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For Love of i-Cord

LBHandknits

I've been playing around with some designs where the edges are treated with i cord bind-off. It's a technique I like very much for a couple of reasons. On garments that don't suit ribbed hems and cuffs, it's an effective way to prevent the fabric from curling. And I much prefer the look of it over garter stitch. Aside from that, I find i cord bind-off a lot of fun. Any excuse to use it really!  

So it surprised me to learn that some (many?) knitters regard it with a shudder and a slow backing away from the person suggesting the method. Dear god, why?

Okay, after some probing questions I think I understand the gist of the antipathy: i cord bind-off takes a long time. Like, at least twice as long as a standard bind-off, possibly longer - depending on the number of i cord stitches cast on. 

Well goodness. Surely you know why that is, dear reader? Because the i cord bind-off is not just a bind-off. You are essentially continuing to knit while you are binding off. 

Let's break it down: Say you are finishing the hem of your sweater with a 3 stitch i cord bind-off. What you are really doing, is knitting 3 more rounds at the same time as you are binding off. 

Now think of the time it would have taken you to knit 3 rounds the normal way, then execute a standard bind-off. It would have certainly taken longer. Ergo: the i cord bind-off is fast, not slow. The i cord bind-off saves time!

Now, don't you look forward to using it on your next project? 

PS: If you are reading this and have no idea what an i-cord bindoff is, here is a helpful tutorial from Craftsy