The End of Strip 1
It's fairly easy, but it does look nice, if I do say so myself. Also, the way the pattern is structured, you really don't have to count rows. When you reach the end of the pattern, you are ready to work 1 row of ribbing or start up the set up rows for your tubular cast off.
Tubular Cast Off
Since we have reached the end of the strip, we need to cast off, right? Once again, I must defer to TECHknitting's superior intellect here. She taught me, so she can teach you.
I will say a word of warning about the very first time I tried making a tubular cast off. It was for a toe-up sock. I was so excited that I had found a method that might actually be loose enough, but might be prettier than my usual method at that time, the sewn bind off.
Longish story short, I pulled WAY too tightly when I was working that final grafting to finish the tubular bind off. I could not even get my hand into the sock, much less my foot. I then ignored a wiser, cooler knitter who told me that was my mistake, and wrote off tubular cast off as a technique altogether. I had to discover the joy of the tubular cast on to motivate me to try the tubular cast off again. The moral of the story is keep it loose when you graft. You can always go back and make it tighter, but if you make it too tight, you're sunk.
Don't get me wrong, I still like the sewn bind off. I'll even tell you how to do it. Cut off a length of yarn as long as you can stand to use. For me, this is approximately 5 feet, or as long as I can reach with both of my arms stretched apart. If you run out, you can always add in more later. Then, thread the yarn through your first two stitches, as if you were purling, leaving the stitches on the needle. Thread the yarn again through the first stitch on the needle, as if to knit, and slide it off the needle. Repeat yourself, going two steps forward and one step back, until you are finished. Darn in your end. Elizabeth Zimmerman came up with this, and it looks a lot like the long-tail cast on.
Anna and I talk about her creative process, desert island knitting, and her new book, which is scheduled to come out in August of 2011.
What the heck is mochi?
Signed copies of Knitting Mochimochi are available here.