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.

Firm Bind-Off Sampler Instructions

Non-Stretchy Bind-Off Sampler Instructions

Because non-stretchy bind-offs are best on things like cables, this swatch creates a cable pattern. To learn how to knit cables, check out my How To Knit Cables video course.

With white yarn, CO 26 sts.
Work in 1×1 rib for 3 rows.
Row 4 (rs): With yellow yarn, k across. Turn.
Row 5: p2, k4, p4, k6, p4, k4, p2. turn.
Row 6: k2, p2, T4R, T4L, p2, T4R, T4L, p2, k2. Turn.
Rows 7-11: Work even. Turn.
Row 12: k2, p2, T4L, T4R, p2, T4L, T4R, p2, k2. Turn.
Row 13: Work even. Turn.

Work even across next 13 sts. Turn.
Wyib, slip 13 sts just knitted back to L needle. Turn.

  1. BO the first 13 sts using the Without-Knitting Bind-Off. Place st on R needle onto a needle 2-3 sizes bigger.
  2. K1. 2 sts on R needle. Starting from step 3, BO rem sts using 1-Over-2 Bind-Off.

Block this sampler normally.



The Bind-Offs

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.

To Do the Without-Knitting Bind-Off:

  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.

1. Use your fingers to stabilize the stitches as you bind them off

Bad: not using your fingers –>
Good: Using your R index finger to stabilize the stitch –>

Click image to play. If GIF doesn’t play immediately when clicked, wait 20-30 seconds. Click the GIF again to stop.



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.

To Do the One-Over-Two (Gathered) Bind-Off:

  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.

Click image to play. If GIF doesn’t play immediately when clicked, wait 20-30 seconds. Click the GIF again to stop.



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