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Basic Bind Off's

This Page is still under construction--But is largely complete. Not all of the bind offs have video links (yet). Like the cast on page, this page will be updated as new bind off methods are found.  
While there are any number of ways to Cast on, there are, to my knowledge, far fewer ways to bind or cast off—but there are still more ways to bind off than you might think!
Sewn Bind Offs--Including Grafting.

All bind off methods run the risk of being tighter than the rows of knitting that proceed. 

If you have trouble keeping your bind off loose and stretchy, try replacing the a right hand needle with one that is  that is 2 or 3 sizes larger than the needle used for the knitting. This works for most Standard Bind Off variation.   Or replace the right hand needle with a crochet hook.

The Standard Bind off and Variations

Standard Bind Off--As a Knit, As a Purl, As a Knit and Purl (this video has all three methods)

This is the most common bind off:

1--As worked in KNITS: K1 *K1, pass first knit stitch over just knit stitch, K1. Repeat from * till there are no more stitches to knit, cut or break yarn, pass tail of yarn through last knit stitch loop and pull closed.

2--As worked in Purls: This bind off can also be worked as  Purl 1, *Purl 1, Pass the first stitch worked over the second.

3--As worked in a combination of Knits and Purls: Finally, this bind off can be worked as K1, P1 pass the first stitch worked over the second--a minor variation is to work the bind off in pattern (K1, K1--then P1, P1 for example when binding off 2 X 2 ribbing)

The Standard Bind off,  and all the variations of the basic bind off, result in a chain stitch edge.

This edge will roll to front if worked in knit stitches, and to the back--if worked in purl stitches, and will not roll when worked in alternating knits and purls.

Variation of the Basic Bind off include:

Standard Bind off, worked with a Crochet hook (this video has all three methods)

Identical to the standard bind off, this bind off is worked with a crochet hook in right hand.  The hook can be the same size, or slightly larger. For some, it is easier to work the bind off loosely using this method.This bind off can be done as Knit, Purl or a combination of knits and purls

Standard Bind off Worked as 2tog. (all 3 examples--Knit, Purl, and Knit and Purl,  on one video)

1-Tunisian --Knit 2tog bind off--K2tog, return stitch to left needle, and repeat.  this bind off is less stretchy than most.  It's  a good choice for back  neck and shoulder edges, or for pockets, where it can act as a 'stay stitch' and prevent stretching.  It is very easy to pick up stitches from this bind off. 

2-Knit and purl together--This bind off is familiar to many Combo style knitters, who often use  a variation of the knit 2 together bind off (that looks/is identical to a standard bind off--and not at all like the Tunisian Bind off.  This bind off has a bit of a twist.. and might take a few minutes to master, but I think it is generally fast than the standard K1, K1, pass the first stitch over bind off.

3-Purl 2 together--also known as a Russian Bind Off--* P2tog tbl, return the resulting stitch to left needle --stretching the stitch (loosening tension) on it as you do so. Repeat from *, till there are no more stitches to knit, cut or break yarn, pass tail of yarn through last knit stitch loop and pull closed.

4--Knit 2 together, Variation.  This Lucy Neatby Video is a great Demo of how to do a knit 2 tog bind off for conventional knitters.. Both Lucy and I often knit Combo (or as she calls it an "alternative purler") and she covers this bind off for Combo knitters too. NEW

5--K2tog, TBL  An other variation of the knit 2 tog bind off... similar to a Russian Bind off, stretchy, with a similar appearance to a standard bind off.  NEW

6--An other Knit 2 tog bind off  (photo tutorial) This bind off is another stretchy one.

7--Standard Bind Off, with Chain 1.--Another variation, work 1 stitch, work a second, and bind it off (using a crochet hook in right hand) chain 1, then repeat.

HiyaHiya Grandma bind off.  Another variation of a standard bind off --Specifically for ribbing.  It is counter intuitive--You knit the purls, and purl the knits, and the yarn move position at the back of stitch.  It is a bit slow going, but it creates an attractive stretchy edge.NEW

The Suspended Bind Off.  Another version of the standard bind off, that helps insure a loose bind off

Two Row Bind Off- suggested for ribbing, and supposedly stretchy, but not a bind off I have personally tried.

1 over 2 Bind Off--An exceptionally tight bind off. that creates a slight poof in the work. Most often a loose bind is required--but if you want a tight one.

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3 Needle Bind Off (s) 

All the variation of this bind off have 2 thing in common:  Two edges are bound off and joined together, and each the edges have an equal number of stitches.

With a three needle bind off, 2 pieces of knitting are held parallel, (right sides face, or wrong sides facing--depending on desired finished effect) in the left hand.

To bind off using the 3 needle bind off: Make a stitch by working the first stitch from front piece and the first stitch of back piece of knitting, together-- a sort of K2tog, where the 2 stitches knit together are on 2 different needles.  *Make the next stitch the same way as the first,  and then pass the first stitch over the second, (as in standard bind off)

A 3 needle bind off can be done with the RIGHT (out/public) side of the work facing . The bind off will be on the wrong/inside of the work, and unseen.

