Sunday, August 14, 2011

What the Heck is the Kitchener Stitch Bind-Off?

In a recent post I showed you a lovely pink garment on which I used the Kitchener stitch bind-off in four places.  Here is a new photo of it on the top of a toe-up sock.

It does have some limitations.  It is best used on 1 x 1 rib.  I have to admit that I never tried it on anything else.  It is very stretchy, and as I said in the aforementioned post, I really love the way it looks.  I learned how to do this bind-off from THE KNITTER'S BOOK OF FINISHING TECHNIQUES by Nancie M Wiseman [Martingale, 2002] also mentioned in that recent post.

When I wrote my original TATU (Try A Toe Up) sock pattern (available here) I chose to use this bind-off, and I wrote my own instructions on how to execute it on the top of a sock.

But, the question still remains, "What the heck is the Kitchener stitch bind-off?"  After doing some research here on the internet, my conclusion is that it is actually a tubular bind-off, but it is 'set-up' on a front and back needle, so that it is more like 'Kitchener-ing' to work.

Two points remain:  (1) You can find tubular bind-off directions that DO have the stitches separated on front and back needles, and you can find tubular bind-off directions that DO NOT. (I cannot imagine how much more difficult it would be all on one needle, but it is possible.  I have seen it on the internet.☺)  (2) Most directions for the tubular bind-off have you work four set-up rows that involve slipping half of the stitches.  (I never did this.  Nancie's version has none of that.  By rights, I should try it once to see if it makes a difference, but I am quite satisfied with the results I get without doing so.)

And finally, the only real grumbles (just a few) that I heard about the TATU Sock Pattern were about this bind-off.  It does have to be tensioned correctly to match the stretch of the ribbing.  Anyone who does not like it can use a sewn bind-off instead.

For my next 'serious knitting' post, I will be working on a tutorial of the Kitchener stitch bind-off.  I have a Fingering Weight TATU Sock Pattern being offered for test knitting in the Free Pattern Testers Group Forum at Ravelry.  I am hoping that this might help the test knitters when they get to it.  But, maybe they won't need help?☺

1 comment:

  1. I am looking forward to trying your TATU pattern. I just need to finish my current sock - getting a new wheel hasn't hurried up that project!