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“Become A Knitting Superstar” Premium Video Knitting Library > Bind-Offs

I Love Bind-Offs – Bind-Offs Course and Video Dictionary

     

Table of Contents

Bind-Offs For Beginners

Bind-Offs For Intermediate Knitters

Bind-Offs For Advanced Knitters

Bind-Offs All Knitters Might Want to Know

Bind-Off Tips and Tricks

Bind-Offs Extras


Bind-Offs by Name

[column width=”30%” padding=”3%”]Braided Rib
Cable for 1×1 Rib 
Cable for 2×2 Rib
Cable for Seed St
Contrasting Color
Crochet
Decrease
Double-Stitch
Edging
Elastic
EZ Sewn
Frilled Decrease
Frilled Standard
Gathered
Icelandic
[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”3%”]I-Cord
In Pattern
In-Pattern for Seed St
Japanese
Jeny’s Super-Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO)
JSSBO for 2×2 Rib
Kitchener Stitch
Kitchener Double-Rib
Kitchener for Garter St
K2tog
Latvian
Invisible Ribbed
One-Over-Two
Picot Chain
[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”3%”]Picot Hem
Picot Point 1
Picot Point 2
Ruffle
Russian Grafting
Sloped
Standard
Suspended Variation
Three-Needle
Three-Needle I-Cord
Two-Color
Tubular
Tulips Buttonhole
Without-Knitting
Yarnover
Zigzag

[/column][end_columns]


I Love Bind-Offs – Bind-Offs Course and Video Dictionary

My biggest takeaway from knitting over 200 bind-offs while researching this course was that, even with 15 years of knitting and teaching experience, I was unknowingly settling for bad bind-offs.

Bind-Off Trick: Neat Edge on Round Knitting (with arrow to show stitch)As I knitted and un-knitted and compared and tried and deconstructed and, most of all, kept an open mind, I discovered that there are easier and faster ways to make better, prettier, stretchier, and sturdier bind-offs than what you learn “on the street.”

Today, for every type of project I knit, I have a go-to bind-off that is more fun, more interesting, more functional, more invisible, prettier, faster, or in some way more representative of the absolute best of what the knitting world has to offer than what I had been using before.

So however you choose to use this course, keep an open mind and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Most of these bind-offs are like nothing you’ve seen before.


What Is A Bind-Off?

A bind-off or cast-off is what you do at the end of every project to get the knitting off your needles.

It is most often a horizontal chain of stitches going along the top of your knitting.

You’ll bind off any time that your pattern says “bind off” (BO). This is mostly at the end of your project, but it can be in the middle if your pattern has an unusual shape.

Sometimes the pattern will give you a specific bind-off to use. Sometimes it will only suggest a general category, for example, “Bind off using a stretchy bind-off.” Most patterns just say, “Bind off,” and some don’t even tell you that.

Whether or not your pattern gives you specific suggestions, it’s always up to you to choose the right bind-off so that your project comes out the way you like.


Using This Dictionary to Choose A Bind-Off

There are many different bind-offs out there (around 60 or so), but most knitters get by with one or two basics.

In my experience, adding a few more bind-offs to your repertoire can make your projects come out looking nicer and working better.

In choosing a bind-off, think about the fact that the ideal bind-off plays nicely with the knitted fabric that you’re binding off.

It stretches out, lays flat, bunches in, or flares out the same amount as the rest of your fabric, so that it makes an edge that fits perfectly.

The ideal bind-off will also be within your current knitting abilities OR within the desire, willingness, and time you have available to stretch those boundaries.

Because the bind-off you choose needs to work well with the fabric you’re knitting and what you want to do with it, the bind-off tutorials in this course are organized by either the kinds of fabric they are good for or their main characteristics.

For instance, stretchy and ribbed bind-offs are in one section because ribbing is stretchy and you need stretchy bind-offs for ribbed fabric.

Within the categories, the bind-offs are generally listed from easiest to hardest, with similar bind-offs near each other as often as possible so that you can compare them.


List of Matching Bind-Offs and Cast-Ons

Here are all the bind-offs in this course that have matching cast-ons (links go to videos in the Cast-Ons Dictionary)

Cast-On

Matching Bind-Off

Chain (Crochet) Cast-On Standard, Suspended Variation, DecreaseCrochet Bind-Offs
Chinese Waitress Cast-On 1-Stitch I-CordJeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off
Italian Tubular Cast-On Tubular Bind-Off
Italian Tubular Cast-On for 2×2 Rib Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off
I-Cord Cast-On I-Cord Bind-Off
Picot, Hemmed Edge Cast-Ons Picot, Hemmed Edge Bind-Offs
Picot Cast-On Picot Point Bind-Off #1
Judy’s Magic Cast-On Kitchener Stitch

Bind-Off Tips and Tricks

This tips in this section will be helpful when applied to any bind-off you do.

How to Neaten the Last Stitch of Your Bind-Off on Flat Knitting

You should be doing this easy bind-off trick at the end of every project. See the results for yourself below – I think you’ll agree.

This is a simple move to neaten the last stitch of your bind-off every time you finish a project.

It’s a little superstar trick that you do at the very end that will square up your edges, especially if your side stitches tend to get stretched-out.



How To Neaten The Last Stitch of Your Bind-Off: Flat Knitting

How To Neaten The Last Stitch of Your Bind-Off: Flat Knitting


Instructions

  1. Bind off all but last st. 1 st rem on L needle.
  2. Sl 1, find left side of loop beneath last st, pick up loop and place on R needle.
  3. Sl 2 loops back to L needle, k2tog, BO 1.
  4. Cut yarn, leaving 6″ tail.
  5. Pull tail through rem loop, pull tight to finish.

How to Neaten the Last Stitch of Your Bind-Off in the Round

Bind-Off Trick: Neat Edge on Round Knitting (with arrow to show stitch)This bind-off trick for knitting in the round totally changed by life. Make the last stitch invisible? It’s a no-brainer.

Every single time you’re binding off in the round, use this trick to make the join completely disappear.

No one will be able to tell where you started and where you stopped.



Neaten The Last Stitch Of Your Bind-Off In The Round - Bind-Off Trick

Neaten The Last Stitch Of Your Bind-Off In The Round – Bind-Off Trick


Instructions:

  1. Bind off all sts. 1 st rem on R needle.
  2. Pull the needle so the loop gets bigger – about 8″ long. Cut yarn at the top of the loop.
  3. Pull the ball of yarn so the working yarn comes out of the stitch.
  4. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle.
  5. Find the 1st bound-off stitch, insert tapestry needle under the 2 loops of the stitch and pull the yarn through.
  6. Find the center of the last bound-off stitch, poke the needle through and to the back. Pull yarn to tension.
  7. Weave in tail on the WS.

Count How Many Stitches You’ve Bound Off

To count how many stitches you’ve bound off, start from the right-hand edge of your work.

Working left, count the columns of stitches with no stitch above them on the needle, until you get to the one that has a stitch above it still on the needle. All the rest of the stitches have been bound off.

Tip: Don’t try to count the stitches while you are binding off. You might miss one.


How To Undo Your Bind-Off Stitches

If you don’t like the look of your bind-off, or if you did it too tight, you can always undo it.

Just work back, one stitch at a time, removing the bind-off and putting the stitch back on your needle.



How To Undo Bound-Off Stitches

How To Undo Bound-Off Stitches


Instructions

  1. Pull R needle out.
  2. Stabilize the stitch. Tug working yarn until stitch pops out.
  3. Insert L needle from front to back into closest st.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 across sts to be undone.

Bind-Offs Dictionary

Standard Bind-Offs

The bind-offs in this section work well for binding off Stockinette-stitch and Garter-stitch fabrics.

They are moderately to very stretchy and most of them are good for beginners. Beginning knitters should know the Standard Bind-Off with its font, top, and back variations.

My favorite bind-off in this section is the Standard Bind-Off because it’s good in almost every situation.

It’s also the building block for almost every other more-complicated bind-off.

I also really like the Elastic Bind-Off because it’s stretchy and not very difficult.

About edges rolling: most edges on Stockinette stitch will roll. You can block your work to prevent this.

Some bind-offs will roll no matter what (I’ll tell you if this is the case), and you should choose them knowing that. You can use the Standard Bind-Off top and back variations to prevent rolling, as well as the Braided Rib Bind-Off.


Standard Bind-Off

This is a beginner bind-off that is the basis for most of the bind-offs in this course.

This bind-off is moderately stretchy. It is good for Stockinette stitch fabric and you would it use when you’re just learning how to bind-off or any time you want a basic, no-fuss edge.

Even if you’re an immediate knitter, I suggest that you review the tips and the video for this bind-off, because you’ll learn the correct technique that you’ll need to apply to the other, more complex bind-offs.

This bind-off will roll if you use it on Stockinette stitch unless you block it.

This bind-off also has three variations.

Front Variation (Default): The chain of stitches appears along the front. To do it, knit every stitch.

Top Variation: The chain of stitches appears along the top, and is reversible. To do it, alternate between knitting and purling your stitches as you bind off.

Back Variation: The chain of stitches appears along the back. To do it, purl every stitch OR turn your work around and do the Front Variation on the WS of the work.

I would consider all three variations of this bind-off “required reading” for beginning knitters.

Practice getting this bind-off smooth and even, especially the part where you lift one stitch over the other and off the needle. If that’s hard for you to get right, practice it on a long swatch until the movement is smooth and even and the stitches are not too tight or too loose.

In this technique you will learn an abbreviation which will be used throughout the course: BO 1 means “bind-off 1” — pass the second stitch on the right-hand needle over the second stitch and off the right-hand needle.



Standard Bind-Off

Standard Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K1.
  2. K1.
  3. Insert L needle tip into 2nd st on R needle.
  4. BO 1 (pass 2st st over 1st st and off needle).
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 across.
  6. Cut yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail for weaving in later.
  7. Grab tail through rem loop, pull tail through and tighten.

Matching Cast-On: Chain Cast-On


Suspended Bind-Off (Variation)

This is a fast and easy bind-off that is based on the Standard Bind-Off and is a bit stretchier.

Its main benefit is that it can help your stitches come out more evenly if you have trouble getting a good, even tension on the Standard Bind-Off, especially if the difficulty you have is binding off too tight.

Even if you don’t have trouble with your tension, you should learn it because it uses a basic technique (the “suspended” bit) that is used on some more complex bind-offs, namely the Frilled Standard Bind-Off and the Frilled Decrease Bind-Off.

This is called the suspended bind-off variation because this is a variation on the Suspended Bind-Off. I’ve chosen to teach you the variation instead of the original because the variation comes out the same and it’s easier to do.



Suspended Variation Bind-Off

Suspended Variation Bind-Off


  1. K1.
  2. K1. Do not remove st from L needle.
  3. BO 1.
  4. Drop loop from L needle.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 across row.
  6. Cut yarn and pull through last stitch.

Matching Cast-On: Chain Cast-On


Decrease Bind-Off

This is an easy, medium speed bind-off. It’s about as stretchy as or a little stretchier than the Standard Bind-Off.

One benefit to this bind-off is that it might help you with your tension, because it’s one of the few bind-offs that doesn’t require you to lift one stitch over another other stitch.

I chose to put this bind-off in the course because it’s a nice building block for some of the more complicated bind-offs.



Decrease Bind-Off

Decrease Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K2togtbl.
  2. Move st from R needle back to L needle.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 across.
  4. Cut yarn and pull through last stitch.

Matching Cast-On: Chain Cast-On


Crochet Bind-Off

This is a medium-fast, medium difficulty bind-off.

I personally wouldn’t use this bind-off much, because I feel like the standard bind-off gives you the same results with a faster and easier technique, but I included it in this course because other books gave some valid reasons for trying it.

Cap Sease, the author of Cast On, Bind-Off, says that this bind-off is good for projects made with non-stretchy yarns like silk or cotton because it doesn’t require you to lift one stitch over another other stitch, and therefore it might be easier for you to control the stitch size.

She also says this bind-off works nicely if you are going to work a crochet border into the edge after you finish binding-off.

I recommend that if you do this bind-off you use a crochet hook that is one size smaller than called for on the yarn because this bind-off can tend to flare out a bit.



Crochet Bind-Off

Crochet Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Insert hook through 1st st as if to knit. Wrap yarn.
  2. Pull loop through st. St comes off needle.
  3. Insert hook through next st as if to knit. Wrap yarn.
  4. Pull loop through st. St comes off needle.
  5. Pull 1st st on hook through 2nd st.
  6. Snug yarn.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 across.
  8. Cut yarn and pull through last stitch.

Matching Cast-On: Chain Cast-On


Elastic Bind-Off

This is a fast bind-off which I really like.

It’s a good stretchy bind-off for beginners. To be more exact — it is very stretchy for binding off on Stockinette stitch, and moderately stretchy on ribbing.

It also looks decorative, which is unique and unusual for the standard bind-offs.

Keep in mind that the this will roll on Stockinette stitch. Just plan on that being a feature of the bind-off — maybe knit a couple extra rows before binding off to make up for the roll.

This bind-off would be nice on something like fingerless mitts, where the moderate stretch and decorative rolled look would work well.



Elastic Bind-Off

Elastic Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K1.
  2. K1.
  3. Insert L needle tip into 2 front loops of sts on R needle.
  4. Wrap the yarn and k the sts together.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 across.
  6. Cut yarn and pull through last stitch.

ICELANDIC BIND-OFF

This is a fantastic stretchy bind-off that even many advanced knitters have not heard of.

It’s one of the three stretchiest standard bind-offs (the other two being the Elastic Bind-Off and EZ Sewn Bind-Off).

It’s also amazing for Garter stitch (right).

Check out Bind-Offs for Garter Stitch to see how this bind-off compares to other good bind-offs for Garter stitch in my blog post Bind-Offs for Garter Stitch.

Be warned that this edge will roll if you do it on Stockinette stitch, so just make sure that that’s a feature that you want on your knitting.



Icelandic Bind-Off

Icelandic Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. With R needle, reach through 1st st purlwise.
  2. Catch front loop of 2nd st.
  3. Draw 2nd st through 1st st.
  4. Wrap your yarn to knit. Pull yarn through.
  5. Complete the K stitch.
  6. Move st back to L needle.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 across row.
  8. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Tips and Tricks

One thing to help you do this bind-off faster is to get into a rhythm. Don’t be afraid to stretch the stitches as you do them so that you can get into a rhythm and make sure that the bind-off comes out nice and even. If your tension varies a lot you’ll notice the bind-off won’t look as nice.


BRAIDED RIB BIND-OFF

This is a very easy bind-off.

It’s fast and firm and it does not roll, especially if you block it.

The thick braid gives it a simple but decorative look. It would be really nice on the edge of something like a potholder or a dishcloth where you don’t need a stretchy edge and you’d prefer the bind-off to lay flat.

To do this bind-off, you will need an extra strand of yarn that’s about three times the width of the stitches to be bound off.

You can use the yarn from the other end of the ball for this purpose if you want. All this bind-off is is basically a purled Standard Bind-Off using a double strand of yarn.



Braided Rib Bind-Off

Braided Rib Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Hold a second strand of yarn with your working yarn. Leave a 6-inch tail hanging down.
  2. P1.
  3. P1.
  4. BO 1.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 across.
  6. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

EZ Sewn Bind-Off

This is a very stretchy sewn bind-off that’s good for beginners.

This was famously Elizabeth Zimmerman’s favorite stretchy bind-off (which is what the “EZ” stands for)

It’s great on Garter stitch.

This bind-off is very stretchy but, importantly, bounces easily back into shape. Nobody likes a stretched-out bind-off.

When I tried it I was surprised at how easy it was. It really only has two movements so, as an introduction to sewn bind-offs, this one is great.

This bind-off does have the tendency to roll forward, which is fine as long as it doesn’t take you by surprise. It is also quite slow (which is the norm for sewn bind-offs of any kind).

A warning for you about sewn bind-offs and delicate yarn: Any time that you’re using a delicate yarn, you’ll want to be careful when doing a sewn bind-off because you are pulling on the yarn more than you would for a knitted bind-off.

If you are using a delicate, one-ply yarn like Noro or Malabrigo Worsted, it could break.

I don’t think that will happen in this case, because you’re not putting a lot of stress on the yarn in this bind-off, but it’s important to know.

Also be careful because, like all sewn bind-offs, this bind-off is difficult and time-consuming to undo. Basically you have to take your tapestry needle and go back the way you came, slowly retracing your steps and putting each stitch back on the needle.

Therefore, you may want to try this bind-off on a small swatch before you do it on a larger project, just to make sure you understand it before using it on hundreds of stitches.

Tip: Pull the yarn snug but not tight after each step.



(EZ) Sewn Bind-Off

(EZ) Sewn Bind-Off



Stretchy Bind-Offs/Bind-Offs for Ribbing

The main reason that you do ribbing (alternating knit and purl stitches) is to create a fabric that will stretch and then spring back into place.

The cuff of a mitten, the neck of a sweater, or the brim of a hat — all these things need to stretch over a body part and then snug back up when in place, and so are done with ribbing.

When you bind off on projects like these, the bind-off you choose needs to stretch equally well.

All the bind-offs in this section work great for ribbing, which means that they are all stretchy to varying degrees.

Some of them also look great with ribbing, some of them are totally invisible, and some of them work well for things other than ribbing also, but the main thing is that most of these bind-offs are really stretchy.

Many of the bind-offs in this section are reversible, just like ribbing itself.

In this section, I teach you the best bind-offs for 1×1 and 2×2 rib (note – just because a bind-off works well for 1×1 doesn’t mean it’s great for 2×2 rib, and vice versa), as well as general stretchy bind-offs that work for any combination of knits and purls.

My favorite bind-offs in this section are the In-Pattern Bind-Off because it’s a great bind-off for ribbing where you don’t need the ribbing to stretch, it’s low-profile, and it works really well, Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off because it truly is surprisingly stretchy and will always work well for ribbing, the Tubular Bind-Off because it’s the easiest invisible bind-off that I’ve found for 1×1 rib, and the Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off for an invisible 2×2 rib bind-off.


Visible-Edge Bind-Offs

The following bind-offs are stretchy but leave a visible edge on your ribbing.

In-Pattern Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib

This is a fast, easy bind-off that is minimally stretchy when used on ribbing.

It’s the same thing as the Standard Bind-Off “top” variation, done by alternating knit and purl stitches to make an edge that faces up.

I would consider it “required reading” for beginning knitters.

This bind-off a particularly good choice to use on a project like a 1×1-ribbed scarf where you want the scarf to lay flat but you don’t really need it to stretch.

Also, if you want to seam a piece of ribbing to another piece of ribbing, this would be a good bind-off to use before you seam the pieces up. This bind-off, like many bind-offs in this section, is reversible.

That’s because when you bind-off doing 1×1 rib, the chain of bound-off stitches lays flat along the top of the work, making this bind-off essentially double-sided.

You can do this bind-off on any fabric to make the edge lay flat.

Used on Stockinette stitch, this bind-off has more relative stretch than it does on ribbing.



In-Pattern Bind-Off for 1x1 Rib

In-Pattern Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib


Instructions

  • Work 1st stitch as it is: if it’s a K stitch, knit it; if it’s a purl stitch, purl it. This is called “working even.”
  • Work next st even.
  • BO 1.
  • Repeat steps 2-5 across.
  • Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO)

This is an intermediate bind-off for ribbing that is super stretchy.

It is not blazingly fast, but it’s faster than most of the other stretchy bind-offs out there.

Lots of patterns suggest that you use this bind-off, and I agree. I would consider this bind-off “required reading” for intermediate-level knitters.

This bind-off, also called JSSBO, is a heavy-duty bind-off that stretches out — yes — surprisingly far, and then, accordion-like, springs back into shape.

It does this feat better than many other stretchy bind-offs, which either flare when un-stretched or stay stretched out once stretched (and nobody wants that).

JSSBO would work well for the ribbing at the bottom of a top-down sweater or at the brim of a top-down hat — anywhere you want the bind-off to not look stretched-out.

This bind-off is also a great choice for binding off lace projects.

This bind-off was invented by Jeny Staiman and published in Knitty in Fall 2009.

Related Bind-Offs: Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib



Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off

Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. 1st st is a K st: Backwards YO.
  2. K1.
  3. BO 1.
  4. Next st is a P: YO.
  5. P1.
  6. BO 1 twice.
  7. Next st is a K: Backwards YO
  8. K1.
  9. BO 1 twice.
  10. Rep. steps 4-9
  11. Cut tail and pull through last loop

Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib

The first bind-off I adapted for 2×2 rib was Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off. As predicted for this versatile bind-off, it worked great.

This bind-off is very stretchy, with moderate-to-high bounce back, which means it won’t stay stretched out but rather it will bounce back into shape nicely. This bind-off is bulky, especially on 2×2 rib.

It leaves a pronounced edge with a chain of stitches zigzagging along the top.

Because it is derived from Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib, if you’ve already learned that bind-off, this one should be really easy. You just repeat each move for either the knit stitch or the purl stitch one more time in order to do two knit stitches and two purl stitches.

This means that, by extrapolation, you can also do this bind-off for 1×3 rib, or 3×1 rib, or any combination of knit-and-purl ribbing.



Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for 2x2 Rib

Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib


Instructions

  1. K1.
  2. Backwards YO.
  3. K1.
  4. BO 1 twice.
  5. Regular YO.
  6. P1.
  7. BO 1 twice.
  8. Backwards YO.
  9. K1.
  10. BO 1 twice.
  11. Rep steps 5-10 across row.
  12. Cut tail and pull through rem. loop.

Yarnover Bind-Off

This is an intermediate bind-off that is super stretchy.

Here’s how it works: After every two stitches that you’re binding off you add one stitch — a yarnover — and then bind it off, the theory being that when you add more stitches to your bind-off it becomes stretchier. You can even add the yarnover in between every single stitch.

I personally don’t like this bind-off. I think that it’s hard to make it look even and I find that it’s not as stretchy or accordion-like as Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off — in fact, it can make the bind-off edge flare out a little bit.

Sometimes you can use the “flare” to your advantage, for instance, when your knitting has a scalloped edge, like Feather-and-Fan (Old Shale) lace. However, I’ve found other bind-offs that do this even better (see my blog post on Bind-Offs for Lace).

The reason I included this bind-off in the course is because it’s possible that your pattern will call for it and you may want to know how to do it.

I would recommend trying Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off if your pattern calls for the Yarnover Bind-Off because I can’t think of a situation in which you would need to use this one and not Jeny’s.



Yarnover Bind-Off

Yarnover Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K1
  2. YO
  3. P1
  4. BO 1 twice
  5. K1
  6. BO 1
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 across.

Tips and Tricks

You can add a yarnover in between the knit stitches as well. This will make the edge more stretchy and also more flared. You can actually add as many or as few yarnovers as you wish as a way to control the width of the bind-off as you go.


Latvian Bind-Off

This is an intermediate sewn bind-off that is the stretchiest of all the sewn bind-offs.

Not only is it very stretchy, it also springs back into place nicely.

It also looks similar to the Long-Tail Cast-On when viewed from the right side, and the Old Norwegian Cast-On when viewed from the wrong side.

I chose to include this bind-off because it is really pretty as well as being very stretchy.

Most of the ribbed bind-offs are kind of utilitarian so I wanted to give you a more decorative option.

In fact, this bind-off is also gorgeous on Garter stitch.

The Latvian bind-off is the least sturdy of all the stretchy bind-offs. Don’t expect this bind-off to hold up the cuff of your sock — if you decide to use it to bind-off toe-up socks, make sure you do enough rows of ribbing so that the ribbing does that job.

For this bind-off, unlike other sewn bind-offs, when you cut your tail, you don’t need to leave an extra 6 inches for weaving in. You just need to cut three times the width of your stitches to be bound off.

Tip: Pull the yarn tighter after each stitch than you would for other sewn bind-offs because this bind-off is very stretchy and can tend to be loose.



Latvian Bind-Off

Latvian Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Cut yarn, leaving 3x the width of the sts to be bound off. No extra tail needed.
  2. With the tail threaded onto a tapestry needle, go purlwise into the 1st st.
  3. Pull yarn tight.
  4. Push st off needle.
  5. Go knitwise into the 2nd st.
  6. Pull yarn through.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 to last st.
  8. Go knitwise into last st.
  9. Pull yarn through.

Invisible-Edge Bind-Offs

The bind-offs in this section blend seamlessly into ribbing. They are stretchy, sturdy, and worth the effort.

Tubular Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib

This is a stretchy, advanced bind-off that is totally invisible: the stitches in the ribbing continue over the top edge and onto the other side.

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.

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.



Tubular Bind-Off

Tubular Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K1.
  2. Sl 1 wyif.
  3. K1.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 to last st.
  5. P last st.
  6. Turn. Repeat once or 3x.
  7. Cut yarn, leaving 3x the width of sts to be bound off, + 6 in. for weaving in later.
  8. Gently slide needle out of sts.
  9. K sts will come forward, P sts go back.
  10. Place back sts on one needle, front sts on another needle.
  11. Bind off using Kitchener Stitch.

