Binding off circular knits

After working so very hard on my Dutchess sweater, the last thing I want to do is finish it off with a less than excellent bind-off. My go-to finishing detail takes a little extra work, but it’s worth every second. TECHknitting provided three options depending on your comfort and time dedication.


Check it out and let me know what you think!

Kitchener Stitch

When it comes to kitchener stitch, there are two resources I use every time. The first is Suzi’s Knits: Musings on kitchener mantras. Here is the meat of what she has to say:

Here’s what I discovered. There is, in fact, an ULTIMATE kitchener mantra. Its the one I long ago rejected as just taking too much thought, but it will ALWAYS WORK, even in ribbing.


Same, off; Opposite, on.


What that means is, you look at the stitch you’re about to put your needle through. If it’s a purl, same = purl, opposite = knit. If its a knit, then same = knit, opposite = purl. You always (at least I always) kitchener right to left, the opposite of reading. You ALWAYS make your first stitch on the needle your yarn is NOT coming from, pass the needle thru opposite of the stitch leaving it on the needle, then go to the starting side, pass the needle thru opposite of that stitch, then you go into same-off opposite-on world.

She goes on to add examples of how to work different types of stitch combinations such as ribbing, reverse stockinette, garter stitch, etc. It’s really a helpful read!

My second resource is this youtube video by The Knit Witch. I love her simple way of explaining exactly how to perform the basic kitchener without any frills, bells, or unnecessary discussion on what it is, it’s entire historical development, and when to use it. Sometimes you just need a quick how-to, and this is it.

Another resource is one that reminds you of the steps you already have done, yet can’t ever remember:


What are your favorite resources for kitchener stitch or other grafting techniques?


I’ve been furiously knitting the sleeves of Dutchess by Cheryl Burke while postponing the beginning of the body. With sweater knitting comes massive amount of research regarding fit, modifications and finishing.

You see, I’m sporting a pear shape. My pear shape means my bust is one size larger, and my hips are two sizes larger than my waist. Pants don’t fit, button down shirts don’t fit, sweaters don’t fit. The magic of knitting is that you can knit something with exactly your measurements. That, of course requires some work. Having accurate measurements of your body is step number one. Though I’ve written down mine (and verify them before starting any garment project), I prefer to keep them on the Customfit website. It’s accessible anywhere and everywhere.

Step two is swatching, and swatch, I did! Three, just in case. Even one stitch off has the potential to make several inches difference when it comes to sweater making.

Three Swatches

Then come the modifications. Though I’ve done plenty of research, math and study, one line from episode 10 – Modifying a Pattern really stuck with me: You’re fine just the way you are. It’s the knitting that needs to change it’s shape, not you.

I’d been trying to convince myself that ribbing is stretchy enough to make up the hip-to-waist size difference. The Truth is, it is. The Truth also states that ribbing is only 2.5 inches tall. The rest is miles of less stretchy stockinette. I realized the truth was telling me that this sweater was doomed to share space with the rest of the sweaters at the bottom of a bin in the back of my closet.

I accepted The Truth. I printed out some graph paper, and set to work figuring out the pattern instructions I was going to need to start at my hip size, and decrease two sizes down to my waist. It took all of 10 minutes to try a few combinations of decreases.

New Waist Shaping

Granted, all this preparation has taken me a few days, but what is a few extra days when compared to years of sweater enjoyment?

To seam or not to seam… why not both?

Everyone has an opinion on seams versus circular knitting. Seams provide structure, while circular provides drape and, more importantly in many minds, no seaming.

I, too, love knitting my sweaters in the round, but when I do, I miss the structure and shaping the seams preserve. It’s the construction that prevents my long sweater from becoming knee-length, and my overlapping fronts from stretching too far.

Earlier this year, I ran across an article that turned my world on it’s head. Knit your sweater in the round, with an extra purl stitch where a seam would normally be, then mattress stitch each side of the purl stitch together. Less inside seam, more structure, best of both worlds!


I’m currently knitting a sweater in the round and plan on testing out this technique. It’s simply genius, and I appreciate Karen Templer for sharing it.