Over in the Sosae Caetano group on Ravelry, we’re having a knit-along for the Honey Cowl pattern. It struck me that the gorgeous skein of corespun I had been hoarding from Moonrover would be great in this slipped-stitch pattern. I’m not normally one for art yarns, but there is a perfect smoothness to Moonrover’s beehives that I just couldn’t resist and so I picked up Rosewood from a destash.
I paired it with a plain dark brown commercial bulky yarn to make the corespun go as far as possible and then disregarded the edge instructions and launched right into the slipped- stitch pattern. To make the beehives lie flat, I slipped extra stitches whenever they came along.
It’s 145 stitches on a size 10.5 needle, and a very comfy size for looping twice.
(Please forgive the blurry mirror photo. Oh, and did I not mention I am a classic Nerd? Yes, that’s a D20 on my sweatshirt. It’s part of a design from Wil Wheaton.)
So, I get really fussy about finishing details. For this particular cowl, the cast on and bind off edges are not very far apart from each other, so I wanted them to match as precisely as possible.
The first time I tried Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind Off, I thought it was a great trick, but I realized that with some modifications I could get it to look just like a long-tail cast on. I figured out the mod that very first time and have been doing it my own way ever since. I’ve never seen anyone else do it quite this way, so I thought I’d share.
Long-Tail Bind Off
Just like EZ’s Sewn BO, you’ll need a strand about 3 times the length of the knitting to be bound off. Thread it on a big needle.
If you scrutinize your long-tail cast on, you’ll notice that one side has a neat row of longer straight stitches (straight side), and the other side has what looks like a purl ridge (purl side). My cowl had the straight side on the right side, and I was also binding off from the right side, so I needed my bind off to make the straight side facing me.
Straight Side Facing
Step 1: Skipping over the first stitch, run the needle from front to back through the second stitch, knit-wise.
Step 2: Now that you’re on the back of the work, run the needle from back to front through the first stitch, purl-wise. Make sure it’s only through the stitch on the knitting needle, and not catching under the bind off strand in front.
Step 3: Pull the yarn all the way through, removing the first stitch from the knitting needle (mine is still on the needle in this picture, but you should take yours off.) Ideally, pull the yarn until the bind off stitch is the same tension as the cast on.
Repeat from step 1 to make a straight-side-facing bind off that matches your long-tail cast on. (I admit, dark brown is not the best for a tutorial, sorry.)
I don’t have pictures for Purl Side Facing, but the steps are:
Step 1: Ignoring the first stitch and starting with yarn in back of work, run the needle from back to front through the second stitch, purl-wise.
Step 2: From the front of the work, run the needle through the first stitch from front to back, knit-wise. Make sure it’s only through the stitch on the knitting needle, and not catching under the bind off strand in the back.
Step 3: Pull the yarn all the way through, removing the first stitch from the knitting needle. Ideally, pull the yarn until the bind off stitch is the same tension as the cast on. Repeat from step 1.