Stretchy/Ribbed Bind-Offs

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:

Ribbed Bind-Off Sampler Instructions

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With white yarn, CO 96 sts (this will be a lot so you may need to use a circular needle).
Work in 1×1 rib for 5 rows.
With green yarn, K 1 row. This helps you avoid the color-change purl bump.
(P1, k1) across next row.
Work 2 more rows in k1p1 rib.

1x1 Rib Sampler ready to be bound off
1×1 Rib Sampler ready to be bound off
  1. BO the first 12 sts using the In-Pattern Bind-Off.
  2. Starting from step 5 (1 st already on R needle), BO 12 sts using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off.
  3. Starting from step 3 (1 st already on R needle), BO 12 sts using the Yarnover Bind-Off.
  4. 1 st already on R needle. If the next st on the L needle is a K, start at step 3 — if the next st is a P, start at step 6 — and BO 12 sts using the Cable Bind-Off for Ribbing. Make sure you end having done a p2tog (step 5), even if that means not binding off exactly 12 sts.
  5. Work the 2 (or 4, as you desire) set-up rows of the Tubular Bind-Off (up to step 7). Cut your yarn and leave about 2 1/2 – 3 ft. of tail (enough to do all the remaining bind-offs in the sampler). This will be a little cumbersome on the first few bind-offs, so pull the tail of the yarn so that it’s almost doubled. This will keep much of the tail yarn out of the way until you need it later. Adjust it as you go so the tail yarn doesn’t get stuck in the bind-off. You may also want to tape your tags to the sampler so they don’t get in the way while you’re doing the sewn bind-offs that follow. BO 12 sts using the Tubular Bind-Off.
  6. BO 12 sts using the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off.
  7. BO 12 sts using the EZ Sewn Bind-Off.
  8. BO remaining sts using the Latvian Bind-Off.

Block this sampler lightly or not at all. You don’t want to block all the “bounce” out of the ribbing.

With white yarn, CO 48 sts.
Work in 2×2 rib for 5 rows.
With green yarn, K 1 row. This helps you avoid the color-change purl bump.
(P2, k2) across next row.
Work 2 more rows in k2p2 rib.

  1. BO the first 16 sts using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib. Next 2 sts on L needle should be k sts.
  2. 1 st rem on R needle. Starting from step 2, BO the next 16 sts using the Cable Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib. When done, k1, BO 1, slip st from R needle to L needle.
  3. BO remaining sts using the Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off.

Block this sampler lightly or not at all. You don’t want to block all the “bounce” out of the ribbing.

About Bind-Offs for 2×2 Rib

Up until I wrote this course, I did not have a way that I liked for binding off on 2×2 rib. I prefer invisible bind-offs, and the technique I had learned for invisibly binding off on 2×2 rib was so complicated that I couldn’t remember how to do it, even though I made a video about it for KnitFreedom, and referred back to it regularly.

Therefore, I pretty much avoided doing 2×2 rib altogether, and because I like to do so many top-down and toe-up projects, which require you to bind off on ribbing, I just settled for doing 1×1 rib.

I told myself it was basically the same, but it’s not. 2×2 rib looks different. A lot of times it looks nicer. The two columns of knit stitches and the two columns of purl stitches are more of a design feature.

When I was researching techniques for this course, I was delighted to discover that I had found not one but three bind-offs that are great options for 2×2 rib.

The three bind-offs in this section all are different and useful in different situations, so it should be easy to choose between them depending on your needs.

My one tip is that I don’t recommend binding off in pattern for 2×2 rib. I don’t think it’s stretchy enough.

My favorite bind-off for 2×2 rib is the Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off because it’s fast and invisible (and so much easier than the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib).


The Bind-Offs

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.

Based on: Standard Bind-Off
This is the same bind-off as: Standard Bind-Off (top variation).

To Do the In-Pattern Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib:

  1. 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.”
  2. Work next st even.
  3. BO 1.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 across.
  5. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Use these photos to help you recognize if you just bound off a purl stitch or a knit stitch (to check and make sure you’re on track).

You just bound off a purl stitch. See the horizontal bump?
You just bound off a knit stitch. See, no horizontal bump

Because you alternated knits and purl stitches, the chain of stitches lies nicely across the top of your work.

This bind-off is reversible, and you can use it on any fabric, not just ribbing.

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


Jeny’s Surprisingly-Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO) for 1×1 Rib

Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO) on 1x1 Rib

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.

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).

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.

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.

Matching cast-on: This bind-off sort of matches the Chinese Waitress Cast-On that was so popular in my Cast-Ons class. This or a one-stitch I-Cord Bind-Off was the closest thing I could find.

