please don’t scare the dyer

Posted on Posted in projects, spinning and fiber, Uncategorized

i think anne is a little blown away you guys.
i’m know when we first set out on our collaboration, neither of us, in our wildest dreams, imagined the force that would become the Bee Shawl.
we thought we would do a cool project together and sell some kits and patterns.

the first hint that it could be Big was the day i posted swatch-o-rama, and people started asking about, and preordering, the kit before i even set my needles to the actual shawl yarn.

(the absoluteness of your faith in me just launches my boat).

so, back to anne. there has been a small amount of confusion about the kit’s availability, because it isn’t posted in her store yet, but NEVER FEAR!

this kit is being offered as her kit of the month for august.
in it will be plenty of yarn to knit the largest-size shawl, and a copy of the pattern.
anne always posts her kit of the month 2 weeks early, so that people who put in early orders can get free shipping. with this kit, she also took preorders, because well, there were preoderERS (hee-hee—you invented yourselves—you guys ROCK!).
people who preorder do not see the kit—they are ordering based on what they’ve seen here at knitspot, and they just let her know they want one.

SOO, here’s the deal. the kit is not sold out. the kit goes up for sale to the general shopping public on sunday, july 15th. you can preorder one by going to anne’s website and using the contact form in the sidebar to send her a nice note.

all orders will be filled in the order they are received, and anne has stockpiled all sorts of convenient meals for the next few weeks so she can concentrate on dyeing bee yarn.

as far as i know, anne intends to keep the kit on her site for as long as orders come in, so there is little danger of NOT getting one if you want one (anne, correct me if this is wrong . . . and i apologize ahead of time if you are still dyeing that yellow-green yarn into the next decade and simultaneously not speaking to me any more . . . hehehe.)

OK, let’s talk about something else . . . cara finished a gorgeous moth shawl this week and her post brings up an issue that many shawl knitters are familiar with.

(cue in ominous music)
the Too-Tight Bindoff

binding off nicely can be rough enough, but facing an edge with 500+ stitches and the instructions to “bind off loosely” can be downright hateful if you know you have never achieved “loose” and “bindoff” in the same time warp.

i’m sure you’ve tried using a bigger needle. heh. i’ve done that too, and all i get is bigger stitches that are too tight.

i don’t like those bigger stitches either—to me they always look messy and lacking in tension.
here are my two tricks for binding off. they never fail me and i am always able to stretch my shawls as much as i need to.

i make david do it.

just kidding. ok, for real, here are my two bindoff tricks:

first of all, on all my bindoffs, i use an elastic method i learned years ago from a vogue knitting article:
knit 2 sts onto the RH needle, but don’t completely pull the second stitch off the LH needle.

bindoff on the RH needle as usual,

keeping that second st on the LH needle the whole time

and after you pull the bindoff over the RH needle tip, THEN pull the remainder of the second st off the LH needle.

this creates a beautiful castoff edge on all garments, and i don’t find i need to use a larger needle. this edge still has a stretching limit so it is great for sweaters and any other article where the edge needs to be stable, but not tight.

on shawls, especially those with scalloped edges, i use the same bindoff technique, and add in yarnover bindoffs (YOBO) every few stitches where the edge curves outward. a YOBO is performed on the RH needle as follows: wrap the yarn around the RH needle

and pull the previous stitch over it.

it makes a kind of chain stitch in between two knit bindoffs which allow them to spread apart. this works very nicely for me, and i haven’t it used it on an edge yet that didn’t have enough give in the end. on very lacy edges that have points, you can even add multiple YOBOs.

when i bind off a shawl edge, i always try out what i think is the right tension and number of YOBOs on one scallop, or about 6 inches of edge. then i pause and stretch it to see how elastic it is. it should stretch a LOT, and not feel like it has a limit (within reason).

