How to Bind Off In Knitting: Methods Every Knitter Needs To Know
So you’ve knitted something spectacular and you’re feeling pleased as punch… but hang on – how on earth do you get it off the needles, so you can put it to good use? Binding off in knitting is the process of getting those live stitches off the knitting needle and securing them so that your masterpiece won’t unravel – and it’s an essential skill every knitter needs up their sleeve (or they won’t ever finish a sleeve!) Learn how to bind off in three different ways, depending on what it is you’re knitting, in Tina Lowther’s fantastic binding off tutorial below.
Most knitting projects need a bind off to finish; it may be the hem on a sweater, a neat neckline, or the edging of a shawl. There are many bind off methods; a basic bind off will work in many cases, but sometimes you need more stretch, or want something a little more decorative. The following methods cover most situations and are easy to learn so you can finish your project to perfection every time!
This popular binding off in knitting method produces a neat finish that is used for a wide range of projects. It does not have stretch, so it is not the best option for cuffs on socks and sleeves.
Knit the first two stitches: with the right side of the work facing you, knit two stitches as normal.
Pick up the first stitch: using the left needle, pick up the first stitch.
Drop stitch off the needle: pass the first stitch over the second stitch, and off of the needle. You have bound off one stitch.
Repeat until all required stitches have been bound off. Cut your yarn and pass it through the last loop to secure. A version of this method is also used when binding off ribbing. A ribbed bind off works with the stretch of the rib. To work this method, knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches, and pass the stitches over as before.
This stretchy bind off method is perfect when you need more stretch. It is simple to knit, but will make you projects far more comfortable to wear.
Knit two stitches.
Pass the left needle through both stitches. Wrap the yarn around the back needle and pull through.
Knit one stitch and repeat Step 2.
The result is very similar to the basic method, but has far more stretch.
This pretty bind off is used for items such as shawls and girls’ cardigans. It gives a lovely decorative edging to a garment. When the instructions are seen on a pattern it can be confusing to a new knitter, because you are asked to cast on stitches when you are expecting to bind off. Trust the pattern, and follow how many to cast on and off. You will see below how it works!
Cast on two stitches onto the left needle. Use a basic cast on by knitting a stitch and placing it on the needle.
This will give the picot height.
Bind off five stitches using the basic method (knit two, pass first stitch over, repeat ).
The picot looks like this at this stage.
Place the stitch on the right needle, onto the left. This is your first picot.
Repeat by starting with ‘cast on two stitches’.
Continue and repeat, and you will end up with a row of pretty (and pretty impressive!) picots!