I stand in awe of people like Cat Bordhi, who invented several entirely new ways to shape a knitted sock, and Sarah Hauschka, who taught knitters how to knit around tiny circumferences on just one very long needle.
One of my favorite recent knitting technique inventions is Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. One of the notoriously difficult things to do in knitting is to bind off (finish) loosely. If you have ever tried to squeeze an ill-fitting sweater over your head, and felt the neckline about to squeeze your brains out through your ears, then you have felt the personal wrath of an edge bound off too tightly. Jeny’s technique adds one extra step — a yarn over before working each stitch — that makes all the difference in the world.
Serendipitously, I just found a great way to use this bind-off: as an edging. I wanted to put a simple, decorative edging on a baby vest that I just knit, so I picked up stitches around each edge, using a contrasting color. On the next round, I bound off all the stitches, working each stitch as a purl and using Jeny’s bind off. Look what a sweet edging it makes.