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.

Tip: 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.

Matching Cast-On: Tubular Cast-On


Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib

This is an invisible sewn bind-off that I would consider “required reading” for advanced knitters.

This bind-off is stretchier than the Tubular Bind-Off, so if you’re binding off the cuff of a sock and you have a big foot that you need your bind-off to stretch over, this is the bind-off that I would recommend.

If you already know Kitchener Stitch, you’ll have a good foundation for this bind-off. However, it’s not a prerequisite.

Speaking of which, there are no prerequisites in this course – you can jump in wherever you want as long as you can knit and purl and you have an adventurous attitude.

The main thing to keep in mind as you learn the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off is to take a deep breath, go slow, and KNOW you can do it.

Don’t expect yourself to memorize all the moves right away. It will help you to think of the bind-off as consisting of only 2 basic movements.

Make a swatch of at least 30 stitches so that you can really practice this. As you go, repeat the mantra “knit-off purl, purl-off knit,” “knit-off purl, purl-off knit” in your head as you do these movements, and you will never forget what to do.

Make sure you watch your tension on this bind-off. Give the bound-off edge a tug every so often as you go to get a feel for how you are doing.

The nice thing about this bind-off is that you can “make up for” bad tension – if you do a few stitches too tight, you can do the next few a little loose, and things will sort of even out.

Tip: 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.

Warning: If you’re using a delicate yarn like any single-ply yarn like Noro (which has a tendency to break anyway) or even Malabrigo Worsted, be careful on this bind-off. Don’t work very many stitches before you pull your yarn tight or it might break. Just do one move and then tighten your yarn, and you’ll avoid that problem.

This bind-off, like all sewn bind-offs, is painstaking to undo. If you need to undo this bind-off, just backtrack slowly and check to make sure it looks right as you go.

This is a pretty advanced bind-off so pat yourself on the back if you give it a try — whether or not you succeed at first. Well done!



Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off

Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off


Download an illustrated guide to the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off here.

Instructions

  1. Cut yarn, leaving 3x the width of the sts to be bound off, + 6 in. for weaving in later.
  2. Thread yarn onto tapestry needle.
  3. With tapestry needle, go purlwise into 1st st.
  4. Pull yarn through (snug, not tight).
  5. From the back, come out between the 1st and 2nd sts.
  6. Angle the needle to go knitwise into 2nd st, pull yarn through.
  7. Go knitwise into 1st st, pull yarn through.
  8. Push st off needle.
  9. Go purlwise into 2nd st.
  10. Pull yarn through.
  11. Go purlwise into 1st st.
  12. Pull yarn through.
  13. From behind, go knitwise into 2nd st.
  14. Pull yarn through, push st off needle.
  15. Repeat steps 7-14 to last 2 sts.
  16. Go knitwise into next st. Pull yarn through, push st off.
  17. Go purlwise into next st. Pull yarn through, push st off.

Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off (2×2 Rib)

If you want a 2×2 ribbed bind-off that’s stretchy and truly invisible, look no farther than the Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off.

The bind-off stitches blend into the 2×2 ribbing perfectly, making it look like the edge is hemmed.

The trick to this bind off (and it’s only a little scary) is to take the stitches off the needle and slide them onto two needles – one needle into the knits (which will naturally come forward) and one needle into the purls (which naturally recede).

Then all that remains is to bind off the stitches with Kitchener Stitch (which I show you in this tutorial as well as in its own place in this course).

Take it from me that this technique is about 100 times easier than the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib.



Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off

Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Cut yarn, leaving 3x the width of sts to be bound off, +6 in. for weaving in later.
  2. Slide needle out of stitches.
  3. K sts come forward, P sts go back.
  4. Slide 1 needle into the P sts and the other into the K sts.
  5. Make sure you have the same # of sts on both needles.
  6. Thread yarn onto a tapestry needle.
  7. With tapestry needle, go purlwise into 1st st on front needle.
  8. Pull yarn through (snug, not tight).
  9. Go knitwise into 1st st on back needle.
  10. Pull yarn through. 
  11. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle.
  12. Pull yarn through, push st off needle.
  13. Go purlwise into 1st st on front needle.
  14. Pull yarn through.
  15. Go purlwise into 1st st on back needle.
  16. Pull yarn through, push st off needle.
  17. Go knitwise into 1st st on back needle.
  18. Pull yarn through.
  19. Repeat steps 11-18 to last 2 sts.
  20. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle, remove st.
  21. Go purlwise into 1st st on back needle, remove st.
  22. Pull yarn through.
  23. Weave tail down edge.

Non-Stretchy Bind-Offs for Ribbing

Cable Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib

This is an intermediate, medium speed bind-off that is not very stretchy, but which is lovely for other reasons.

The special thing about this bind-off is that it is half-invisible, half-decorative. The columns of knit and purl stitches in the ribbing blend into the right side of the bind-off row in an attractive way that is sort of a cross between an invisible bind-off and a decorative bind-off.

It’s much faster and easier than any of the invisible ribbed bind-offs, however it is not as stretchy as either of them so you might only want to do it on something that doesn’t need to stretch a whole lot.

As is true for most middle-of-the-road bind-offs, the best way to find out if this one is stretchy enough for your project is to knit a swatch for yourself and see.



Cable Bind-Off for Ribbing

Cable Bind-Off for Ribbing


Instructions

  1. 1st st is a K
  2. K1
  3. Move yarn to front
  4. Move st from R needle to L needle
  5. P2tog
  6. Move yarn to back
  7. Move st from R needle to L needle
  8. K2tog
  9. Repeat steps 3-8 across.
  10. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Tips and Tricks

It’s easy to remember how to do this bind-off if you keep the following rule in mind (my shorthand will make sense once you try the bind-off): K2togs go with knits and p2togs go with purls.

In more detail, that means: When you have a knit stitch in front of you, move the yarn to the back, move the stitch to the L needle, and do a k2tog. When you have a purl stitch in front of you, move the yarn to the front, move the stitch to the L needle, and do a p2tog.

With this tip in mind, you can do the Cable Bind-Off on ribbing that has any combination of knit and purl stitches.

Tip #2: Stretch the stitch to make it easier to pass it stitch back to the left-hand needle. Pull down the fabric under the stitch as you go to pass it over. This will stretch the stitch and make it easier to get the left-hand needle-tip into it.


Cable Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib

This is a quasi-invisible ribbed bind-off with a firm edge that is not very stretchy.

While not truly invisible, the bind-off edge blends in with the ribbing nicely.

Based on the Cable Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib, this 2×2 rib adaptation calls for you to do each movement twice.



Cable Bind-Off for 2x2 Rib

Cable Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib


Instructions

  1. K1
  2. Move st back to L needle
  3. K2tog
  4. Move yarn to front
  5. Move st back to L needle
  6. P2tog (work steps 5-6 twice)
  7. Move yarn to back
  8. Move st back to L needle
  9. K2tog (work steps 8-9 twice)
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 across row.
  11. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Decorative Bind-Offs

This section contains bind-offs that serve not only to finish your knitting but also to look pretty. They mostly have interesting, unusual edges — some are ruffled, some have picots (which are little points), some have patterned edges, etc.

Luckily, a lot of the decorative bind-offs are also stretchy, which means they would work fine as functional edges, for example, on the cuffs of toe-up socks or on button bands, neckbands, or headbands.

They would definitely work on the edges of non-garment items like bags, coasters, potholders, dishcloths, and tea cozies (ruffle, anyone?).

My favorite bind-offs in this section are the Knit 2 Together Bind-Off, because it’s dead easy and really pretty, the Picot/Purled Hemmed Edge Bind-Off, because I invented it myself (as a bind-off) and it gives you the perfect way to get a hemmed edge on toe-up socks, the Frilled Standard Bind-Off, because it’s the best bind-off for lace projects ever, and the Ruffle Bind-Off, because it makes a huge ruffle and is also really easy.

Keep in mind: the decorative bind-offs in this section aren’t the only interesting or pretty bind-offs you can use. The Latvian Bind-Off, Icelandic Bind-Off; the Cable Bind-Offs for 1×1 Rib, 2×2 Rib, and Seed Stitch; as well as all three Two-Color Bind-Offs, while not as decorative as the ones in this section, are all pretty and have interesting edges, and they are also relatively easy and fast to work.

The decorative bind-offs in this course are just the beginning when it comes to fun edges on knitting. Check out Knitting on the Edge by Nicki Epstein for tons more edges and borders. Her books are an important part of my library and I really recommend them.


Knit 2 Together Bind-Off

This is a great decorative bind-off for beginners.

This bind-off is not stretchy, so don’t use it for anything like a mitten, hat, or sock cuff that you need to stretch over a body part to wear it.

It would be great for the edge of anything that is intended to lay flat, like a dishcloth, coaster, or potholder.



Knit 2 Together Bind-Off

Knit 2 Together Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K2tog.
  2. Move st back to L needle.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 across row.
  4. Cut yarn and pull through last st. That’s really all there is!

I-Cord Bind-Off

This is a great intermediate bind-off that puts a round decorative column along the edge of your stitches to be bound off.

The nice thing about this bind-off is that not only is it decorative, it’s also pretty stretchy.

It does sort of help to know how to make an I-cord, but you don’t really need to because I explain it all to you in the tutorial below.

Options: You can work this bind-off in a contrasting color. In order to do that, just work the last row before the bind-off (the WS row) in the contrasting color and then do the bind-off in the contrasting color.

You can also make the I-cord as thick or thin as you want, and I include instructions below on how to do so.

One reason to make a thinner I-cord is to create a matching bind-off for the popular Chinese Waitress Cast-On. A 1-stitch I-cord bind-off is not a perfect match but it does match a lot of the characteristics.

A 3-stitch I-cord is shown in this tutorial.



I-Cord Bind Off

I-Cord Bind Off


Instructions

For a thinner or thicker I-cord, cast on more or fewer stitches. Instructions below the graphic — just substitute the # of sts you want for the “x” in the instructions.

  1. K1. Do not drop st off L needle.
  2. Place new st back on L needle, moving front loop to back. Repeat steps 2-3 three times.
  3. K1 twice.
  4. K2togtbl.
  5. Pass st from R to L needle three times. Working yarn is 3 sts down on the needle.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 across.
  7. BO last 3 sts using the Standard Bind-Off.

Edging Bind-Off

The edging bind-off is an easy way to add a lace, cable, or decorative border pattern to the edge of your work while simultaneously binding off your knitting.

I really suggest that you try it because it’s not as hard as you think.

If you have a shawl-collared or a kimono-style sweater and you want to add a five-stitch lace pattern to it the edge, this is a very easy way to do so without knitting a strip of lace and then sewing it onto the edge (which would be slow and also bulky where you had to seam it).

This is the technique used to add the beautiful leaf border to the popular Cedar Leaf Shawlette.

The way that this bind-off works is that you choose an edging pattern from a lace, cable, or stitch-pattern resource, like one of Barbara Walker’s Treasuries of Knitting Patterns.

You then cast on the number of stitches required for the edge pattern and work the first row of the pattern. When you get to the edge where the border stitches meet the work to be bound off, you either p2tog or k2tog across the gap and then turn and work back across the edge.



Edging Bind-Off

Edging Bind-Off


Instructions

To do this bind-off with any edge you desire, cast on the # of sts in your edge pattern in place of the 4 sts shown in the instructions below.

  1. Setup: CO 4 with Knitted Cast-On.
  2. K1. Do not drop st off L needle.
  3. Place new st back on L needle. Repeat steps 2-3 for as many sts as you need for your pattern.
  4. Work next RS row of your edge pattern across sts.
  5. K2tog tbl.
  6. Turn.
  7. Sl 1.
  8. P across.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 across.
  10. BO using the Standard Bind-Off.

Tips and Tricks

You can choose to p2tog across the gap if it makes more sense for your pattern. P2tog across the gap to let the “seam” recede invisibly into the background, like for the cable edging in the photo. K2tog across the gap if you want a visible chain of stitches showing on the RS between the knitted work and the patterned edge.

Tip #2: Instead of turning and working across the wrong side of the edging, I recommend that you try purling backwards. That makes this bind-off go even faster, as I demonstrate in the video.


Picot and Purled Hemmed Edge Bind-Offs

This is an advanced bind-off that I adapted myself by taking the Picot/Purled Hemmed Edge Cast-On and turning it into a bind-off.

To do it, fold your work at a line of purl bumps or simple lace and bind off the edge to the inside of your knitting.

This makes a perfectly flat, hemmed edge that can be fancy or neutral, depending on which variation you choose.

This is a perfect bind-off for toe-up socks where you don’t want to do ribbing, because it’s stretchy and sturdy and the edge doesn’t roll.

I really recommend that you try this technique. It’s a beautiful bind-off and you’re going to be very proud of yourself once you finish it.



Picot/Purled Hemmed Edge Bind-Off

Picot/Purled Hemmed Edge Bind-Off


Instructions

To set up this bind-off:

  1. Work 6 rows in St st.
  2. Put a marker into one of the sts in the 1st row when you do it so it’s easy to count your rows later.
  3. Next row (RS):
    • For the picot edge: (K2tog, yo) across.
    • For the purled edge: P across.
  4. Work next 5 rows in St st. turn.

To work this bind-off:

  1. Count how many rows you’ve done after your picot or purl row. The circled stitch is row #1.
  2. Fold your work at the picot/purl row.
  3. Find the purl bump directly below the stitch on your needle, right where your needle falls when the fabric folds evenly. Grab it with your R needle tip.
  4. Place the loop on your L needle.
  5. K2tog. This is what I call “hemming” 1 stitch.
  6. Hem next st.
  7. K 2 sts on R needle together.
  8. Repeat steps 6-7 across.

Tips and Tricks

The trickiest part of this bind-off is finding the right purl bump on the WS to slip onto your needle to hem the edge. Just look at the picture below and watch the video and I’ll show you exactly how to know that you’re getting the right purl bump.

D4 - Picot-Hemmed (tips)_02

If you’re not getting the right purl bump, the edge will bias a little bit and it won’t lay perfectly flat — you’ll know you got it wrong and you can undo it and try again.

When the work lays perfectly flat after it’s been folded and tacked down you’ll know that you’re picking the exact right purl bumps to go into.

At right: This is the next purl bump to grab.

Tip #2: Make sure that you knit plenty of rows before and after the picot/purl row before binding off, because if you skimp, the edge is going to flare out instead of laying flat, and it will look weird. Nobody wants that.

I recommend knitting 11 rows before and 10 rows after you do the picot/purl row before folding your work and binding off. I’ve given you the minimum (6 and 5 rows) in the instructions above.


Frilled Standard Bind-Off

This is an intermediate, medium-speed bind-off that I highly recommend you learn, mostly because it’s great for binding off on lace projects — as a frilly bind-off it’s actually not very frilly at all.

It does increase the number of stitches that are in the bind-off, which makes the edge wider (thus making it flare out a little bit – hence, the “frill”).

If you’re using it on something where the edge will be stretched, the bind-off won’t frill but it will still look gorgeous. I recommend that you use this bind-off on any and all lace projects that you’ll be blocking.

At right you can see a photo of how this bind-off looks on a lace project: The Frilled Standard Bind-Off on a Feather-and-Fan lace swatch.

To see how this bind-off compares to other recommended bind-offs for lace, see my blog post Bind-Offs for Lace.

This bind-off gets its name from the Standard Bind-Off, to which an extra movement (which you might recognize from the Suspended Variation Bind-Off)is added.

To get the full effect on this and any frilled or ruffled bind-off, you’ll need to block this it: get it wet, squeeze the water out, and shape the edge with your fingers to make it into a frill.



Frilled Standard Bind-Off

Frilled Standard Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K1.
  2. K1 but don’t drop the st off the L needle.
  3. BO 1. Original loop remains on L needle.
  4. K into the loop that’s still on the L needle.
  5. BO 1.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 across.

Frilled Decrease Bind-Off

This is a medium-speed frilled bind-off that I see as advanced because it has a lot of steps to remember.

This is similar to the Frilled Standard Bind-Off only it’s noticeably more frilly.

This would be a good bind-off for the top of little girl’s sock, baby booties… anything where you want a little decorative frill.

It’s also very stretchy — this is an increase bind-off, which means that the increased number of stitches along the edge gives it added width and stretch.

This bind-off gets its name from the Decrease Bind-Off, to which an extra movement (which you might recognize from the Suspended Variation Bind-Off)is added.

To get the full effect on this and any frilled or ruffled bind-off, you’ll need to block this it: get it wet, squeeze the water out, and shape the edge with your fingers to make it into a frill.



Frilled Decrease Bind-Off

Frilled Decrease Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K1.
  2. K1. Do not drop st off L needle.
  3. Insert L needle tip into 2 front loops on R needle.
  4. K sts together.
  5. Move st back to L needle.
  6. K2tog tbl.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 across.
  8. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Ruffle Bind-Off

This is an intermediate bind-off that is will make a nice, big, girly ruffle, be it at the top of a toe-up baby sock, on the button band of a kimono-style sweater, or at the bottom or top of a girls’ skirt.

The trick to this bind-off isn’t so much in the actual binding-off itself, but in the setups rows that precede the bind-off.

How it works: On the RS row before you want to create the ruffle, you increase drastically across the row (which, by the way, means you’re going to want to use some very pointy knitting needles).

Then you knit a few rows in St st and these rows, being crowded because you’ve increased the number of stitches so much, kind of fold back on each other — that’s what makes the ruffle.

The reason this is considered slow is because of the time it takes to knit the 5 rows in St st before you actually bind off.

This is a bind-off you absolutely must block and shape by hand to make it as ruffled as possible. Get it wet, squeeze the water out, lay it out on a towel, and then use your fingers to pull, widen, and shape each ruffle while the yarn is damp.



Ruffle Bind - Off

Ruffle Bind – Off


Instructions

  1. K1. Do not drop st off L needle.
  2. K1 tbl. Do not drop st off L needle.
  3. K1. St comes off L needle.
  4. K1. Do not drop st off L needle.
  5. K1 tbl. St comes off L needle.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 across.
  7. You have 2.5 times the # of sts you started with. Turn.
  8. Start purling across WS.
  9. Tip: place a marker around a st in the row after you purl it. This will help you keep track later.
  10. Do a total of 5 rows of St st.
  11. 5 rows finished. The marker marks row #1. The row on the needle always counts.
  12. BO using the Frilled Standard Bind-Off or any stretchy bind-off.

Tips and Tricks

Just a simple tip: when you are doing the increase steps, the stitches will get cramped up on your needle. Make sure to push the stitches down to the barrel of the needle every so often so they don’t get jammed up at the tip.


Picot Point Bind-Off #1

This is an intermediate bind-off that makes little picots along the top of your knitting.

You can make the picot points however high you want. In tutorial I show you a 2-stitch picot bind-off, with added instructions for making the bind-off pointier.

I don’t love this bind-off because I don’t like how long it takes, but if you want to add a little points that don’t frill this one might be a good choice.

Similar bind-offs to this one are the Picot Point Bind-Off #2 and the Picot Hemmed Edge Bind-Off, which both have smaller picots.



Picot Point Bind-Off #1

Picot Point Bind-Off #1


Instructions

  1. Setup: CO 2 sts on L needle with Knitted Cast-On.
  2. K1. Do not drop st off L needle.
  3. Place new st back on L needle. Work steps 1-2 twice.
  4. K1 tbl twice.
  5. BO 1.
  6. K1.
  7. BO 1. Work steps 5-6 three times.
  8. Move st back to L needle.
  9. Repeat steps 1-7 across.
  10. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

To make a pointier or less-pointy picot, substitute the number of stitches you want in your picot for the “x” in the instructions below. In the graphic above, x=2.


Picot Point Bind-Off #2

This is an intermediate-to-advanced bind-off that’s done on the wrong side of the work.

It takes a while to do and it results in very small delicate picots.

I chose to include this bind-off out of the many picot bind-offs that are out there because these picots are very small and sweet.

This bind-off does tend to flare out and roll forward a bit because of all the picots sitting next to each other.

Blocking the edge will help a little. Soak it in water, squeeze the water out, and lay the bind-off flat. Take your fingers and shape the little picot points so that they lay next to each other as flat as possible.



Picot Point Bind-Off #2

Picot Point Bind-Off #2


Instructions

Note: Do this bind-off with the WS facing you.

  1. With WS facing, K1. Do not drop st off L needle.
  2. Place new st back on L needle. Work steps 3-4 twice.
  3. On L needle, lift 2nd st over 1st st and off needle, twice.
  4. Sl 1.
  5. K1.
  6. BO 1.
  7. Move st back to L needle.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 across.
  9. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Seaming Bind-Offs

The bind-offs in this section all have one thing in common: they are used to join two live pieces of knitting and bind them off at the same time.

These bind-offs don’t work to seam up pieces of knitting that are already bound off — you would use a regular seaming technique like Mattress Stitch for that.

Some of these bind-offs are easy and some are challenging.

I’ve listed the bind-offs here basically in order from easiest to most challenging, so if you want to seam something up and you don’t want it to be hard, start at the beginning of this list.

When you’re looking at the icons and the descriptions for the different bind-offs in this section, keep in mind that all seaming bind-offs are a little bit more challenging than their non-seaming counterparts.

The speed and difficulty ratings are relative, so if I say that it’s a beginner bind-off, it means compared to other seaming bind-offs.

Please don’t shy away from learning these bind-offs. They’re always in your ability level.

If you are a little bit nervous, just look for the ones that say beginner or intermediate.

If you neglect to learn any of the seaming bind-offs, you’ll miss out on being able to do cool patterns that require these techniques.

So step up to the challenge — I believe in you and I know you can do it. Even the hardest ones in here (probably the Three-Needle I-Cord Bind-Off or Kitchener Stitch) are within your reach.

You can do both of them, because I guide you through every single step of the way.

My favorite bind-offs in this section are Russian Grafting because it’s so fast and Kitchener Stitch, because once you master it, all the invisible bind-offs are easy.


Russian Grafting

This is a fast seaming bind-off that’s good for beginners.

It has a visible zigzag seam that lays flush with the knitting. It is one of the few nearly-invisible seaming bind-offs that is not sewn (the other being the Three-Needle Bind-Off ).

This bind-off would work fine for the toe of a sock or anywhere that a sturdy, flat seam is wanted.

You’ll be using a crochet hook to do this bind-off which makes it go really fast. Use a crochet hook that is the same size as your needles, not smaller. This will make the bind-off more even

You’ll need to transfer the working yarn to the other end of your needles before you start this bind-off, which I will show you how to do.

The trick here, as with most of the seaming bind-offs, is to get comfortable managing stitches on not one but two needles, and pushing the stitches to the tips of the needles without stretching them.

Pointy needles can be a bit painful in this case – you may want to use traditional needles like the Addi Turbos I use in the tutorial here.



Russian Grafting

Russian Grafting


Instructions

  1. Your working yarn is at the needle tips. Transfer it to the other end of the needle as follows:
  2. Pull back needle out.
  3. Turn back needle to face front needle. Sl 1.
  4. Slip all sts on front needle.
  5. Turn. Working yarn is at other end of sts.
  6. Use a crochet hook the same size as is called for on your yarn label.
  7. With crochet hook, go knitwise into 1st st on back needle.
  8. Slip st onto crochet hook and off needle.
  9. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle.
  10. Slip st onto crochet hook and off needle.
  11. Pull 1st st through 2nd st on hook.
  12. Go knitwise into 1st st on back needle, place st on hook.
  13. Pull 1st st through 2nd st on hook.
  14. Repeat steps 9-13 across.
  15. 1 st on hook. Cut yarn, wrap yarn around hook.
  16. Pull tail through rem st on hook.
  17. Thread yarn onto a tapestry needle.
  18. Poke needle down side sts and pull through.

Japanese Bind-Off

This is a medium-speed seaming bind-off that leaves a visible ridged seam. It uses three needles.

While working with three needles can be challenging, the Japanese Bind-Off is the easiest of the three-needle bind-offs and a good place for you to start.

The stretchiness of this bind-off depends upon which technique you use to finish it.

There are two pieces to this bind-off: Join the two pieces of knitting into one, and bin off those stitches. If you use a stretchy bind-off to do the second part, the whole bind-off will be stretchy and if you don’t, it won’t.



Japanese Bind-Off

Japanese Bind-Off


Instructions

  • Use a third needle in your R hand, the same size as or 1 size smaller than the other two.
  • Go knitwise through 1st st on front needle.
  • Grab front loop of 1st st on back needle purlwise, slip st onto needle.
  • Pull back st through front st. Remove st from front needle.
  • Repeat steps 2-4 across.
  • Turn work. Working yarn will be on the end opposite the needle tips.
  • With an extra needle, sl 1. Continue to slip all sts in row.
  • Turn work. Working yarn is now at the front.
  • BO sts using the Elastic Bind-Off or any bind-off you prefer, depending on how stretchy you need your seam to be.

ZigZag (Ancient Greek) Bind-Off

This is a very stretchy seaming bind-off that leaves a visible zigzag-shaped ridge.

The interesting thing about this bind-off is that it has an ancient origin. In her book, Cast On, Bind Off, Cap Sease writes that this bind-off was discovered on the heel of an ancient Greek sock! That makes this a very old bind-off indeed.

It does have a distinctive zigzag look to it that is similar to Russian grafting, only this one has a pronounced ridge and the bind-off is very stretchy. It also stretches back into place nicely.

You’ll need an extra needle for this bind-off.



Zigzag Bind-Off

Zigzag Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Use a third needle in your R hand, the same size as or 1 size smaller than the other two.
  2. P1 on back needle.
  3. K1 on front needle.
  4. BO 1.
  5. P1 on back needle.
  6. BO 1.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 to last st.
  8. K1 on front needle.
  9. BO 1.
  10. Cut yarn and pull through last st. Stretchy!

Three-Needle Bind-Off

This is a strong bind-off that leaves its seam on the wrong side of the work, making it nearly invisible.

It lays mostly flat, and, like the name suggests, requires a third needle.

Because you have to handle three needles at once, this is a intermediate-to-advanced bind-off. It is one that I would consider “required reading” for intermediate-level knitters.

You would most commonly use this bind-off on the shoulder seam of a sweater to secure the seam firmly (so it doesn’t sag) and to differentiate the back of the sweater from the front.

It would be smart to learn this bind-off before attempting the related but more-challenging Three-Needle I-Cord Bind-Off.

Tip: Use a smaller needle as the third needle. This will make it easier to get into the stitches on the left hand needles. If you use all blunt needles it’s going to be a little bit tricky.



Three-Needle (3-Needle) Bind-Off

Three-Needle (3-Needle) Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. To make the seam invisible, turn your work inside out. Use a third needle in your R hand.
  2. Go knitwise into 1st st on front AND back needles at the same time.
  3. Wrap yarn, k the sts together.
  4. Complete the k st, remove st from L needles.
  5. Go knitwise into 1st st on front AND back needles.
  6. BO 1.
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 across.
  8. Cut yarn and pull through last st.
  9. Turn work right side out.

Three-Needle I-Cord Bind-Off

This is an advanced seaming bind-off that leaves an I-cord along the seam.

It makes a pronounced round ridge, is stretchy and strong, and like the name suggests, requires a third needle.

You would use this on any project where you would want a visible ridge that is shaped like an I-cord (a knitted tube) running along the seam, for example, on a child’s toy or quilt-square-type blanket.

I think you will feel really proud of yourself once you get the hang of this bind-off, because there are quite a few moving parts and steps involved.

But don’t let that intimidate you! Just follow the steps that I show you in the tutorial and you’ll be fine.

This is a bind-off that you will want to try just to see if you can do it, even if you don’t ever use it on anything.



Three-Needle I-Cord Bind-Off

Three-Needle I-Cord Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Hold a third needle in your right hand.
  2. K1 from front needle. Do not drop st from needle.
  3. Move new st back to L front needle. Work steps 2-3 three times.
  4. 3 new sts cast on.
  5. K1 from front needle twice.
  6. Sl 1 from front needle.
  7. Go knitwise into 1st st on front AND back needles.
  8. K those sts together.
  9. BO 1.
  10. Move 3 sts from R needle to L needle.
  11. All sts moved to L needle.
  12. Repeat steps 5-11 across.
  13. 3 I-cord sts rem on R needle. No sts rem on L needle.
  14. BO 1 twice.
  15. Cut tail and pull through last st. Stretchy!

Kitchener Stitch

This is an advanced sewn bind-off that is completely flat and invisible. It is slow but it gets faster as you get better at it.

Not only is this a fabulous way to invisibly join two pieces of knitting, this technique is used in a lot of other advanced bind-offs, making it an investment in your future knitting happiness.

I would consider it “required reading” for intermediate knitters.

Even if you’ve run into a lot of frustration with this bind-off before, I want you to put that aside and try this with a fresh, new outlook.

I promise you can do it, because I’m going to show you everything slowly and carefully.  

Keeping it simple: There are only two basic movement groups that make up this bind-off, and you say them like a mantra in your mind as you work.

The moves are “knit-off purl” and “purl-off knit,” and I explain them in the video and the photo tutorial below.

About sewn bind-offs and delicate yarn: Any time that you’re using a delicate yarn on a sewn bind-off, you’ll want to be careful not to pull too fast or too tight, because the yarn could break. Just go slow.

To undo this bind-off if you mess up, take the tapestry needle and follow the path of yarn back through the stitches the way you came, putting the stitches back on the needles as you go.

If your bind-off ends up being too loose, use your tapestry needle to pick through the stitches one by one and pull them tighter down the seam to tighten them up. If it’s too tight the best thing would be to take the bind-off out and start over.

Download an illustrated guide to Kitchener Stitch here.

https://youtu.be/QHrE62o31N0

Instructions

  1. Cut yarn, leaving 3x the width of the sts to be bound off, + 6 in. for weaving in later.
  2. Thread yarn onto a tapestry needle.
  3. With tapestry needle, go purlwise into 1st st on front needle.
  4. Pull yarn through.
  5. Go knitwise into 1st st on back needle.
  6. Pull yarn through.
  7. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle. Take st off needle.
  8. Go purlwise into next st on front needle. Pull yarn through.
  9. Go purlwise into 1st st on back needle. Take st off needle.
  10. Go knitwise into next st on back needle. Pull yarn through.
  11. Repeat steps 7-10 to last 2 sts.
  12. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle. Take st off needle.
  13. Go purlwise into 1st st on back needle. Take st off needle.
  14. Pull yarn through.
  15. Poke tapestry needle down through inside of work and pull snug.
  16. Stretch and shape to neaten the corner.
  17. The finished bind-off.
  18. Lays perfectly flat and invisible.

Matching Cast-On: Judy’s Magic Cast-On


Firm (Non-Stretchy) Bind-Offs

This section contains just two bind-offs.

The thing they have in common is that they do not stretch at all.

They are useful on fabric that draws in a lot, like all-over cables, where you’d need a bind-off that is actually narrower than your typical standard bind off.

You can also use them in an emergency when you do not have much yarn to bind off with.


Without-Knitting Bind-Off

This is an intermediate bind-off that is like the Standard Bind-Off but that does not use any yarn. It pulls in slightly and is not stretchy.

The reason that this is an intermediate bind-off is because it’s a little hard to manage the stitches on your needle and control them when you’re not using any yarn — it’s a bit trickier than you would think.

The lesson you can learn from this bind-off is that even when you run out of yarn, you can still bind off.

However, your edge will have the characteristics you see here, so if you don’t want that, it may be better to undo a row or two of knitting until you have enough working yarn to do a regular bind-off.

Since you won’t be using the working yarn for this bind-off, it’s best to leave it at the other end of the needle. That way it will be there for you to pull through the last stitch.



Without-Knitting Bind-Off

Without-Knitting Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Finish a RS row. Turn.
  2. Sl 1.
  3. Slip all sts in row. Turn.
  4. To bind off, sl 1.
  5. Sl 1.
  6. BO 1.
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 across.
  8. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

One-Over-Two (Gathered) Bind-Off

This is an intermediate bind off that is very firm and pulls in a lot.

It’s a very narrow bind off, and you’ll want to make sure that you use a large needle — at least two to three sizes bigger than the one that you were using on your knitting — so that the bind-off doesn’t pull in too much.

This bind-off is the same as the Double-Stitch Bind-Off, which is done with two different colors to make a striped bind off.



1-Over-2 (Gathered) Bind-Off

1-Over-2 (Gathered) Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Use a needle in your R hand 3-4 sizes bigger than the one in your left.
  2. K1 twice.
  3. K1.
  4. Lift 3rd st off over 1st 2 sts.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 across.
  6. BO 1.
  7. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Bind-Offs For Seed Stitch

The bind-offs in this section are perfect for seed stitch.

Seed stitch is basically a knit-one, purl-one rib where the knits and purls switch off on each row. It makes a tight fabric with an all-over bumpy texture pattern that is reversible and lays flat.

If you bind off on seed stitch, you’re going to want the bind-off to look good with it, so I’ve got two choices for you.


