Grafted Bind Off for Portulaca Neckband

After an early breakfast of tiny spinach quiches, I have bundled up as usual with a shawl against the cold and settled into my comfy chair to get caught up with a week’s worth of readings. My log home is empty and quiet. No loved ones around to get caught up with, no sweet grand babe laughing and squealing in delight, only the sound of the dishwasher doing its early morning work.

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We are back from visiting our daughter, son-in-law and extraordinary granddaughter and sharing in the joy of celebrating her first birthday. It is another brilliant day in Colorado, cloudless and with no breath of wind. All outside is petrified by frost and I’m almost certain, should I venture out in snow boots, that my footsteps would crunch against the snow covered ground. I feel as isolated as a mountain man and miss my far-removed family but am also happy to be back home.

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Carol Feller, Craftsy instructor, explained an interesting bind off for the Portulaca neckband, one I have never heard of but one I will employ from now on when I have a ribbed neckband. Just as the Alternate Cable Cast On blended right into the ribbing around the bottom of the sweater, this bind off blends right in to the 1 x 1 neckband ribbing.

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The first step was to divide all the stitches onto two circular needles with the knit stitches on the front needle and the purl stitches on the back needle. I decided I wanted two contrasting needle colors to help with the process. I then threaded a long tail onto a tapestry needle and, after anchoring the first two stitches, worked a Kitchener stitch across the stitches. Simply stated, you are grafting the stitches on the front needle to the stitches on the back needle just like you finish a sock toe.

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On my first run through I made a fatal mistake – my yarn on the tapestry needle was not long enough. I measured it the suggested 3x the width of the neck which would have worked. However, I tired of pulling long stretches of yarn through the stitches and it looked like I could do with less yarn so I took care of it. Afterall, Ms. Feller had said that if you run out of yarn you could simply split splice – which I did – but it was my mistake. Pulling the spliced yarn through the stitches was a nightmare. Now it could have been done with lots of patience but the muttering under my breatch caused me to loose track in my mantra, ‘Knit Off, Purl On – Purl Off, Knit On.” I got hopelessly off a stitch and no amount of backtracking could fix it. I finally pulled out the whole neckline bind off and started over. Second time through, I didn’t mind all that extra yarn yardage pulling through the stitches.

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I really like this bind off. There is no ridge across the top of the neckline and you didn’t have to mess with knitting the neckline double and then folding it over. The way it is bound off just blends right in imitating the stitches in the rows below.

Neckline Done!  The buttonbands are next.

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