13 Apr

tutorial: Russian bind-off on the purl side

Tutorial Russian bind-off on the purl side by La Visch Designs

In a previous post I have shown you my favorite method of binding off: The Russian bind-off method. This is a very elegant way to bind-off your knitting project to get a very elastic edge on your piece. This is often important to me, because I knit a lot of lace shawls. Knitted lace usually shows its beauty best when it has been gently washed and blocked out. This is only possible if the edge has plenty of stretch.

But what if you need to cast off from the wrong side of the work? Think of a situation that you don’t have enough yarn to knit another row before binding off. In such a case, it is nice to know that you can also bind-off the Russian way on the wrong or purl side of your work!

In short instructions for a Russian bind-off on the purl side may look like this:
Russian bind-off on the WS: *P2tog, slip stitch from right-hand back to the left-hand needle; repeat from * to end.

The Russian bind-off on the purl side step-by-step

For this tutorial I have prepared a little swatch to bind off:

Tutorial Russian bind-off on the purl side by La Visch Designs

1. Purl the first 2 stitches together.

Tutorial Russian bind-off on the purl side by La Visch Designs

Tutorial Russian bind-off on the purl side by La Visch Designs

2. Slip the new stitch on right hand needle back to the left hand needle.

Tutorial Russian bind-off on the purl side by La Visch Designs

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all stitches have been worked. On the wrong side of the work this will look as follows:

Tutorial Russian bind-off on the purl side by La Visch Designs

And on the right side of the work the Russian bind-off on the purl side will look like this:

Tutorial Russian bind-off on the purl side by La Visch Designs

Looking good, right?!

22 Nov

tutorial: Russian bind-off

Tutorial on how to work the Russian bind-off - La Visch Designs

You probably already know that there are many different ways to bind off. A problem that sometimes occurs is that the bind off too tight. That is when you get the sweaters were no head fits through the neck opening, or those toe-up knitted socks where no foot can be put in and lace shawls that can’t be blocked out to reveal their patterning.

Of course, you can choose to go up in needle size when binding off. However, a too loose bind off is not pretty either… What to do? In these cases, my go-to bind off is the Russian bind-off. This is an elegant way to get a very elastic edge on your piece. This is often important to me because I knit a lot of lace shawls.

In patterns you may encounter the following instructions for this type of bind off:
Russian bind-off: K1, * k1, slip stitches from right-hand back to left-hand needle and k2tog tbl. Repeat from * to end.

The Russian bind-off step by step

1. Knit the first stitch.

Tutorial on how to work the Russian bind-off - La Visch Designs

2. Knit the next stitch

Tutorial on how to work the Russian bind-off - La Visch Designs

3. Slip the two stitches on your right-hand needle back to your left-hand needle.

Tutorial on how to work the Russian bind-off - La Visch Designs

4. Knit these two stitches together through the back loop.

Tutorial on how to work the Russian bind-off - La Visch Designs

5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 until you have reached the end. The result on a piece in stockinette stitch will look like this:

Tutorial on how to work the Russian bind-off - La Visch Designs

Tip

The Russian bind-off can for example also be used to bind off in rib pattern. You only need to adjust step 2 of the above instructions: Knit the knit stitches that you encounter and purl the purl stitches. That’s all there is to it!

25 Oct

making a Russian join

How to work the Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Whether you knit or crochet, we all have to deal with it: Joining new yarn when you have reached the end of a ball of wool. Of course, you can just change balls when you’re at the end of a row, but what if you work in the round? Or when you only have a limited amount of yarn and you really want to use it all? Just switching and tying a knot is something I never do. I think the risks are simply too great, there isn’t much needed for a knot to become undone and make a hole in my carefully-made piece. No, I much prefer using the Russian join instead.

The Russian join makes a very strong join, which also remains in place with very smooth and slippery yarns like cotton. This method also ensures that after completion of your project there are no ends to weave in. These are, after all already woven in when making the join. The only drawback is that this join locally produces a thicker thread. However, this does not need to be a problem, because it’s often not very visible.

The Russian join step by step

In this example, I have used yarn in two different colors to illustrate how this method works.

1. Thread the yarn end from the first ball through the eye of the needle.

2. Zigzag with the needle back through the thread for approximately 5 to 6 centimeters (about 2 inches), in such a way that your yarn forms a loop. Through this loop, the yarn of the new ball will be threaded later on. It helps to put a finger through the loop while pulling your needle through, to make sure it doesn’t close up on you.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Thread the yarn end from the second ball through the eye of the needle.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Insert the needle through the loop you created in step 2 above.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Now zigzag back with the needle through the second thread for about 5 to 6 centimeters (about 2 inches). Again, it may help to put a finger through the loop while pulling your needle through, to make sure it doesn’t close up on you.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Pull gently on both ends to reduce the loops and pull the yarn smooth.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And now, you can just continue knitting! As you see in the picture below, the join in the knitting is (apart of course from the difference in color) barely visible.

Working a Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The back of the work looks like the photo below. The remaining yarn ends I usually leave until after washing and possibly blocking the workpiece. Then it’s just a matter of (carefully!) cutting them off.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

One last tip

As noted, the Russian join gives a place in your work where the yarn is locally thicker. You can avoid this when your yarn is composed of several threads twined together. Cut a small portion of these threads away, then proceed with the join as usual with the locally thinner piece of yarn. In the picture below I have removed one of the totals of three strands.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs