I find there's something very satisfying about picking up stitches to make the neckband of a sweater (or to knit sleeves gansay-style from shoulder down). Perhaps it's the reassurance that you've almost made it after knitting the body and arms.
But thanks to Nancie M Wiseman's The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques I've learned the most amazing bind-off. It's an adaptation of the dreaded Kitchener stitch.
How does one describe the result? Think of of 1x1 ribbing where you've come to the end of the last row, and then managed to hide all the stitch loops they came off the needles. It looks way better than the more common bind-offs that leave a chain of chevrons stitches at the final row.
Make no mistake, this is not an easy technique to do until you've practised a few times, and I've got to say that it probably shouldn't be attempted while the TV is on, or if there is anyone else in the house, or if there's the remotest possibility that your telephone might ring. In fact, probably best to do it in total silence, after meditating for an hour or so, and maybe only drinking herbal tea for the previous two days. But boy, are the results worth it.
I've got to plug Wiseman's book, it's the best reference source I've come across so far. Not a book to learn to knit from scratch, but one to take your technique to a new level. I'll probably rave about it in a future post, In the meantime, you can find it at Amazon in the US or at Amazon in the UK (Other book merchants are available, etc...) I'm indebted to KilgoreTrout, who's earlier posting, put me onto this book in the first place.
And the only thing I don't like about finishing the neckband? Weaving in those ends...