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Best Bind-Off For Lace – The Frilled Standard Bind-Off

Blog » Lace » Best Bind-Off For Lace – The Frilled Standard Bind-Off

Best Bind-Off For Lace – The Frilled Standard Bind-Off

Liat Gat - Founder

February 20, 2014

A standard bind-off is just too firm to use as a bind-off on lace. That’s why patterns tell you to “bind off loosely.” But I have a better solution for you: The Frilled Standard Bind-Off. It's fast, easy, you can block it and stretch it, and it fits perfectly with scalloped and straight edges.

3 Lace Bind-Offs ComparedI’m so excited about bind-offs for lace right now.

While I was studying for the I Love Bind-Offs ebook (more about that below), I solved a problem that I didn’t even realize that I had, which was that that I never really gave a thought about how to bind-off for lace.

I had the feeling I wasn’t the only one.

To make sure, I checked the 20 most popular lace scarf patterns on Ravelry.

ZERO patterns gave specific advice about bind-offs. “Bind off loosely,” was as good as it got.

Most of the patterns forget to tell you to bind off at all! Clearly, people aren’t thinking about bind-offs when they are thinking lace. Why not?

My theory: When you’re knitting a lace project, you spend hours and hours painstakingly following a complicated pattern to make your beautiful piece.

By the time you get to the end, you just want to finish. And why shouldn’t you? We don’t get any guidance otherwise.

BUT: The problem is that when you just use a regular bind-off on lace, it’s not stretchy enough.

I know, stretchiness isn’t top-of-mind when you think about lace. It’s not like the cuff of a mitten where you need it to stretch out and stretch back.

Lace makes open, airy, flat designs, but the only reason they get to be open and airy and flat is because after you knit them, you BLOCK THEM.

You soak them, you squeeze them, you stretch them, you pin the edges into points, all so that you can see the beautiful pattern that the lace creates.

And here’s where the bind-off is key because the bind-off has to be able to take all this abuse. And only a STRETCHY bind-off has what it takes.

A Stretchy Bind-Off Is Best For Perfect Lace Projects

A standard bind-off is just too firm to use as a bind-off on lace. That’s why patterns tell you to “bind off loosely” Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn— they’re trying to compensate for lack of stretch by making the loops larger. But I have a better solution for you.

A word of caution, though: a bind-off that’s too stretchy will make a weird flare along the edge. The last thing you want on a beautiful lace project is to have an edge that looks stretched or wider than the whole project.

And don’t forget the clock! When binding off lace, you’re usually dealing with a ton of teeny-tiny stitches. Whatever bind-off you use, it can’t be slow, because you’ll be at it for a while.

I decided my students shouldn’t have to settle for less-than-perfect bind-offs, and so in order to find solutions to this problem, I sacrificed a bunch of my lace projects in progress (believe me, they weren’t going anywhere).

Comparing Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off and Frilled Standard Bind-Off

I divided each lace project into two or three sections and did a different “stretchy” bind-off on each one, and then I blocked them and took pictures and decided for myself which ones work the best — and what I consider my favorite option.
Comparing Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off and Frilled Standard Bind-Off

The three winning bind-offs I found were the Frilled Standard Bind-Off, which I am going to teach you today, and the Picot Chain Bind-Off and Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO), both of which I teach you in I Love Bind-Offs.

The Winner: The Frilled Standard Bind-Off, An Easy and Perfect Fit

Frilled Standard Bind-Off on Lace (Feather and Fan)

My favorite bind-off for lace, the Frilled Standard Bind-off, was actually not in any of the books I studied as a suggested lace bind-off. But it turned out to be the all-around winner for ease, speed, and stretch.

This bind-off is stretchy enough that you can block it and stretch it, but it’s not so wide that it will look stretched out. And, not only does it fit perfectly with scalloped and straight edges, it also comes darn close to matching the wrong side of the Long-Tail Cast-On.

Learn the Frilled Standard Bind-Off

Frilled Standard Bind-off - Detailed edge view

Frilled Standard Bind-Off: Video

Perfect Bind-Off For Lace: The Frilled Standard Bind-Off
Perfect Bind-Off For Lace: The Frilled Standard Bind-Off

Tip – many readers have asked what needles I’m using in the video and photos. I’m using my favorites: Signature Needle Arts needles. I recommend the Stiletto Tip.

Frilled Standard Bind-Off: Step-by-Step Instructions




K1 but don’t drop the st off the L needle.


BO 1. Original loop remains on L needle.


K into the loop that’s still on the L needle.


BO 1.


Repeat steps 2-5 across.


The finished bind-off. Mini-frill!.