OR It can be worked with the WRONG (inside) facing each other, and the bind off will create a raised row of chain stitches on the RIGHT(out/public) side of the work. This can be particularly attractive for joining panels of knitting—for sweaters or for hats, or for afghans knit as panels and joined together.

It is shown in the video link above worked with KNITS, but like a standard bind off, 

OR it can be worked in Knits and Purls, and the bind off will stand proud instead of rolling to front or back. Work the first stitch on needles as K2tog, then the next two stitches as P2tog, and continue to alternated knits with purls.  As with a standard bind off, a 3 needle bind off work all in knit stitches will tend to roll (forward) but one worked in knits and purls will be more centered.  An alternate method to have a center bind off chain on the work is this method

With the  wrong sides facing, then:

  • K1 from front ndl
  • p1 from back ndl
  • pass first st made over.
  • k1 from front ndl, p1 from back ndl, pass two sts over st just made, repeating this to the end.  This will created a centered raised ridge of knit stitches on the right side of the work.
  • OR There is the Japanese 3 needle bind off--this link is to a photo tutorial

    Which is worked on wrong side of the work, in 2 passes--but this method, too can be worked with wrong sides together, and bind off on the outside of the work--where it will look like a raised ridge.

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    Picot Bind Off (s) there are several methods to create picots--all with separate videos.

    There are several ways to create a picot bind off.  MOST of them are variations of the standard bind off, and can be worked with knitting needles or with a crochet hook.
    Basically the Picot Bind Off is created by binding a number of stitches (2 to 5),  then casting  on a number of stitches. (2 to 5)  then bind off the newly created stitches plus  some more, and repeat.  

    This person suggests-using a cable cast on for making the picots, but a knit cast on works, too.   I think small (2 or 3 stitch picots) look best.. but huge ones --made with bulky yarn can create an interesting edge. 

    Most picot bind offs  looks best when numbers are paired and consistent --bind off 3, *cast on 3, bind off 3 just cast on, Plus 3 more.(6 bound off) repeat from *.

    This video demo's a super picot (3 sets of cast on/bind off).. These picot almost make an edge. 

    A Picot Bind Off done with a Knit cast on..

    Crochet Bind off with a Picot  Another style of a picot bind off  uses  a crochet hook in the right hand (not a knitting needle) bind off X, chain 2 (or 3). Crochet together last chain stitch with last bound off stitch, (to make a small open loop picot) continue bind off. A nice detail is to make sure the picots are centered --even if you have to do 1 or 2 more (or fewer) plain bind off stitches at the beginning and end of the row.

    Bobble Bind Off  Beyond the picot, is a bobble bind off.. a standard bind off, with bobble stitches worked in the edge.  Nicky Epstein in her book Knitting on the Edge, shows a bobble cast on, that matches this bind off.

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    Super Stretchy bind offs

    Lori's Twisted Stitch bind off--another variation of the basic bind off.. But just as twists add stretch to cast on, the twisted stitches in this bind off make it stretcher--and less likely to roll either to front or back  This bind off is excellent for ribbing. There is a second video, with a demo for working this bind off for English/right hand yarn hold. NEW

    Lacy Bind off

    Jeny's Super Stretch Bind off

    The Icelandic Bind Off

    Out of Order bind off. Same as above, worked differently.

    Standard bind off--Especially ones with a twist or too.

    HiyaHiya Grandma bind off--this bind off is specifically for ribbing, but it is also super stretchy. NEW

    HiyaHiya Grandma Bind off(2)  --this video show how to work this bind off for 2 X 2 ribbing. NEW

    Sewn bind offs--It is easy to make a sewn bind off too tight--check your work as you go. (see section below)

    Double Chain Bind Offs--See the next group below Many (but not all of these are good, too.

    Miraculous stretch bind off.  --a basic bind off, with stitches being worked twice.. Haven't tested it, (link to blog post)NEW

    Also see: Bind Offs that are Good for Ribbing--Below--this subset of bind offs are all super stretchy too.

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    Bind Offs that are good for ribbing

    Any of the Super Stretchy bind offs--above

    Hiya Hiya Grandma bind off  The video shows this bind off with 1 X 1 ribbing, but it works with 2 X 2 and other rib variations

    Double Chain Bind Offs

    Sewn bind offs--It is easy to make a sewn bind off too tight--check your work as you go.

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    Double Chain Edge Bind Offs--all of these match the double chain cast ons.

    Dolly's Mock I-Cord bind off --Another double chain bind off that matches her double chain cast on--bind off starts at about 6:50)

    Helen's Double chain bind off (similar, but not as stretchy)

    Chinese Waitress bind off , by Anne Vyce, to match the Chinese cast on, is another double chain variation.

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    Sewn Bind Offs--many different methods, most designed to match a cast on method.

