The Tubular Bind-Off is a stretchy, advanced bind-off for 1×1 rib that is totally invisible. The ribbed stitches continue over the top edge and onto the other side. Requires a tapestry needle.
Video: Tubular Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib
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As an added bonus, this bind-off matches the Tubular Cast-On.
I would consider either this or the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off “required reading” for advanced knitters.
- Sl 1 wyif.
- Repeat steps 2-3 to last st.
- P last st.
- Turn. Repeat once or 3x.
- Cut yarn, leaving 3x the width of sts to be bound off, + 6 in. for weaving in later.
- Gently slide needle out of sts.
- K sts will come forward, P sts go back.
- Place back sts on one needle, front sts on another needle.
- Bind off using Kitchener Stitch.
Follow the directions exactly when cutting your yarn. If you leave a longer tail than necessary “just to be safe,” the yarn will probably get in your way as you’re working the bind-off.
Tubular Bind-Off for 1x1 Rib - Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
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Animated GIF: Tubular Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib
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The premise of this technique is that you do a couple set-up rows, then separate the stitches onto 2 needles (easier than it sounds), and then bind them off invisibly with Kitchener Stitch.
If you don’t know Kitchener Stitch, it’s worth learning so that you can have this bind-off in your arsenal.
As far as speed goes, this is a sewn bind-off, which means that it is slow (pretty much all sewn bind-offs are slow). But I think that if you’re fast at Kitchener stitch you’ll find that this bind-off can be fast as well.
Another drawback is that this bind-off, like all sewn bind-offs, is painstaking to undo. If you need to undo the Kitchener-stitch portion of this bind-off, just backtrack slowly and check to make sure it looks right as you go.
A potential drawback to the Tubular Bind-Off is that if you are binding off a lot of stitches (probably on a circular needle), it may be cumbersome to take them all off and put them onto two separate needles before binding off.
If you decide to do it anyway but you don’t have two of the same-sized circular needles handy, don’t worry about that — you can slip the stitches onto smaller needles or even needles of two different sizes.
Options For This Bind-Off
You can do either a 2-row or a 4-row setup before you work the Kitchener stitch portion of this bind-off.
The 4-row setup will give a fuller, rounder look to the edge (and also match a Tubular Cast-On done with 4 setup rows).]
The bind-off pictured above used a 2-row setup (which seems sufficient to me).
If you are binding off in the round, you will need to work the setup rows in the round.
On the first round, slip the purl sts wyif, and on the second round, slip the knit sts wyib.
Warning: It’s important that you don't do the Kitchener stitch part of this bind-off too tight. That would really interfere with the stretchiness of this bind-off.