you can also use a crochet bindoff, and add chain stitches in between the ege stitches on the outward curves. this is recommended in mariane kinzel’s lace books. i haven’t had as much patience or success as i should with using the crochet hook, and i suspect this method looks best when used with cotton thread or very fine wool. i’m a very experienced crocheter, but i am all thumbs when using the hook with knitting needles, so this is my least favorite method.

i have only this wee bit of knitting that’s new. i finished my summer fun socks in class yesterday and then when i came home i worked on the orchid lace mitts. for about 30 minutes, and then i crashed.
i so didn’t even see the end of the bike race. david saved it for me though and we’ll watch the rest tonight and i’ll knit lots.

that’s a promise. because tonight i have a secret weapon against tiredness

from my pal bloglessKim in SD. she even sent some for david. mmmm

40 thoughts on “please don’t scare the dyer

  1. Anne you must have the energy of two people. It wears me out just reading your posts. =)

    Debbie who is anxiously awaiting Ms Bee along with the rest of the lace knitting world.


  2. I’ll try to post of my *Moth* (not while being blocked as before) “in the wild” this week/end.

    Also, will we be able to order just the Bee Shawl pattern from you as we have your other patterns? I may need to wait before purchasing more yarn. My stash runneth over!

  3. Just printed the bind-off tutorial ! This might come in handy 🙂
    Seems like very good chocolate altough the Belgian and Dutch are VERY good too. It showson my tummy 🙁

  4. I love that your patterns are so popular that WoollyAnne is swamped. 🙂 (Swarmed? BEES SWARM! HAHAHAHA!)

    I love the price of the kits two! At that price it’s just…impossible to turn down. I’m getting TWO! 🙂

    Also, thanks for the bind off tips. I’m going to experiment when I get to that stage on my moth (soon as my needles get here). TO make the best bind-off. I’m a pathologically tight binder-offer. 🙂

  5. The DH bind-off. I like it! (And for half a second, I believed you enough to be shocked!) I’ve tried to convince my husband to apply his mad suturing skills to yarn, but so far to no avail. Ha.

  6. Yes! Kits will be available until there are no knitters left in the entire world who haven’t knit the dern thing. 🙂 (And I can say the ENTIRE world, because I have the emails to prove it).

    And we have the pizza and chinese delivery food guys on speed dial.

  7. You are a mind reader. I’m just at the end of the Shetland Triangle (which I knit as a stash-reduction project and to test yarn I think might work for Wing o’ the Moth), and the instructions are for a “regular” bind off. I thought that seemed strange because it would be too tight, and I was thinking of subsituting the method you show or the one called the Iceland bind off in Myrna Stahman’s book. Thanks for the tutorial. I’ll probably end up using that method.

  8. love learning new BO’s….always room for more in the arsenal! mmm – that much chocolate will keep you going for a while!!!

  9. Will there be a way just to purchase the bee pattern and not the entire kit? When might this happen? Am anxiously awaiting the pattern!

  10. Thanks for the different bind off ideas. I usually just pull a bit on the stitch before I complete it. I’m a fairly loose knitter and that seems to work well for me.

  11. OHH!! Chuao chocolates are to die for!! While living in San Diego I attended the Chocolate Exhibit at the Natural History museum in Balboa Park, and aside from a great and interesting exhibit – they had tastings! I am so glad I could still have sugar then. I think Chuao had a sugar free that was also great, must check to see if it’s still available since we’re headed back to SD for a visit next month!!

  12. Thank you so much for showing the stretchy bindoff! I just tried it and you’re right- it’s nice and neat, and just stretchy enough. I’ll be sure to remember it.
    Can’t wait to see how the orchid mitts come out!

  13. A day late and a dollar short!!! NO! I KID!! Thank you so much. I read your instructions, but the pictures are very helpful.

    And just for the record, in case anyone has any doubts, I absolutely LOVE my moth shawl – bind off and everything!