Based on: Yarnover Bind-Off
This bind-off is also used in: Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib
Also see: Bind-Offs For Lace

To Do the Jeny’s Surprisingly-Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO) for 1×1 Rib:

  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

Keep these tips in mind as you work Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. To keep the yarnovers from getting mixed up:

Before a Purl Stitch: REGULAR YO –>
Before a Knit Stitch: BACKWARDS YO –>

Also, use your right index finger to push the backwards yarnover loop forward to loosen it up so you can get into it to bind off.

Push the yarnover forward with your index finger.

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


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

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.

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.

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.

Based on: Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib.

To Do the Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO) for 2×2 Rib:

  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.

1. To remember what to do no matter where you are in the bind-off:

If you have a purl stitch coming up next, do a regular yarnover, P1, then BO 2. –>
If you have knit stitch coming up next, do a backwards yarnover, K1, then BO 2. –>

2. Loosen the backwards yarnover so you can get into it to bind off.

Push the yarnover forward with your index finger to make more room.

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


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 is 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.

To Do the Yarnover Bind-Off:

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

You can add a yarnover in between the k sts 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.

Adding a yarnover before a K stitch.

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


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.

This bind-off 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.

Almost-matching cast-ons:

To Do the Latvian Bind-Off:

  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.

Watch out: Don’t go under the loop of yarn that’s across the stitches.
Latvian Bind Off Tips 1 Watch out Don’t go under the loop of yarn that’s across the stitches 1
Always come out over the loop.

2. To go faster, combine two steps.

Do “purl-off, knit” before pulling the yarn though.
Latvian Bind Off Tips 1 3 Do “purl off knit” before pulling the yarn though 1

3. After you’re done binding off, take your thumbs and push the little loops of yarn up towards the top edge.

This will give the edge a little bit of a different look.
Latvian Bind Off Tips 1 4 After you’re done binding off take your thumbs and push the little loops of yarn up towards the top edge 1

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


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.

Matching Cast-On: Tubular Cast-On

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.

Matching Cast-On: Tubular Cast-On

Similar bind-offs: Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off
Based on: Kitchener Stitch
See also: Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off (for an invisible bind-off for 2×2 rib)

Comparing the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off and the Tubular Bind-Off

The two bind-offs look very similar and are both stretchy. The Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off is a little stretchier but also less substantial (sturdy) than the Tubular Bind-Off.

It’s easier to make the Tubular Bind-Off look even, because the setup rows give the edge a rounded look. Plus, Kitchener stitch is a little easier than the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off as far as getting your tension right.

The Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off has a slight tendency to stay stretched out once it is stretched. It doesn’t bounce back quite as much as the Tubular Bind-Off.

To Do the Tubular Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib:

  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.

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


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.

 

Matching Cast-On: Tubular Cast-On

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.

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!

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

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.

Matching Cast-On: Tubular Cast-On

Almost-matching cast-on: Tubular Cast-On
Similar bind-offs: Tubular Bind-Off
Based on: Kitchener Stitch
See also: Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off (for an invisible bind-off for 2×2 rib)

Comparing the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off and the Tubular Bind-Off

The two bind-offs look very similar and are both stretchy. The Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off is a little stretchier but also less substantial (sturdy) than the Tubular Bind-Off.

It’s easier to make the Tubular Bind-Off look even, because the setup rows give the edge a rounded look. Plus, Kitchener stitch is a little easier than the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off as far as getting your tension right.

The Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off has a slight tendency to stay stretched out once it is stretched. It doesn’t bounce back quite as much as the Tubular Bind-Off.

To Do the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib:

  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.

If you have trouble getting in knitwise to the second stitch from the back, you can break it up into 2 steps.

 
Poke the tapestry out between the 1st and 2nd stitches, pull the yarn through,
… and then go back knitwise into the 2nd stitch and pull the yarn through again
Invisible Ribbed Bind Off Tips 2 … and then go back knitwise into the 2nd stitch and pull the yarn through again 1

This breaks the movement into two parts, which is smart especially if your yarn is very delicate and isn’t doing well being pulled through more than one stitch at once.

2. Always keep the working yarn below the needle tips.

Never let the yarn loop over the needles as you work.
Keep it underneath the needle tips

3. To go faster, combine two steps:

Push the stitch off the needle at the same time you pull the yarn through.

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


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.

Matching Cast-On: Italian Tubular Cast-On for 2×2 Rib

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.

Matching Cast-On: Italian Tubular Cast-On for 2×2 Rib

Based on: Kitchener Stitch
Similar bind-off: Tubular Bind-Off (invisible bind-off for 1×1 rib using Kitchener stitch)
This bind-off is part of: the Advanced Bind-Off Challenge

To Do the Kitchener Double-Rib Bind-Off:

  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.

The same tips that apply to Kitchener Stitch apply to this bind-off as well.
Go to Kitchener Stitch.

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


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.

This bind off is 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.

This bind-off is also used in: Cable Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib

To Do the Cable Bind-Off for 1×1 Rib:

1st st is a K.

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

1. 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.

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.

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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.

To Do the Cable Bind-Off for 2×2 Rib:

  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.

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