March 09, 2006


Okay, I've put it off as long as I can . . . but today is the day I must get the guest room ready and clean house for the arrival of my sister and her husband, who are going to house-, pet-, and kid-sit for us while Scott and I are in Florida. I've puttered at cleaning, but today I've got to get in high gear, because -- they arrive this afternoon!

But not before I take a few minutes to blog about this:


This morning I finished the back of the Salina sweater! I love to start a day with a feeling of accomplishment, like this.

Now, Maggie Righetti says in her excellent book, Sweater Design in Plain English, that she has seen more sweaters ruined by having the center back neck stitches bound off. When bound off, those stitches are not as stretchy as if they had been left "live." In consequence, the neck opening for the sweater is not as stretchy, the wearer can't get the neck opening over his or her head. A sweater ruined. That's the term she uses: Ruined. Leave those stitches live, she writes, then use the live stitches when making the neckband.

Jean Wong, in the class I took from her recently, said quite the opposite. Always bind off the stitches at the neck, she said, so that they are more sturdy. The sweater gets a lot of stress at that area (from being put on and taken off, from the weight of the sweater hanging from the neck), and you want to have sturdy stitches there. Stitches left live, then incorporated into a neckband will stretch under the stress.

So, who are you gonna believe?

(You'll notice I bound off my center back neck stitches. Salina has a front opening placket, so if the worst case scenario is true and my bound-off neck stitches won't stretch, the neck opening should still be wide enough that I can get the sweater over my head. Knock on wood, it won't be ruined. And, let me digress a moment, here -- I can't get over how much those double-ended stitch holders look like the curlers my sisters to wear, back in the days of my childhood.)

And, just to recap our Ferals meeting from last Monday night -- let's be sure to bash that stereotype that knitting is for genteel, grandmotherly types. No, two of our group nearly came to blows in an argument over a ball of Kidsilk Haze:


Rebecca (beginning a hat for the Dulaan Project, stranding together some green worsted weight with some pink thick-and-thin novelty yarn that had been off-loaded onto her by another knitter): I got this KSH Blushes from my Better Pal, and I'm going to make myself a scarf with it. How do you think the Dulaan hat looks, so far?

Ryan (noticing that the pink Blushes goes well with the novelty yarn): It would look better if you put that Blushes into it.

Rebecca: You mean, make a cloud hat???

Ryan: Yes. For those kids in the orphanage.

Rebecca: But -- Blushes is my Project Spectrum knitting!

Ryan: You could be using that Blushes in a hat for my kids. My kids!

Rebecca: But -- my Better Pal gave me this Blushes!


Maybe you had't've been there.

Now, really, I can't put it off any longer. Must clean house.

(Scott and I leave tomorrow, and return on the 15th. I'll take my camera and laptop and hope to blog while we're away. My Level II vest is my Number One Priority Project for this trip.)

Posted by Karen at March 9, 2006 08:30 AM

That Ryan can be so pushy :) She brings out my competitive side!

Posted by: Rebecca at March 9, 2006 09:15 PM

Wouldn't the best answer be: learn how to bind off so that your bound-off edge isn't too tight? :)

Posted by: Janice in GA at March 10, 2006 07:34 AM

The perm curlers make a delightful addition to your sweater! LOL! The first thing I thought when I saw your picture - "what a great way to re-use those old curlers" -- not "those stitch holders look like those old curlers!" Silly me.

Have a safe trip.

Posted by: Kathleen at March 10, 2006 04:27 PM

Mmmm. I think I'm one of the "bind off the back neck, leave the front neck stitches live" crowd. It's a good compromise, anyway.

Posted by: Kit at March 10, 2006 09:29 PM

maybe the live stitches are better for a pullover, where you need the stretch to go over your head? but not necessary on a sweater with an opening?

Posted by: vanessa at March 11, 2006 05:25 PM