Question on Tank Of Many Colors Pattern

While I found this pattern fairly easy to follow there were questions I had on the Binding off of armpit sts and and shoulder and neck sts.
Like, Shape Armholes: Bind off 3(4-5-7) sts at beg of next 4 rows then 3(4-6-8) sts at beg of the next 2 rows.
I found this confusing ,I’m use to when you BO you cut the last bind off st and pull it through, at first I did the BO of the sts without cutting the last bo sts but this left me with one extra st in my over all st counts. Then I frogged back and did the BO and cut the last bo st and I ended up with a very jagged edge ,step like edge. Some one suggested slipping the first stitch but you still get the very uneven edge line and it’s hard to smooth it out even with a crocheted sc st.Which is the right way to do this and why?
I went looking for a tank top pattern that doesn’t use this weird BO but it seems it is in a lot of patterns

I want to make another one but not until I know what and how I should be doing these many bind offs

Hello, Nanaof6.

Having read your post you appear to have 2 different problems with your bind off. The 1st is your bound off stitch count and the 2nd is the ‘stair step’ effect.

To solve the stitch count problem rember that every time you pass a stitch over [U]that[/U] counts as a bound off stitch. This means K2 pass one over is one bound off stitch and doing another K1 pass one over means you have bound off 2 stitches, although you have knitted 3 stitches at this stage.

Because you know how many stitches you have when you begin a bind off row and how many you should have when you finish that row don’t be afraid to count your stitches after doing your bind offs and before knitting the rest of the row. So, if you start with 20 stitches and need to bind off 3 stitches, bind off 3 stitches and count the remaining ones to make sure you have 1 stitch on your right needle and 16 stitches on your left needle. If you don’t you can make your correction before finishing knitting that row. If you do you can finish knitting that row. Don’t cut the yarn and pull through, [U]when you have more knitting to do[/U], you’ll only have to rejoin it in and make unnecessary work for yourself. I also think this could be making the ‘stair step’ or jagged edge problem even worse.

When binding off over a few rows you can use different strategies for different situations.

If you are going to ‘pick up and knit’ that part of the garment later (eg do ribbing for an arm band or neck band I would cast off and carry on knitting normally as the ribbing will smooth out any jagged edging.

If you are binding off a part of the garment that is to be seamed, eg shoulder seam, you can done one of the following:

  1. Cast off and continue knitting normally. Then seam to the matching piece, when finished.

  2. Do the Sloping Bind Off as shown by Amy in the Binding Off section of the Free Videos. The instructions do seem a little confusing, but if you practise with a swatch 1st it will make more sense.

  3. Check the instructions to make sure you are binding off the same number of stitches at the same point for both pieces and do a 3 needle Bind Off.

I don’t think slipping the 1st stitch will help and, as you found, may make things harder for you.

Finally, (sorry to depress you) in the world of knitting patterns what you described is a normal bind off for most tops, which explains your problem finding an alternative.

You could consider short row shaping, it might help, but I think you’ll still need to do some binding off. I’m not sure how it would work out. I need to look into it as I want to knit some tanks. I’ll have to read the Julie’s post more carefully later, I don’t have the time right now.

What is the difference between a Bind Off and a Cast Off? I youtubed a video and watch it but I really do not see what the difference is other then the wording of the two.

So what your saying is I should Not bind off the last stitch by cutting it ? But then I end up with and extra stitch and it throws the total amount of stitches that I should have on my needle off by one stitch as I go.

The pattern is on Berroco’s site ‘Tank Of Many Colors’ if you could look at it ,it might help explain what I am talking about.

Bind off and cast off are the same thing.

OK, I just reread your original post. I’m trying to understand why you were cutting yarn. If you BO the stitches at the[I] beginning[/I] of the row, you just continue knitting across as normal. Did you BO at the end instead? You work to the end of the row, turn, do your BO, then just knit across. No yarn to cut. The count being off is a matter of counting the BO sts correctly which I’ve had problems with in the past. Julie explains how to count them, above. The loop left on your needle after the last BO st counts as the first st as you continue on.

I have never knitted a tank top before this and the Bind Offs confused me because prior to this pattern, my bind offs were what I did on shawl, dishcloths,etc,bind off and cut yarn from ball and pull yarn through last loop and weave in end.

Oh, do I understand! I encountered the same problems. Others came to my rescue and I won’t know until I get there again if I really understand now. Such is knitting! I’ve used stitch markers to keep me on count with my BO. That might help you too. I think I’m going to try short row shaping for the armhole when I do a tank. If I do, I’ll let you know how it works out.

Please let me know about using Short Rows for armholes. I am out in left field on that one:shrug:

I’m so trained to just follow the written pattern so I do not even try to take another idea and change the written pattern, but I do want to learn. So when and were and how do you do the short row for armholes?

Yes, GG is correct, Cast off and Bind off are the same thing. Cast off is UK English and Bind off is USA English. Being British I use the term cast off by default.

