Love Means Never Having To PSSO
April 28, 2010
Announcement: I’ve finished knitting the 210 very long rows of Volt.
I am now COMMENCING I-CORD.
It’s frightfully exciting.
Grace Anna Farrow’s instructions instruct, in the elegantly economical way that I have already come to expect of her patterns, how to do the i-cord edging along the live stitches as a bind-off, and on the side edges (the row ends) via the pick-up-and-attach-it-as-you-go method.
I’ve applied miles of 4-stitch i-cord in a similar manner to all kinds of FOs needing a tidy, smooth edge. I’m an experienced customer of this technique. I love it so much it’s kind of ridiculous. (I mean, to love a knitting technique. That’s kind of unusual, I’m guessing. Not to just love it in the casual sense of the word, meaning, “I find this technique quite useful and good,” but love it in the way that I love a small mixed-breed terrier or candied orange peel or the quilts of Gee’s Bend, meaning, “I do not want to contemplate a life that does not include attaching i-cord to things on a regular basis.”)
I do it like this, whether my “edge stitch” results from a live stitch sitting there waiting to be bound off, or from picking it up: K3, k2tog (the last stitch of the i-cord with the edge stitch) THROUGH THE BACK LOOPS, slip all 4 stitches back onto left needle.
Here’s how the Volt instructions say to do it: K3, slip 1 (the last stitch of the i-cord), yo, k1 (the edge stitch), pass the slipped stitch and yarn-over over, replace stitches onto left-hand needle.
That slipping the yarnover business struck me as fiddly, and I wondered what it accomplished. I learned through googling around (and looking at one of our own books) that this is a common way to do attach an i-cord. I tried it out on my Volt, and saw that what it accomplishes is this: it hides that edge stitch, which in this case is in a contrasting color to the i-cord, in a neat and tidy manner.
But my way, a plain old k2tog through the back loops, does the same thing. And to me it is easier and even a bit neater (because you don’t have to pass a slipped stitch and a yarnover over, which can lead to an irregular or elongated stitch, although you probably get real good at it and stop having this problem in the course of a whole shawl’s worth of i-cord).
Here’s how it would look if you did a k2tog the regular way:
See how that grey stitch stands up straight and calls attention to itself? We’re not having any of THAT, people. That is abhorrent to all right-minded knitters, an affront to our ideals of workmanship. We will avoid it at all costs, including, if we have to, passing slipped stitches over.
And here’s how it looks the way I do it, working a k2tog through the back loop (the section of i-cord on the right):
The grey edge stitch is neatly tucked under the i-cord.
Here’s how it looks on the back:
I-cord is all about the neatness. With complete respect to the designer, I’m doing it my way, unless somebody gives me a good reason not to.
Before I get very far along this edge.