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  • I was so proud of myself for acquiring our family’s favorite chocolate oranges early in the season and stashing them away so they’d be ready for Christmas morning. Not so proud when I discovered them in the back of the closet after everyone had returned to their own homes after Christmas. May I send you one of those?

    • I think you’re set for 2016! I had managed to score the LAST ORANGE at Trader Joe’s, and when I asked when there would be more, he looked at me, Question Mark staff in his hand like the Good Shepherd, shook his head sadly and said, “That’s it for the season.”

  • Ah, holiday food! Our own can of caramel popcorn (with almonds!) is nearly gone thanks to the unending hunger of teenagers. I did remember their chocolate oranges, and my own bind off errors can only be blamed on trying to watch classic movies at the same time. Or maybe it was the wine.

    • I have never heard of a suspended bind off.

      It sounds so exciting. The Rear Window of bindoffs.

      Autocorrect thinks “bin doffs” is a thing.

      • Bin Doffs is a character in Star Wars, isn’t he/she? We’ve got a bag of Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments with “exploding candy”. Being in the UK (and working in a small Tesco supermarket), chocolate oranges are a year-round thing for us (and I heard from my boss – via Facebook – that our first stock delivery of Easter eggs was received a couple of days ago).

  • Phew. Curled edges drive me crazy like happy hour with out the martini. Good save.

  • LAUGHED out loud at the 3-course (popcorn) meal, recovered, then lost it again for the chocolate orange. I love you guys. So glad the blog is back. Happy New Year –!

  • I purchased nine chocolate letters for the children and their partners and remembered them too late. I guess they are mine now.

    • Easter cometh.

      • Or collect more and play Scrabble.

  • In my house we still mourn the Droste chocolate apples than are not orange. Haven’t been able to find them in years.

  • Wait, I don’t understand why you are frogging the border if you got it to lie flat with the suspended bindoff.

    Also, popcorn and a Bloody Mary is my default dinner when no one else is home. Because, vegetables! whole grains! (and some alcohol never hurts either).

    • Sorry to be confusing! The bindoff? Brilliant. The curliness? Persistent despite the lovely bind off. That bindoff is going to be my go-to from now on–it gives a little yank to each stitch that keeps it from pinching. Which is something I’ve had to deal with from time to time.

      A Bloody Mary definitely adds another whole food group to this meal.

    • I had the same question! I see that Ann answered it.
      Margieinmaryland

    • I really want popcorn and a Bloody Mary right now. 4AM seems a bit early, though.

    • Grain alcohol?

  • You know, I almost posted a comment the other day when you were musing about how the moss stitch would “play” with the upcoming lace, but I didn’t – another “trust your gut” lesson for me! Lace expands, texture (knit/purl combinations) contracts, so the lace portion would be wider, forming a lovely curve about the shoulders while the substantial moss stitch hugged the neck. So much more useful and practical for the colder weather than a scarf. Personally, I hate the way most cowls bunch up around the shoulders, so I’m off to queue it!

    • Let us know how it goes! I made the longer version of this cowl, because I tend to double them up around my neck. I think the border would in fact behave when stretched across your shoulders.

  • Thank you for sharing this bindoff technique! I’m saving it on my computer so I know where to find it.

    The wooden dog button that was designated for a baby sweater, that I’m in a race to finish before next week’s due date, must have run off with your chocolate orange! In my holiday rush I recall “putting it someplace safe” so it wouldn’t get lost. This adorable button (which was the last of its kind at my LYS) has not turned up in any of my usual “safe and save forever” spots. Going to dump the vacuum cleaner canister today…

  • Well, problems with curling aside, I do love the way the lace border looks on that moss stitch. And I agree-popcorn in any flavor is a cure for any problem the world can throw at you.

  • I made 24 quarts of caramel corn this month, for gifts. I don’t crave popcorn at all!

  • I just used the suspended bindoff on a linen-stitch scarf, hoping it would match the cable cast-on on the other side. 320 stitches. It didn’t. In fact, it looked fairly terrible, perhaps because I was doing it with a not-at-all-stretchy yarn (Frog Tree Pediboo). Did I rip it out? No I did not. I am hoping that the Magic of Blocking will somehow smooth out all those weird-looking stitches. My brother will love it anyway.

  • Two comments:

    1. I think that chocolate oranges have a long shelf-life especially since they are helpfully wrapped in foil.
    2. My favorite bad supper is a bowl of freshly made popcorn (in a pan on the stove with olive oil) and an IPA. Once a month makes all things good again.

    • Why is that a bad supper?

  • I was literally eating the same thing while I read this, albeit mine was a two-course appetizer and dessert combo. The Garrett Popcorn store calls it Garrett mix, but I’ve seen it called “Chicago Mix.” If you’re ever in Chicago or laying over in O’Hare, be sure to pick up some Garrett’s. Heck, they’ve got a website. Go there now. Thanks for the new bind off technique.

  • You lost a chocolate orange, I lost a cowl. I seem to remember tucking it out of sight so the giftee would not see it. It will probably turn up in the Spring. After the holiday brainfog has lifted. Kind of like those things that turn up after snow has melted. ;-P

    I don’t think I’ve tried suspended bind-off, so thank you for the recommendation and tutorial. Looks like a winner.

  • Frankly, I do not believe that chocolate can possibly go stale in the length of time (days? weeks?) that it will take you to find that chocolate orange. Take heart! Go forth and search! It will be worth it.

  • I lose things every year. We celebrate Ukrainian Christmas too, so that helps with the gifts that are lost on the 25th. I have also lost my Mp3 player. I found the earphones, which the cats took and chewed up . I think they put the player somewhere…..

  • Well, the moss stitch looks smashing. Your call on the rest of it. I had an ‘exotic’ dinner last week that involved zebra popcorn from Costco. I’m pretty sure it’s only on the endangered list at our house.

    My mother is famous for surveying all that has been unwrapped and shouting, “Wait. Wait!” then running down the hall for a few minutes and whisking out at least one more present she is stashing in a gift box on the way back. That one last gift that got hidden ‘in a safe place”. Nice that this tradition continues from my childhood. Hate for the grandkids to miss out on a family tradition.

  • I love the suspended bindoff! Discovered it years ago when working on a scarf with a ruffle on each end ( misti alpaca ruffled scarf I believe) . Regular bindoff resulted in a sorry looking ruffle; suspende bindoff gave me a matching ruffle! It’s all I use now. A bit fussy with ribbing; I usually treat it as all knit stitches. Happy new year to all!

  • I will try the suspended bind off on my next project. My one-trick-pony of an i-cord bind off could use a friend.

    And, if you are still yearning for the taste of chocolate and orange, do yourself a favor/disservice and seek out a Lindt dark chocolate bar in Intense Orange. The best. Ever. IMHO.

  • Thanks for posting that bindoff. It seems fiddly but I will try it next time I really need something to lie flatter and not pull in.

    However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I don’t think that border goes well with the seed-stitch cowl. It seems like a mismatch in style and texture.

  • I ate most of a chocolate orange – I think they are not what they used to be. The long-gone Droste ones were better than Terry’s, I think. I like the k2tog through back loop bind off for keeping things even. Not super-stretchy, but prevents too-tight bind offs for me.

  • Is that the Gap-tastic Cowl? It’s lovely.
    I’m going to have to try the bindoff.
    I’m now on the sixth (6th!!) version of a perfectly simple cowl I’ve already knit successfully once. If it doesn’t work this time, I’m quitting.

Travel Alert:

Join us for a festive dinner at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago featuring Clara Parkes and us! Friday, March 9. Details here.