I should have been clearer in saying that you don’t pull the yarn through the last bind off stitch [U]when you have more knitting to do[/U], but carry on knitting. I’ve edited my 1st post to show this. Unless the instructions tell you to cut the yarn you only pull the yarn through the last stitch and cut it when it [I]really[/I] is the last stitch.

Again GG is correct to say (and I forgot to mention) that you never bind off at the end off a row, otherwise you end up with an ‘orphan’ stitch on the next row. You can bind off at the begining of a row, in the middle of a row or across a complete row, but never at the end of a row.

Julie, thanks. I think your post was pretty clear, I just happened to think of a couple of details. I’ve thought that the use of bind off here in the U.S. might be because of abbreviations, CO and BO don’t get confused. :shrug: When I see either term I know what it means.

As for short row shaping, I found this: SWEATER FINISHING 101-Part 3. I found a lot of useful info in the series of videos she did. In this video she shows the short row shaping on a sleeve but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on an armhole. I’ve not tried it yet. I think it could eliminate the underarm BO (oh, I don’t like that! Cast off is better there!) She does W&T, I would use German short rows. Whoever tries it first should report back! If I find anymore info, videos or written, I’ll post it somewhere. As for straying from a pattern, if I knit for me I have to alter the pattern anyhow so what’s a little more straying? I can always frog and fix.

OMG! thank you so much for the link for short rows. I am going to use this on my shoulder edge rather than the BO as the pattern calls for!!! It should seam up so much nicer then. I’ll have to youtube your German short rows, never heard of it.

But can I use the short row method for the Bind Offs at the (Shape Armholes) and at the (Shape Neck) instructions? If the answer is yes , how do I do that? The piece is work knitting front panel first then the back panel. Not in the round.

Instructions for armhole says, Bind Off 4 sts at beg of next 4 rows,then 4 sts at beg of the next 2 rows. not sure how to attack the short row here.

Also Instruction for neck says, k26, join another ball of yarn and bind off center 25 sts, k to end.Working both sides at once, work 1 row even, then bind off 4 sts at each neck edge once.Dec 2 sts at each neck edge on every other row (rs) 5 times.

Before the last sentence of Dec of 2 sts at each neck edge on every other row (rs) 5 times I should have 26 shoulder stitches for each shoulder decreasing down to 12 on each shoulder, although I would like to have a wider shoulder strap to hide my OMG bra straps.

Can you help me with this to use the short rows?

I googled knitting armhole shaping with short rows and found Tutorial: Short row bind-offs. You might come up with better search terms. If you find something else, let us know, please, it seems we’re all on the same quest. Nicer armholes and less BO is our Holy Grail! :teehee:

Short rows. Jan posted a link to a video in Do we have to be good at everything? post #6. It’s for heels but the method for turning might work in this application. German Short Rows video, there are two parts of it. I learned about GSR here, others use this method too. If you find a better way, I want to know!

You rock! Thank you again, going to look in to! Now if I could only wrap my head around this short row thing I’ll be all set!

Wonderful video and tutorial links, GG! This is a nice way of getting the sloped bind off too and maybe it’ll help. From the bind off videos here at KH:

I seem to remember reading or hearing somewhere (pre-internet) the term bind off being used as the American verision of cast off, but I can’t be certain.

To me the logic behind the UK term is if one casts on to get the stiches securely on the needles to start knitting then one casts off the stitches to get then safely off the needles to finish knitting. Whereas, to me, the logic behind the US term is that one is binding, or making fast/secure, the stitches while removing them from the needles.

When I first started reading this site it took me a while to realise that when someone said “I’ve got problems with my BO.” they meant “I’ve got problems finishing my knitting.” and not “I’ve got problems with my personal hygiene.”:teehee:

I have every faith that you will be able to ‘wrap my head around this short row thing’.

GrumpyGramma has given links to quite a few different ways of doing short rows. So I would sit down with some spare yarn and needles, watch the videos and do some practice swatches to find out what works for you, before starting your tank top.

I didn’t even know that Amy’s video was there! I like that. I wish they came up in the youtube and Google searches I do. I’ve heard it said that those who can, do, those who can’t teach (not really true, I’m sure, the best teachers are those who can and do) but I wonder if in knitting, those who can, do and I get bogged down in trying to find ways to do but not ever really doing. sigh

I’m glad you started this thread, Nana.

[I]When I first started reading this site it took me a while to realise that when someone said “I’ve got problems with my BO.” they ment “I’ve got problems finishing my knitting.” and not “I’ve got problems with my personal hygiene.”[/I]
Uh, yeah, I know what you mean. :roflhard: I see your reasoning in why one term or the other, but I would be so much more confused if CO meant start and finish. Context, context, context. :wink: Eventually we can overcome any common language differences. Knit on!

:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl: So what do the UK’s call it when you CO / cast on or do they use the same term and if they do how do you decipher CO cast on from CO cast off:shrug:

To be honest, I’d never come across the abbreviation CO to mean cast on before reading this site. Until then any patterns or knitting information I read used the terms cast on and cast off, as appropriate.