Confession: I tend to resist learning new knitting techniques. This is a source of irritation, especially to me. I think it comes from a misdirected longing for efficiency—why stop for five minutes to learn something new when you can do it a way you already know, even if the whole world is shouting that there is a better, faster, more attractive way to do something?
That’s why I solemnly swear to you, on all that is Icelandic and nonsuperwash, that when it’s time (very soon!) to knit the sleeves on my Daytripper Cardigan, I will learn the Magic Loop and knit them that way. I know I’ll love it. I will be tolerant of smugness from longtime Magic Loopers: you were right, I was wrong, and I did know that the whole time.
When I can really see that a new technique is superior to the way I’ve been doing it, I’m willing to spend the time to learn it.
A Case in Point
Here’s my second Marlogram, a design by Cecelia Campochiaro for MDK Field Guide No. 19: Marls.
My first Marlogram was a scarf (which I’ve been wearing daily, even indoors, on these cold days). For the second one, I cast on provisionally so that I could make it into a cowl.
I knitted nearly all the way to the end of my two skeins of Freia’s Ombré Merino Lace, leaving enough yarn to work a three-needle bindoff that would join the two ends into a long loop.
And then I stopped. My Marlogram has been sitting on the needles and on various surfaces, in my way instead of around my neck, for many weeks.
All because I needed to learn the modified three-needle bindoff technique that designer Cecelia Campochiaro recommends.
I’ve linked to the video by P. Ricci, up top. This video is excellent, both at explaining why this technique is different from a standard three-needle bindoff, and showing you how to do it.
So, this past weekend, after one too many re-locations of my unfinished Marlogram, I finally sat down and learned a new thing.
This is Freia’s Ombré Merino Lace. I’ve marled together two colorways: Melon and Coho.
My rating for the modified three-needle bindoff: 4.5 out of 5 stars. I deducted a half star from a perfect score because this technique is fiddly, and it didn’t get less fiddly for me with repetition.
But it’s worth it! It makes such a lovely join: tidy, flat, and elegant. And the logic behind it is clever—instead of knitting two together to join the two edges, you are knitting on the RS of one side of the join, and purling on WS of the other side of the join. (This will make sense with the needles in your hands.) I’ll use it again because it looks so nice.
Tidy, flat and elegant—you hardly notice that it’s a little bit fiddly to work.
It turns out that I’m strong for new techniques, even slightly fiddly ones, when they make such a difference.