Frilled Standard Bind-Off: Animated Demo

Frilled Standard Bind-Off - Animation

This Tutorial Is Part Of “I Love Bind-Offs” — Available Now!

I Love Bind-Offs Ebook Cover

Rated 5 Stars on!

Related Posts:

To see this technique in your Bind-Offs class, go to Online Class Chapter: Frilled Standard Bind-Off

Other “best bind-off” posts:

Leave A Comment

Thank you for all your lovely comments last week! I hope you’ve all tried last week’s tip and you have a lace project on which to try this week’s hypothesis — that the Frilled Standard Bind-Off is the best there is for lace.

And what do you think of the new icons? Big enough? Helpful?

I love to hear all your thoughts, stories, and feedback. I answer as many comments as I can on the day of publication, so if you have a question for me, ask it today! Leave a comment below.

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88 thoughts on “Best Bind-Off For Lace – The Frilled Standard Bind-Off”

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  1. Thanks for this post! I’m designing a pattern for a shawl at the moment and I’ve been looking for a pretty, simple bind off for it. I agree with you about there not being enough information about bind offs for lace knitting. I’m going to use the frilled standard bind off for my shawl. Is it ok if I link to this post in my pattern because I don’t think I could explain it any better than you! I’m gifted_goodies on Instagram if you want to see the shawl I’m designing at the moment. It’s currently called The Nameless Shawl…

  2. I knitted my husband a pair of socks, and they have a hole in them. How do I repair them. It’s on the bottom of the heel. Thanks

  3. Just want to take a moment to thank you for all the info you pass our way — always so well researched, presented in a fun manner, and free .. do appreciate it all! Have been reading you for a while but really needed to say thanks! :)

  4. That technique is awesome! What a wonderful way to finish a project that looks really professional yet easy…once you learn how to do it. Thanks for your expertise in knitting. I keep all of your emails.

  5. I love this bind-off and can’t wait to see your other goodies. Thanks.
    I’m a slow and not-very-good knitter and can use all the fine-tuned techniques to knit items that appeal to me.

  6. Ok, now I’ve got to go pick out the bind off on my Seriously Simple Shawl — and it’s ok, because I’ve been thinking about making it bigger (more repeats) for a while now! Thanks for the animation, that helps me “get it” visually.

  7. This looks like an amazing bind off for lace and I am just starting to enjoy knitting lace projects. Thank you so much for sharing!! I also love the new icons – so clear and easy to understand and I am assuming will be much easier to use them! Thank you for teaching me new knitting techniques! I am learning a lot from you!!

  8. Liat, you are such an inspiration! I’ve never even knit a lace shawl but I opened your email simply bc it was from you and I’m glad I did. I adore your icons, so cute and so clear. I love the way you share the info in different ways, text, video and animation.
    I read a comment further up about knitting needles…I used to have Signatures but had to sell them to pay some unexpected bills. I replaced them with Chiagoo Red ones and I actually prefer them!

  9. Thank you, Liat. I forgot to mention that I have a triple filter on my laptop. So your pictures come in real handy. When I need a video I go somewhere where I can watch it. Yours are my favorites.

  10. Going to use this on all my socks. I love comfy socks for my family. Also for gloves….is there anyplace this bioff wouldn’t be perfect for?
    You are a genius!! Love your instructions
    Thanks for posting them.

  11. Hello Liat,

    Thank you very much for this bind off!
    It will certainly come in handy when I will finally dare to pick up my lace shawl again.
    Started it 3x and ripped it as many, than gave up for a while…

    I took the liberty to pass on your message on a knitting forum, including the link to the video. I hope many more knitters will find their way to you!

    And I look forward to your e-book!
    Thanks again!

    1. AnneMarie, thank you so much for sharing a link to this blog on the forum – it’s so helpful to me! You can do it anytime you find something of value here on KnitFreedom. Thanks again!

  12. I am going to order a Signature circular needle size 5, stiletto. I plan on knitting something lacy
    This will be my first adventure in lace. What length cable do you recommend as my first.? I have many circular needles but want to try Signature.

  13. Thank you, Liat for the clear tutorial. I am going to start knitting a lacy shawl just so I can use this bind off method, LOL.

  14. Thank you so much for this information because sometime I don’t like the normal bind-off of my item. I hope I will be able to save this for future reference. You have helped me greatly!!