In-Pattern Bind-Off for Seed Stitch

Like the In-Pattern Bind-Off for Ribbing, this bind-off makes a chain that lays flat across the top of your work, making this a completely reversible bind off which is not very stretchy.

You would use this bind-off to finish the edge of a seed-stitch sweater where you were going to go then seam this piece to another piece, or on any project where you don’t really need the edge to stretch, like a dishcloth (many basic dishcloths are worked in seed stitch).

Use a needle that’s one to two sizes smaller than the one that you used to knit the seed stitch. Seed stitch tends to pull in a little bit and you want to make sure that the bind-off does the same.

Binding off in pattern on seed stitch is very simple: do the Standard Bind-Off, but instead of knitting every stitch, work each stitch as if you were still doing seed stitch (knit the purls and purl the knits).

In technical language, that’s:

  • If 1st st is a k stitch, P1, *K1, BO 1, p1, BO 1, rep from * to end.
  • If 1st st is a p stitch, k1, *P1, BO 1, k1, BO 1, rep from * to end.

Cable Bind-Off for Seed Stitch

This is a decorative bind-off that is based on the Cable Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib.

The technique makes the seed-stitch texture seem to continue into the bind-off row.

This is not a stretchy bind-off. Use it on the edge of a potholder or a dishcloth — anything where you don’t need the edge to stretch.

Use a needle that is two sizes smaller than the one you used to knit the seed stitch. Seed stitch tends to pull in a little bit and you want to make sure that the bind-off does the same.



Cable Bind-Off for Seed Stitch

Cable Bind-Off for Seed Stitch


Instructions

Use a needle 1-2 sizes smaller in your R hand than the one you used to knit.

  1. 1st st is a purl st.
  2. K1.
  3. Move yarn to the front.
  4. Move st from R needle to L needle.
  5. P2tog.
  6. Move yarn to the back.
  7. Move st from R needle to L needle.
  8. K2tog.
  9. Repeat steps 3-8 across.
  10. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Two-Color Bind-Offs

The bind-offs on this section use contrasting colors to make a pattern.

You have three choices:

1. Bind off in any contrasting color to make a solid, contrasting bind-off,
2. Do a striped bind-off that looks good on a solid background, or
3. A striped bind-off that looks good on vertical stripes.

Neither of latter two is very stretchy – they are purely decorative. You would use them on the edge of something like a dishcloth or a coaster or potholder.


Bind Off In Any Contrasting Color

To work a bind-off in a contrasting color, work the WS row previous to your bind-off row in the contrasting color, and continue with the contrasting color to work the bind-off you desire.

Bind-offs that would be good to try in a contrasting color would be:


Simple Two-Color Bind-Off

This bind-off looks good over vertical stripes, and, while the bind-off itself is very easy, it involves two-color knitting, which is why I think this bind-off merits an “intermediate” rating.

It based on the Standard Bind-Off, which means it won’t be stretchy enough to top off two-color brioche or anything that needs to stretch much, like Fair-Isle ribbing.

The trick to this bind-off is that you knit the stitches with their opposite color while you do the Standard Bind-Off.



Simple 2-Color Bind-Off

Simple 2-Color Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. K1 with opposite color.
  2. K next st with opposite color.
  3. BO 1.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 across.
  5. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Double-Stitch Bind-Off

If you have a solid color fabric and you want to finish it with a two-colored bind-off, this is the right choice.

\It’s basically the One-Over-Two Bind-Off prepared on the wrong side row and done with alternating colors.

The key to this bind-off is making sure that you use a needle in your right hand that is at least three to four sizes bigger than the one that you used in your knitting. Otherwise your bind off will be way too tight.

This is an advanced bind-off because you have to do a set up row on the wrong side where you alternate the two colors. In other words, Fair-Isle knitting on the purl side, which is an advanced technique (but you can still do it!).

If you haven’t done two-color knitting before, just be patient with yourself.



Double Stitch Bind-Off

Double Stitch Bind-Off


Instructions

  1. Hold the CC in your hand. Leave a 6-in. tail hanging down for weaving in later.
  2. P1 with CC.
  3. Tension both yarns in your hand for Fair-Isle knitting.
  4. P next st with MC.
  5. P next st with CC.
  6. Continue purling in alternating colors across row.
  7. Turn work.
  8. Hold a large needle in your R hand (3-4 sizes bigger than you were using before).
  9. K1 with same color yarn as stitch.
  10. K next st with same color yarn as st.
  11. K next st with same color yarn as st.
  12. Lift 3rd st off over 1st 2 sts on needle.
  13. K next st with same color yarn as st.
  14. Repeat steps 12-13 across.
  15. BO 1.
  16. Cut yarns and pull through last st.

Sloped Bind-Offs

Sloped Bind-Off

This bind-off has its own section because it’s the only one of its kind.

As the name suggests, this bind-off makes a sloped edge, which you would usually on the shoulder of a sweater.

Use the sloped bind-off any time your pattern calls for you to bind off a few stitches every right-side row to make a slanted edge.

The normal way that a pattern has you bind off a slanted edge leaves a stair-step look.

The Sloped Bind-Off smooths out that edge and eliminates the stair-step effect. You would use this bind-off if you are planning on seaming up the shoulder seams later, using Mattress stitch or another finishing technique.

Note: Don’t use this bind-off if your pattern requires you to use a seaming bind-off to bind-off the shoulder stitches later, because you need live stitches on the needles for that.



Sloped Bind-Off

Sloped Bind-Off


Instructions

Start on WS row before 1st BO row.

  1. P across to last st.
  2. Turn. 1 st on R needle.
  3. Sl 1.
  4. BO 1.
  5. K1.
  6. BO 1
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 until you’ve bound off the # of sts required in pattern.
  8. K across row. Turn.
  9. Repeat steps 1-8 until you’ve bound off # of sts required in pattern.
  10. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Buttonholes

Tulips Buttonhole

This buttonhole, invented by TechKnitter, can be done over 2 or more stitches.

It creates a strong buttonhole with matching cast-on and bind-off edges that has uniquely strong sides.

You will need a crochet hook and a small double-pointed needle for this bind-off.

This is the hardest technique in this course. But don’t be discouraged! I challenge you to give it a try. As long as you go slowly and follow the directions carefully, you’re going to be fine.

It you haven’t done a lot of these techniques before, learning this buttonhole is going to teach you a wide variety of knitting skills and give you a lot of confidence.

Basically, if you can do this buttonhole, you can do anything. In the video below, I show you how to do a 4-stitch Tulips buttonhole. If you want a bigger or smaller buttonhole, just bind off (steps 12-13) and cast on (steps 27-30) the number of stitches you want in your buttonhole.



Tulips Buttonhole

Tulips Buttonhole


Instructions

  1. K to 1 st before buttonhole sts.
  2. Move yarn to front.
  3. Sl 1.
  4. Move yarn to back.
  5. Move st from R to L needle.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5.
  7. Drop yarn so that it hangs down in front.
  8. With needle tip, lift the wrap and put it on the R needle.
  9. Sl 1.
  10. BO 1 (the wrap).
  11. Sl 1.
  12. BO 1.
  13. Repeat steps 13-14 4 times.
  14. 4 sts bound off.
  15. Move st from R needle to L needle. 3 sts on either side of buttonhole (in this case).
  16. Stabilize the L needle somewhere comfortable so you can let go of it.
  17. Remove R needle from sts.
  18. Replace with a smaller needle (~2 sizes smaller).
  19. Move st from R to L needle.
  20. Move yarn to back.
  21. Sl 1.
  22. Pull yarn firmly to tighten.
  23. Move yarn to the front.
  24. Repeat steps 20-22.
  25. With needle tip, loosen the wrap.
  26. Insert a crochet hook into the wrap.
  27. Do a chain (crochet) cast-on as follows:
  28. Wrap the yarn counterclockwise around R needle.
  29. Hook the yarn from over the top with the crochet hook.
  30. Pull the yarn through st on crochet hook. Work this cast-on 4 times.
  31. 4 sts cast onto R needle. 7 sts on needle.
  32. Place st from crochet hook onto R needle.
  33. 8 sts on R needle.
  34. Sl 1.
  35. BO 1.
  36. K to end of row.
  37. Buttonhole is technically done. Turn.
  38. P across WS row. Turn.
  39. The buttonhole after finishing the WS row.
  40. The finished buttonhole after finishing 1 more RS row.
  41. Pat yourself on the back (and maybe pour a glass of wine). You did it!

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