Now that I’m on a quality-finishing kick, I was thinking a lot about the most basic part of finishing…the bind-off. Now, I’ve only been knitting for about a year, so for the first few months all I knew was the standard bind-off (k2,* slip 1st stitch over 2nd and off the needle, k1*). That served me well…it’s a basic, effective bind-off for most things. There are times, though, when you want or need a different effect. When I was binding-off my Clothilde, I needed something different that would allow the lace to bloom. It had to be stretchy, yet still look neat. Since the bind-off was around the lace edging of the shawl, it would be seen a lot, so it had to match the shawl.

I researched and was amazed at how many different bind-offs there are! Part of the reason I didn’t like toe-up socks was that I thought the bind-off looked messy. I wish I had known what I do now- there are many, many ways to make a lovely yet stretchy edging on socks and other objects that need it. There is pretty much a different bind-off for every project!

In the end, I ended up doing a Russian bind-off for my lace, and I am very happy with the way it came out. Part of the reason that the lace bloomed so well was because of the bind-off’s stretch. I liked the aesthetic of the edge, and the fact that it was pretty easy was also a plus :). Not that I will completely abandon the original bind-off…I just have more options, and can select the one that will give me the right look for whatever I’m working on. Maybe some toe-up socks?