From bind off solutions to the incredible dandy-inspired work of Emily Carrig, we had a jam-packed June meeting!
What To Do with an Enlarged Last Bind Off Stitch
How do you make that stretched-out final stitch disappear? Member Hilary Forrest shared with us her favorite way to create a smooth, clean bind off.
As you work across a row of knitting, the first right-needle stitch "stretches" the first stitch on the left needle by borrowing yarn from the stitch to its right. Take a look as you knit and you'll see this happen. As you work across the row, the extra yarn "moves" across the row with you. Again, take a look as you knit and you can see this. When you get to the last stitch, there is nowhere for the yarn to go, which is why the last stitch appears to be bigger than the others on your row.
There are two strategies to prevent this. Assuming you will be binding off stockinette stitch on a right side row, on the last row before binding off (the purl row) work the first stitch normally, and work the second and third very tightly. Work the rest of the (purl row) normally, and bind off normally. You will notice that the last bind off stitch is not enlarged.
If that doesn't work as well as you would like, try this: On the last purl row, first the first stitch, then take it off the needle and place it on a rigid stitch marker. Snug that stitch up, and purl the rest of the row. Bind off normally until you get to the stitch on the marker, and work that stitch right off the marker. Success! No enlarged last stitch.
Hilary is a TKGA-Certified Master Knitter and Technical Editor. She suggests referencing Arenda Holladay and Knitting with Suzanne Bryan for the knitty gritty.
Repairs, Finishing, & Sweater Surgery with Fair Weather Knitter
If you have a hand-knit that never really fit you right, or that is stowed away in disrepair, maybe Emily Devlin can help you.
As a designer and friendly face at Close Knit, Emily has a side hustle called Fair Weather Knitter--a specialty in knit alterations, repairs, and finishing for both knitters and non-crafty folks. Emily shared some of her most challenging and interesting projects with us, including a remarkable afghan knit from nylon stockings sometime in the 1940s. The throw blanket is currently in the collection at the Beaverton Historical Society.
June Program: Machine Knitting in Galashiels
Emily Carrig and her “boys” dazzled us. Her graduate thesis, Rebellious Transfers: Dandyism Explored Through Shaping & Cables, was created through her passion for perfection, impeccable fashion, and industrial knitting machines.
For her Master’s Degree in Knitwear Design, Production and Heritage, Emily went to Herriot Watt University in Galashiels, Scotland. A spirited individual always up for a challenge, she wanted to do something amazing. And, as she puts it, “If you’re going to go to Scotland, go for it!”
So, she ended up at Barrie Knitwear, a mill in Harwick. With a goal to work for a prestigious company making high-quality garments, (Barrie makes knitwear for Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and is owned by Chanel), Emily learned how to use the industrial dubied machine (named after inventor Henri Edouard Dubied) to craft her collection.
The challenge: to create detailed, unique garments on machines made for building basic, minimalist, mass-produced clothes. Because, as Emily was told, it couldn’t be done. With confidence and a little improvising, Emily totally did it!
The aesthetic foundation for her collection was Dandyism. The most well-known dandy is probably Oscar Wilde, though Emily uses texts from Albert Camus and Laura George to help define her theme and positioning. Emily used the knitting machines and her talent as a linker (one who pieces the sections of a garment together) to express “the cut-and-sewn tailored identity” of Dandyism into knitwear.
Emily brought three of her “boys” to share: Danny, Rupert, and Frank. These sweaters she designed unconventionally are masterpieces. Because of how the machines work, each garment is linked together from six to 14 pieces.
Crafted with 100% UK undyed wool in order to let the stitches and cable speak for themselves, the amount of detail is incredible, asymmetrical panels to the decreases in sleeve seams. Nothing was accidental, from Emily’s expert work on the machines and in her linking, to the adherence to the Dandy style, described by George as “eschewing ornamentation, by rejecting color, and making the austerity of black and white itself performative.”
Today, Emily is working her skills creating footwear prototypes at Nike. We thank Emily for sharing her incredible work with us!
While Emily’s Dandy knits go for detail over color, our next meeting program is all about “Speaking in Color.” Join us July 12 as Helene Knott teaches us how to use a color wheel to create beautiful combos and schemes that will make your projects sing.