  15. For a top-down child’s sweater, how great for the ribbed cuff bind-off.
    Also, I’ll be using this bind-off on the ribbed neckline.
    As for your Icons, they should be standard-in-the-field (!)
    Thanks, Liat :)

  16. Wonderful….been knitting for years…and never liked the binding off that I knew…I’ve tried to change some of my techniques, but this is great….thanks

  17. Hi Liat,
    Your ideas and effort are much appreciated
    Could you let me know the pattern for the burgundy triangular shawl that is being held up in the picture above
    I have yet to try lace but am reading your tips avidly
    Cheers Anja

  18. This is just what I need for my current phase of knitting lace lace lace. And, wait for it,
    toe-up-lace-socks!! OMG–I am truly inspired now! Thank you so much!

  19. Thanks so much. I teach at my local yarn shop and like to offer new cast on and bind off techniques. I had not seen this one before. I will gladly try it. Just FYI, the JuJu’s Loop book out of England teaches a crochet bind off with one of their shawls, and it works really well also. You many know of it, but with crochet hook, and taking 3 or more stitches off at a time and then double crochet and off the left needle.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I learned a crochet bind-off and included it in the upcoming ebook, but it is different than the one that you describe. Can you give me specific instructions on how to do the bind-off you mention? I’d love to include it in the ebook, and it’s not too late.

  20. Thank you ever so much for all the wonderful tips. Never stop! It is such help for me teaching two of the granddaughters and two daughters wonderful solutions to common irritations.

  21. Thank you for that wonderful demonstration. Have been knitting for 66 years now and am learning so much from you. Never too old to learn :) Thank you

  22. I literally LOL when you talked about sacrificing a bunch of your lace projects in progress “believe me, they weren’t going anywhere”. I just giggled again when I wrote it. Your sense of humor and caring about our understanding is what brings me back time and again. Love the symbols and the size of the pics. VERY well done. What cast on would you use to go with this bind off? I struggle getting my lace cast-on edge to be stretchy enough. I’ve been using a larger needle for the standard long-tail cast-on for lace, but still seem to be too tight and I’m not a really tight knitter. Any thoughts?

    1. Hey Kendra!

      Love hearing from you. Have you tried the Chinese Waitress Cast-On? It’s a great stretchy cast-on. It’s not as fast as the Long-Tail Cast-On, but I think you will like it. I also have a bunch of other stretchy cast-ons in my Cast-Ons ebook — have you looked in there? If you don’t have it yet, it will be on sale to all buyers of the Bind-Offs ebook in March, if you want to wait.

      1. Yep, have the cast-ons e-book, but had in my head that the Chinese was for ribbing. I’ll try it for sure. THX!

        1. Hey, Kendra,

          Sorry, I didn’t realize this was the same lovely “Kendra” I’ve been corresponding with about the ebook for a while now! Please forgive me. I know who you are! :)

  23. Thank you for helping us all become superstars. Liat, you are so kind and helpful. I will get the ebook as soon as it is ready.

  24. I love your site. You pick topics that others do not even think of. You videos are so clear and easy to follow. I do not do lace, but I can see it used for finishing off a cowl neck. Thanks


  25. Thank you for taking the time to produce this very well-done lesson. I am not fond of doing lacework because it never comes out right, partly because of the finishing always looking so bad in comparison to the rest of the work. But now I am willing to try it again. YOU are AWESOME!

  26. Thank you so much Liat, I appreciate all the knowledge you share and you have helped me so much with my knitting.

    I’m making Color Affection, a garter stitch shawl and I was wondering if this bind off would suit that or if I would be better with something else?

    1. Hi Nuala,

      I looked at the Color Affection shawl pattern (gorgeous, btw), and I think a different bind-off would work better. In my upcoming ebook I teach a few bind-offs that are well-suited to Garter stitch, namely, the Icelandic Bind-Off and the EZ Sewn Bind-Off. If you can wait until March 8th to bind off, I think you will be happy with either of those choices.

      1. Thank you Liat! Yes I can definitely wait as I haven’t even cast on yet, am just at the playing around with colours stage (which is great fun!).

        I’m so looking forward to it as you teach so clearly and calmly and the video quality and shot clarity is better than anything else I’ve seen out there. Your voice is soothing and you make me smile – plus it’s reassuring when I see you correcting those little things that happen as you go along. It’s so helpful that you don’t edit those out. ‘Thanks to the confidence you inspire I’m starting to feel that I’m in charge of my knitting to the point that it no longer terrifies me to make a mistake and I feel there’s nothing I wouldn’t have a go at.

        I’ll also be interested in the lace ebook you mentioned as I’m planning to do a lace shawl at some stage.

  27. Wonderful tips – I always look forward to your emails! I’m just learning lace and didn’t know but one bind-off type so this is new and great information.

  28. Wonderful bind-off, so simple why did I not think of this. I have a tendensy to knit and crochet tight so this bind-off certainly helps with that. I love all the information I get from you for I learned to knit and crochet on my own, so appreciated, keep up the great work.

