My Ravelry friend Catnach (Jennifer) was intrigued by the k1long technique, and decided to try using it as an increase to improve some of her silk laceweight bind-offs on lace shawls. I liked the result so much that I thought I’d share it with you.
Everyone I know who knits has learned one bind-off before any other:
- knit 1.
- knit 1, then pass the previous stitch over.
- repeat step 2 as necessary.
It’s beautifully straightforward, but has one major disadvantage: it’s not very stretchy. One easy way to deal with this is to increase more stitches in the final row or two.
Jennifer was working a lace shawl with a plain garter edge, and so in the final right-side row, she increased a stitch between every regular stitch by working a k1long between them. (Link goes to her notes on Ravelry; an account is required to see the details.) It’s the most straightforward sort of k1long, sometimes referred to as m1, though it’s not the stitch that’s usually given that name: pick up the bar between two stitches and knit it without twisting. She then bound off on the wrong side row in the usual fashion, knitting the stitches as she went instead of purling.
Since there were almost twice as many stitches in the row, there was sufficient length for the bind-off when the lace was stretched in blocking. It makes a nice crochet-like edging.
I wouldn’t recommend this as a bind-off for anything but an edge on lace, where the extra length is helpful. As you can see in this swatchlet, it will make the bind-off curve or ruffle with plain knitting.
Of course I had to play around some more once my interest had been piqued. Here is another variant. I worked a lace row, then a plain wrong-side row, and then worked k1long stitches in the same row as the bind-off. In this case, I worked the k1long by skipping down two rows between the regular stitches, which for this pattern means that I was knitting into the yarnovers two rows down.
It blocks quite nicely, and has a different sort of crochet effect.