Friday, November 22, 2013

Tubular Bind Off

I decided I owed Petipa a photo.  Please don't think I am one of those crazy cat people who order furniture for their pets.  My daughter ordered this couch on-line when she got her first job.  She thought she was getting a standard size couch.  We decided to keep it for the cats.

These two photos show the difference between George and Petipa.  Besides being much larger, George is also a lounger.  He looks like he is about to ask for a beer.

It was a slow week.  I reviewed several lessons and that was all.  Plenty of time for knitting.

My current project determined the tip for the week.  I was finishing up a toe-up sock with a tubular bind off.  I prefer knitting toe-up socks as you can try them on in progress.  One of the problems is the cuff.  If you use a regular bind off the top of the cuff will be very inelastic.  There are several techniques you can use but I think the tubular technique is the most attractive.  

Tubular bind offs work best with K1P1 ribbing.  Yes, there are techniques you can use for K2P2 ribbing but I haven't found them very satisfactory.  The columns of stitches tend to slant.  I find it easier to convert the K2P2 ribbing to K1P1 ribbing on the last row.  (I'll show how to do that in my next tip.)

The first step is to work 2-4 rows where you slip every other stitch.  The stranding for the slipped stitches is what makes the bind off so elastic and gives it the tubular appearance.  When you are doing this in the round as you would for socks, you knit the stitch, bring the yarn forward, slip the next stitch which is a purl.  Repeat this until all the stitches in the round are worked.  For the next row, you have to reverse this.  You purl the stitch, bring the yarn to the back, slip the next stitch which is a knit stitch.  You can repeat these rounds again if you want a more tubular edge.

You then cut the yarn and thread it onto a tapestry.  I tend to leave a very long tail.  I once cut it too short.  Trust me, you don't want to do that.  To begin, you insert the tapestry needle knitwise into the first purl stitch.  Pull the yarn tight.  Next insert the tapestry needle purlwise into the knit stitch to the right of the purl stitch you just worked and then into the knit stitch to the left of the purl stitch.  Pull the yarn tight.  Insert the tapestry needle purlwise into the purl stitch between the two knit stitches you just worked.  Drop the purl stitch and the knit stitch to the left from the needle.  This isn't as complicated as it seems.  Once you get into a rhythm, it is easy.  Here is the video:  Tubular Bind Off

Salon will be on Sunday from 2-4pm.  I have to drive to the airport on Saturday.  

I finished up another pair of birthday socks.  I would have finished much sooner if I hadn't changed my mind about the stitch pattern when I had knit half a sock.  I have used this stitch pattern before and I love it.  I call it gumdrops.

I'm not sure I will do a blog next week.  It depends on how tired I am after doing Thanksgiving dinner.  I realized yesterday I really haven't cooked much since my hand surgery.  I am hoping it is better this year.  Last year was pretty grim.


  1. Thank you very much for your article. I learn a new bind off which I will apply for my next socks. I like to read you and I would like to tell it you even if my English is bad ;-)
    Best wishes for Thanksgiving and kind thinkings to your cats !

  2. Did you do an afterthought heel or the "fish lips heel" or something else? I can't quite tell from the pic. Lovely socks and beautiful cats. I'm getting ready to finish up a pair of toe-ups myself. Will give this tubular bind off a try.

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