Bind-Off in Knitting


How many times have you bound off too tightly? Just last week, I finished off a hat (the one to match the felted bag!) and it was so tight, I couldn’t fit it on to my youngest son to model. I figure I was thinking of work too much. It started me thinking that there are in fact a couple of bind-off methods that really help to avoid those circulation-stopping edges. But before all that, here is that matchy-matchy hat. What do you think?


Suspended Bind-Off

bind off1

This method is similar to the standard bind-off but produces a more elastic edge. This bind-off is especially good for knitters who tend to bind-off too tightly; use it when you want to make sure your bind-off isn’t too tight.

Slip one stitch, knit one stitch, *insert left needle tip into first stitch on right needle and lift the first st over the second (Figure 1), leaving the first stitch on the left needle, knit the next stitch (Figure 2), then slip both stitches off the left needle-two stitches remain on right needle and one stitch has been bound off (Figure 3). Repeat from * until no stitches remain on left needle, then pass first st on right needle over the second.

And since we’re in sock knitting season, I thought I’d include this cast off for toe-up knitted socks where it’s an absolute must to cast off loosely so that you can get the sock over your heel and up your calf. (Thank you Elizabeth Zimmermann!)

The Sewn Bind-Off

bind off2

This method forms an exceedingly elastic edge that has a ropy appearance, much like a purl row. Work this bind-off with a tapestry needle.

Cut the yarn three times the width of the knitting to be bound off, and thread onto a tapestry needle. Working from right to left, *insert tapestry needle purlwise (from right to left) through first two stitches (Figure 1) and pull the yarn through, then bring needle knitwise (from left to right) through the first stitch (Figure 2), pull the yarn through, and slip this stitch off the knitting needle. Repeat from *.

I hope that this helps in your Autumn projects – let me know what you’re working on!

Thank you Interweave for the diagrams.


About monsteryarns

I am a yarn enthusiast and knitter.
This entry was posted in Bind-off, Knitting, Techniques and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s