Getting the Most out of This Course

Ability-Level Check

While this might not be the most fascinating thing in the world, here is where you can come to see if your bind-off knowledge is on par with the rest of your knitting abilities.

If you want to be able to knit patterns that are appropriate for your ability level, you will be well-served if you know these bind-offs.

Ability Level

Recommended Bind-Off(s)

Beginner Standard Bind-Off: Front, Top, and Back Variations
Intermediate Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off
3-Needle Bind-Off
Kitchener Stitch
Advanced Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off OR Tubular Bind-Off


Bind-Off Challenges: Expand Your Knitting Horizons Quickly

Now for something less serious!

The bind-off challenges I’ve put together for you here are a quick way for you to jump in and increase your bind-off knowledge while having fun and without spending a lot of time.

For each level I’ve chosen 5 bind-offs or tips that I think you will really enjoy and I bet you don’t already know. These will stretch your knitting skills, so be prepared to learn and grow!

Beginner:

Intermediate:

Advanced:



The Samplers

To learn about a whole class of bind-offs at once and to get a good feel for which ones you might want to use in the future, you can choose to knit one of my bind-off “samplers.”

Doing a bind-off sampler entails casting on for a long strip of knitting, knitting for 5-10 rows or so, and then going through and binding off 10-12 stitches using each of the different bind-offs in a certain category.

This is what I did as I was studying all the different bind-offs, and I highly recommend it, as it will give you perspective, context, and the opportunity to form opinions about the different bind-offs as you go. The nice thing about the samplers is that they go from easy to hard, so you’ll usually use what you learned on the previous bind-off to learn a piece of the next bind-off.

Decorative Bind-Offs Sampler: Pre-Bind-OffYou’ll also have a physical reminder that you can refer to later of what the bind-offs look like and how they behave. I designed all the samplers so that similar looking bind-offs are near each other so that you can see any differences easily.

If you want to go this route, look in the introduction of each section of this course and you’ll find written instructions for a sampler of the bind-offs in that section.

As a general rule, you’ll prepare the strip of knitting according to the directions, then click the link to go the instructions for the first bind-off. You’ll follow the directions to bind off 12 stitches using that bind-off and then you’ll hit the Back button to return to the instructions and see what bind off to do next.

My tutorial on How to count how many stitches you’ve bound off will help you bind off exactly 12 stitches for each technique (not that it’s important to be so exact on a sampler, but you don’t want to run out of stitches for the final bind-off in the list).

I recommend that as you finish each bind-off, you write its name on a small tag. Then, use a tapestry needle to thread the tag’s string through the last stitch of the bind-off. If you’re going to block your samplers (recommended), use a pencil to write on the tags so the labels don’t smear (or just take care not to get them wet — see below).

Blocking the Samplers
Blocking the samples: Keep the tags dry!

Please note: I only give specific colors of yarn in the sampler instructions so that, if you want, you can duplicate the samplers shown. Feel free to use any colors you prefer!

Block all the samplers lightly.



What I Learned from Knitting 200 Bind-Offs, or, Why It’s Worthwhile to Keep an Open Mind

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.

200 Bind-Offs: Pile-up animationAs 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.



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