hand knit version. I literally could have kissed her but decided she probably just wanted to sell me some yarn and that’s it. I cast it on right away and have been knitting it on and off for a month or so. I just finished the front and it is such a clever construction. The yarn is perfectly light but has much more energy than I would think a cotton blend would. I seriously want every garment from here on out knit in this stuff. The finished sweater is going to be so lovely I just might steal it.