This is partly about Inspira Cowls, but mostly about what they drove me to learn at Stitches.
If you page through the over 1700 Inspira Cowls on Ravelry, you may notice that every now and then one pops out with a flared top edge. This does not appear to bother the knitters. When Mesa Rock I turned out that way, it bothered me. Graphica says to "BO just loose enough in rib." "Just loose enough." Right. I bound off with a larger needle. Flared. I bound off using the lace bind-off. Flared. I bound off using Judy's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. Flared.
I was not happy. I ripped out the bind off, put the whole thing back on the needles and proceeded to ignore it.
Then I got my email reminder about homework for my Stitches classes. Yes, I signed up for more than one. No, I don't know what I was thinking. Yes there was homework for one of them. No I don't know how I missed that one of them was for 8 AM Saturday morning. Yes, it was the one I had to knit seven swatches for. It was worth it. The class was a bind-off class with Sarah Peasley.
Any class with Sarah Peasley is worth it. This one was exactly what I needed. In the course of the morning, I mastered seven different bind-offs.
Okay, six out of seven. That one on the bottom was supposed to be the bind-off based on Kitchener stitch (I think), but the field marshal and I had a disagreement and I ripped it out and put the swatch back on the needles. I will prevail over that one, just - later. Anyway. I also acquired the piece of wisdom that saved Mesa Rock and all future Inspira Cowls. When you do stretchy bind-offs that involve yarn overs? You don't need to yarn-over for every stitch. Let me repeat that.
When you do stretchy bind-offs that involve yarn overs? You don't need to yarn-over for every stitch.
Honestly, you would have thought I had discovered the wheel.
Binding off with yarn-overs, as for the lace bind-off or Judy's Surprisingly Stretchy one, means you increase a stitch at the point before you close the stitch. That extra yarn is what makes the bind-off stretchy. It's also what made my bind-off flare out. By spacing out the yarn-overs, you can control the amount of stretch in the bind-off. I reduced my yarn-overs by half, doing one for every pair of stitches. And it worked.
Stretch without the flare. If I didn't tell you that the edge on the top is the bottom and the edge below is the top of the cowl, would you know?
Good thing, given that I have all that new self-striping yarn, no?