  29. You are so young to have so much helpful knitting knowledge. You are a delight to listen to and the new icons and your videos are so very clear. I was taught by my mother, 65+ years ago, a beautiful fast and neat knitter and she’s passed, so thank you for being my new teacher. I needed this bind off for my first simple lace scarf Christmas time and was disappointed with the bound off edge but my darling DIL loved it anyway. I’m working on my second one and now know how to bind it off attractively. Another oh so helpful idea, was the knots at the end of knitting swatches because I don’t remember what size needle I used and attaching post it notes to it didn’t work. Long winded, I know but I so very much appreciate your work and look forward to your emails. Thanks and old dogs CAN learn new tricks.

    1. Joan,

      I loved reading your comment! Thank you for sharing with me that your mother taught you to knit. What a precious gift she gave to you. I am so happy to be here for you to continue helping you learn and improve. Please let me know how this bind-off works for the lace scarf you are working on!

      And I remember the tip you mention – I’ll link to it here in case other readers want to check it out: How to Knit A Swatch in a Hurry

  30. YOU are WONDERFUL!!

    Thank-you – your generosity helps me SMILE!!
    YS! I LOVE the (not-so) frilly lace bind-off!
    the animated section is helpful
    (after I THOUGHT i GOT it!!)

  31. Is this similar to knit 2, cast of one and then put the remaining stitch from the right needle back onto the second needle and then knit 2 again and cast of regular and continue in this manner. I did this to my shawl and it is extremely stretchy.

      1. I think this is similar to a crochet bind off I use for socks. The stitches end up doing the same thing but I find the crochet method a lot faster. I’m wondering how you compare this bind off to the frilled standard.

        Also, I must say that your instructions are the best! So concise and clear. And when you make little errors and correct them, it shows that even experts make mistakes.

  32. There is one lace shawl designer who tells the knitter on each of her patterns exactly what bind off to use! And that is Dee O’Keefe, Designs by Dee.

    I just had to mention that because so many lace designers assume the knitter knows what is best for that design. It’s one of my pet peeves.

    Thank you for these tutorials! A real blessing!

  33. Angie (Sybina on Ravelry)


    There are less expensive needles but I am not sure of your budget. has an interchangeable set of circular needles (tips in sizes 4 through 11 PLUS 4 cables, 2 24″ and 2 32″) to attach the tips and make almost any needle size you would need IMHO) for only $50. I have not used straight needles unless that is what is best at the time…did one of those frilly mesh scarfs and my bamboo size 7s were Perfect.

    Thank you, again, Liat for making such wonderful videos and I am thrilled about your upcoming ebook! :)

    Angie in Las Vegas

    1. Hey Angie!! So good to hear from you! And of course you left a helpful tip for Diana. Thank you!

      You’re right – KnitPicks are a great choice. Perfect suggestion.

      Hugs to you!

  34. I love your descriptions. They are helpful, you have such a calm voice, you don’t chat all the time, just what is necessary, they are slowly enough to follow with my own work and I’m looking forward to your new bind off lessons. I’ll give your frilled bind off a chance with my next project and I’m sure it’ll be perfect like anything else you taught me with your videos. Thank you so much

      1. Thank you Gabi! Ooh, I’m so glad you like them!

        It means a lot to me that my instructions work just right for you to learn from. I keep this stuff in mind all the time when I film — I’m like, “Calm voice, check; helpful but not chatty, check; slow enough but not too slow, check!”

        So thanks for your feedback!

        1. Thanks for keeping us in mind. I like your list… check….. and then list and check. :) Your sound is what keeps me calm :)
          Can’t wait for this ebook to arrive.
          Can I share something from the book with my granddaughter or is that not going to work?
          Thank Liat…. love what you do for us. Louise

  35. Liat, you are my favourite knitting teacher! You always seem to come up with techniques just when I need them. Your videos are concise and clear and I love having you sit with me in my knitting corner whenever I want!

    I’m knitting the Kudzu shawl for a friend and I’m almost ready for the bind-off. So this video landed in my in-box at the perfect time. I’ll be trying this bind-off with this project.

    Looking forward to the new course :)

  36. Interesting bind off. Looks like it would work well with toe-up socks when you have a big calf and nothing ever seems stretchy enough.

    What do you think of the Interlocking Bind Off–a most boring name? It has become a go-to bind off for me. It also matches the German Twisted Cast On which makes it good for 2 ended projects like scarves.

    1. Tanya, thanks for this suggestion! I went and looked up the Interlock Bind-Off and my first thought was, “Hm, that looks complicated!”