    Some Basic information about sewn Bind Offs NEW

    To Match a Long tail bind off--EZ’s sewn/back stitch bind off--to match a standard long tail New

    A sewn bind off is the closest in appearance to Long Tail cast on. It’s done by sewing a form of a back or double stitch—which is 2 stitches forward, 1 stitch back. 

    Still photo tutorial, Of EZ sewn bind off, and a Second  video link, to this bind off as well. 

    To match a  Twisted Cast on --From Lana Holden --(aka Named4wool on Ravelry)

    1. Pass sewing needle knitwise through the first stitch and remove from knitting needle; pass sewing needle purlwise through the next stitch and leave on needle. 
      2) Pull excess yarn through until almost snug; before loop of excess yarn closes, pass needle from front to back through closing loop. 
      Repeat steps 1 and 2 across.

    To Match Latvian (aka Open/Closed loop) Long Tail

    This Video is short, and not the best, but.... It shows how to do a Sewn bind off to match this popular cast on.

    Grafted or Kitchener Stitch. offer several options. 

    On a straight piece of knitting, it can be used to make a tubular edge.

    Grafting can also be be used to make and invisible seam, (shoulder seams, or a seam in the center back of a scarf) The most common use is for sewing seams in the tips of toes. 

    1: to work a grafted (Kitchener) stitch as bind off  Below, to work a kitchener stitch as a seam (to join two edges.

    Tubular or Grafted Bind Off--Particularly suited for 1 X 1 ribbing, a tubular bind off is identical in appearance to a tubular cast on. To enhance the tubular appearance, work 2 or more rows of simple double knitting before grafting--

    Simple double knitting 

    Simple double knitting is normal worked over an even number of stitches:
    * K1, bring yarn forward (as if to purl), slip 1, bring the yarn back (as if to knit) repeat from * (pattern is worked the same on all rows.)
    When worked on odd number of stitches, end with a K1, and on row 2, start with a slip stitch and end with a slip stitch.

    The grafted bind off can be done 2 way:

    1—Divide the work in the last round of simple double knitting so that half the stitches are on 1 needle and half are on a second needle. Then follow a standard directions for grafting

    2—The grafting can be done without dividing the work—see this Video for directions.  If you are familiar and skilled a grafting, this method is easy.

    NOTE--There are methods of working a tubular cast on and bind off for 2 X 2 ribbing. (I don't like any of them.. but will eventually add some directions and links) 

    2:Grafted (Kitchener) stitch as a seam, to bind two edges together.

    A Knitted version of this usually sewn seam-  from wipinsanity, (of ravelry)

    Halfgrafting  (a WEBS video)can create a seamless look—but provide more support and have less stretch than a grafted seam. The back shoulder of a knitted lace sweater can be bound off—to provide a sturdy, not too stretching edge—the front shoulders can then be grafted to the bound off stitches. This will create a seamless look with more support, and a less stretchy shoulder seam. 

    Half grafting can also be done cross wise, (grafting the stitches to be bound off to a selvage or side edge of knitting)

    Drawstring Bind Off--is usually worked over 4 to 8 stitches, but in some cases, it is used to create a gather look, and is worked over many

    Cut yarn, leaving a tail of 6 or more inches.

    Thread tail onto tapestry needle and starting at stitch 1, pass tapestry needle through every stitch. Repeat once. Then working slowly and gently pull drawstring tight, (knot) and weave in tail.

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    Specialty Bind offs, for special stitches

    A bind off for "twice knit stitches" 

    Bind offs for double knitting

    Bind offs for Brioche Stitch (this links you to The Brioche Stitch web page)

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    EDGING are an alternate way to bind off--but most are not considered bind off methods.

    Many laces are not bound off at all (in the conventional sense) but are finished by knitting on edging. The outer edge of the lace forms the ‘bound off edge’.On the inner edge, the last stitch of the edging pattern is a K(or P)2 tog, that eliminates one  ‘live stitch”, every other row. The edging is worked till all the stitches have been "bound off" by being knit together with the lace edge

    The simplest edging is I-cord.
    --Finish last row of knitting, cast on 3 (use simple, knit or cable cast on) then using a single DPN in right hand, (usually 1 to 2 sizes larger than size use to knit the piece), *K 2, then K2tog.

    Slip  these stitches to main needle and repeat from * until all stitches have been bound off, and only 3 I-cord stitches remain. Bind these three stitches off (standard bind off or your choice.)

    The i-cord can be larger (cast on 4 or 5 stitches,) but the process is the same--the last stitch of I-cord is knit together with next stitch to be bound off.

    The list of edging (besides I-cord) that can be used, fills books.
    (see Nicky Epstien’s Knitting On the Edge and Knitting Over the Edge for several hundred examples of edgings.)

    See Cast on Reference list--for information about resources for binding off.

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    Note: There tricks and persnickety details to make the last stitch bound off look nicer--Both for flat knitting and when binding off in the round.

    The LAST STITCH  can sometimes be wonky... a little over sized, and 'fly away' there are solutions.

    Here is one 

    Here is another for binding off the last stitch when knitting in the round.

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    Forward to Selvage Stitches 

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