Rock & Roll Ribbing
December 30, 2005
I had a Fair Isle fit this morning and decided to attack my Inger Fredholm gansey -- well, it isn't really a gansey, but it is a nice all-over pattern Fair Isle design. I had quit knitting on it because of the ribbing, which was rolling up and annoying me. (You can read the sad history in a previous post.) Here's what the ribbing originally looked like:
So this morning I cut off the old ribbing, picked up the stitches, and re-knit the ribbing the way Inger said to do it in the first place: Knit one main color, Knit one pattern color. I had chosen to knit one pattern color, purl one main color, because I was afraid it would roll if it were all knit. Well, now I know the answer to that for sure.
Cheerfully I knit along this morning, and wasn't really paying too close attention, because I was sure Inger had been right and I was wrong, and I also felt that the ribbing would be flat and beautiful when I was done because it's a known "fact" that stockinette doesn't roll much at the bind off edge, as opposed to the cast on edge which rolls mightily; in my many years of knitting experience I have always found this "fact" to be true. Besides, I was watching the DVD of the Cream May 2005 reunion concert at Royal Albert Hall -- an excellent DVD, especially for fans of Eric Clapton. The concert ended about the time the ribbing was done. I bound off.
But the ribbing still rolls just like it did before, and it is very ugly. UGLEEEE. Here's what it looks like now, and also a picture of the ribbing I cut off. Note how they look exactly alike, regarding the rolling!
I give up. I thought about knitting a lining and sewing it down inside to force the ribbing to lie flat (actually, I guess it isn't really ribbing, since I didn't use any purl sts), but at this point I am convinced that if I did so, the whole hem would just flip straight up. Therefore, I plan to steam the ribbing within an inch of its life, and dip it into an Elmer's Glue and water mixture to stiffen it, and then it will lie flat.
I'm kidding about the Elmer's Glue. Mostly.
So now, I am right where I was a day ago, not wanting to finish this beautiful sweater. Which is too bad, because it is really beautiful, I love knitting it, but it is discouraging to work on anything no matter how beautiful when you know from the start that it is going to be unattractive when it is done, regardless of how well you knit it. I am stumped; I don't know why it is rolling. I have never had this happen before. Cast off edges have always lain flat and submissive for me in the past. Just to make sure of it, I bound off in purling instead of knitting, to force the edge to curl under a little. But no, it wants to roll up to my armpits. It's a puzzle.