      So of course my next thought was, “I should definitely do a tutorial on this one.” It looks like the perfect addition to my ebook. Thank you! I will do my best to fit it in before the course “goes to press.”

    2. Hey Tanya,

      I researched the Interlock Bind-Off and did some swatches, but I’m not a big fan. If I were going to do a sewn bind-off, I’d definitely do the Tubular bind-off or the Kitchener double-rib bind-off instead of the Interlock Bind-Off.

      Thank you for this suggestion, though!

  37. Liat, your research is wonderful! You must have had a great time researching the cast-ons and bind-offs. I’ve always been interested in the history and technique in knitting. I’m confident your books will become standard bibles for knitting. After all, technique is the foundation for all types of endeavors!

    1. Thank you Chris! I actually wrote a post, coming next week sometime, called “What I Learned From Knitting 200 Bind-Offs,” because I discovered a few things that were quite surprising.

      I would love it if my courses were to become the go-to resources for knitters. I’ll keep adding techniques to the site until it is!

  38. That is a wonderful looking bind-off. I am knitting a lace project right now and can’t wait to try this. It looks pretty easy and your video was very helpful. Thanks for the tip.

  39. Great Job!!! Love the new icons and you have answered my prayers with this bind off. I have knit a number of lace items and even doing a loose standard bind off has not been right. so now I can look forward to starting a new lace project when I know all that time and energy will result in a nice FINISHED edge.

    1. Hooray! You can try this bind-off on a little swatch of Feather-and-Fan lace to see how you like it. You could do half Frilled Standard Bind-Off and half Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, if you know it (that post is coming after the launch). Let me know how your experiment or next lace project comes out!

  40. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise, I will keep this bind off in mind when I finish a lace scarf which I am working on.

  41. We learn something every day – and today it’s this stretchy bind off. Thanks so much for all your work. Looking forward to the bind off ebook.

  42. I’m a beginner and without the internet I’d be lost. Out of all the “help” videos out there I prefer yours. You explain what you’re doing and you do it at a comfortable speed so it’s easy to follow. You also have the camera positioned perfectly and don’t disappear as some of them do. In the few months that I’ve been knitting, I’ve been able to complete several projects in anticipation of my grandchild-to-be. I love the knitting needles you use, but they’re a bit expensive if you need the whole set and I’m not sure at this point just how far I’m going to advance. Are there “similar” needles out there that are a bit less expensive?

    1. Hi Diana,

      Thanks for commenting and introducing yourself! I’m glad to meet you and delighted to know that my videos are at the right pace and camera angle for you. Every time I do a new round of videos my standards become more and more rigorous – hand drops out of the frame? Reject. Picture goes blurry? Reject.

      I agree, Signature Needles are extremely expensive! I usually get 1 pair every year for my birthday. Even I don’t have a full set. My favorite less-expensive straight needles for knitting are Lantern Moon needles. You can get them at your local yarn store or online. They feel great in the hands when you’re knitting.

  43. I find a loose bind-off is almost always inadequate. And I love Jeny’s Suprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off but find it too stretchy for many items, so I modified it and only do a yarnover every other stitch (or even every 3rd stitch if it’s still too stretchy). This makes for a stretchy bind-off without flaring or looking too loose. An “every other stitch” modification looks like this: k2, pso, yo, k1, pso, pso, *k1, pso, yo, k1, pso, pso, rep from * to end.

  44. I just finished a top-down cardigan and am NOT happy with all the curled edges. I had a feeling there was an answer and here it is… I look forward to more, and THANKS!

  45. Love the stretchy cast-ons…………….. now you are teaching me what I always wanted to know in regard to ” stretchy cast-offs” as well. Please let us know if this stretchy bind off can be used for more than just lace patterns. I’m curious.l
    Liat…. can’t wait for this new book. Thanks for all you do to inspire and make knitting lots of fun…. and at the same time, HELPING TO KEEP US HEALTHY. ;) :)

    1. Hi Louise, so glad you’re enjoying the stretchy cast-ons! I teach a lot of stretchy bind-offs in my upcoming course.

      This Frilled Standard Bind-Off is normally a decorative bind-off. You would use it to add a subtle frill to Stockinette-stitch fabrics. In the upcoming ebook, I teach two more “frilly” bind-offs if you want a more pronounced frill.

      If you want a bind-off (or 10) to do on ribbing, there are many choices that I teach in the upcoming course that leave an edge that blends in perfectly with the fabric.

      Thanks for keeping in touch with your comments and questions. I love it!

  46. Wow………….. just what I need. Love this idea of different bind-offs. Could this be used then binding off the top of socks…. :)

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