  14. Oh Anne! Of COURSE your pattern (and Anne’s yarn) are going like hotcakes. You two are rock stars! The two of you working together is like when that one guy got his chocolate in the other guy’s peanut butter, and Reese’s Cups were born. 😉

  15. I’m sorry if I missed this, but when and where will we be able to purchase just the pattern? I can’t wait to get it. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

  16. For shawls, I’ve always ended with a knitted border. so it’s very flexible. Dumb luck I guess. Since I plan on making your bee shawl, I appreciate the tutorial.

  17. I laughed out loud in my office when I read the part about making David cast off for you. I even got Pepsi on the computer screen.

  18. Yay! I’m back home and online and can read your blog!!

    So the first bind-off trick you mentioned…would that be stretchy enough for a toe-up sock bind-off?

  19. You mentioned pics of the shawl on Friday…would love to see the finished product. Also, from what I can tell from the blog, I would love to have the patten, but I am not really “into” the colors available. Will you offer the pattern only for sale? If so, when? Anxiously awaiting all revelations….

  20. Can’t wait for the bee shawl kit – looking forward to it! Will use the handy BO tips, too – thanks, Anne!

  21. Thanks for the bind off tricks!
    That is some seriously drool-worthy chocolate… Especially the one in the back: dark chocolate with caramelized cocoa nibs and nutmeg? Wow! (Yeah, the little bit I could read in your picture was enough to tell me I had to find the chocolatier’s website to get the full description!) As I’ve lived for a while in Grenada (the Caribbean country, not the Spanish city), where some of the best cocoa in the world is grown, and where about one third of the world’s nutmeg production comes from, that mix definitely calls my name! Heaven in chocolate form…

  22. Thanks so very much for the bind-off tutorial. I’ve not seen this bind-off before, but I can see the advantages it has over the one I usually do. I’m going to try it out.

  23. I think it’s great that Anne is overwhelmed, in a good way, of course. I’m glad that she will be offering the kit for awhile. Then I don’t feel like I have to get it right this moment. That bodes better for my finances.

    Thank you for the tutorial too. I’m sure that will prove very useful in the future.

  24. Secret weapon against tiredness? I think I’d just be so satisfied after all that chocolate, I’d go right to sleep! 😉

    The Bee Shawl is definitely going to be an unstoppable force…I even want to knit one! Granted, I should finish the Garden Shawl first, or my Mom may kill me.

    And great BO tutorial, thanks Anne!

  25. Yup, linked to this page so I can find it again. Great demonstration of a really useful bind-off.

    I think I may end up in the horde of bee knitters, as much as I generally resist assimilation… (if you don’t want me to do something, just tell me everyone else is doing it and loves it! I’m easily manipulated.)

    Gorgeous pattern with gorgeous yarn. And Bees!

  26. Anne,
    I found you thru the MS3 list and fell in love with the Bee Shawl and the veggie photos 🙂 Thank you! As I look at my garden and the baby cantaloupes growing on the vines, I can’t wait till Sunday to officially order my kit, and then knit my own bees and dream of honey.

  27. Interesting bind-off, I’ll add it to my repertoire! I usually do the one called the “Russian bind-off,” according to the sources I’ve seen: Knit two stitches. Put both stitches back on the left needle and knit them together through the back loops (leaving one st on the right needle). *Knit another stitch (two sts on the right needle). Put those two stitches on the left needle and knit tog through the back loops. Repeat from *. I’ll try both bind-offs to see how they compare on my next swatch.

    Congratulations on the success of your beautiful bee shawl pattern. It’s been a pleasure to see the design process unfolding here on your blog.

  28. I love that bind off! I have got to try it. Maybe I’ll use it with the Mystery Stole, unless Melanie has something special to do…. Definitely the next shawl after that will be treated to this technique. What an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing it!

  29. I remembered reading this bind off last month as I was working on my variation of Vivian Hoxbro’s wing shawl. 200+ stitches to bind off, and this made the perfect edge. Thanks for the tip!

Comments are closed.