So, you’ve been making steady project on a knitting project and it’s just about time to finish things up, but what bind-off technique should you use? There are many options to choose from, and each technique is more suited to a different type of project, but there are three main categories of techniques: traditional,
So, you’ve been making steady project on a knitting project and it’s just about time to finish things up, but what bind-off technique should you use? There are many options to choose from, and each technique is more suited to a different type of project, but there are three main categories of techniques: traditional, stretchy and specialty. Regardless of which one you end up with, it’s a good idea to have more than one bind-off in your knitting arsenal. Let’s match different bind off styles to your specific kinds of knitting projects.
To begin the traditional bind-off, work two stitches onto the right-hand needle as normal. The first stitch is then passed over the second leaving a single stitch on the right-hand needle. Work another stitch as normal, increasing the number of stitches on the right-hand needle to two once again. Repeat the pass-over. This bind-off produces a strong, sturdy edge suitable for any project that needs to hold its shape. As the first and sometimes only bind-off many knitters learn, the traditional method can be worked by using a crochet hook in place of the right-hand needle.
Although the traditional bind-off can be used to finish most knits, there are times when a more flexible bind-off is a better choice. Toe-up sock cuffs, crew-neck collars and hat brims are just a few projects which require a certain degree of stretch for proper fit; for such items, a stiff bind-off wouldn’t be practical. For these kinds of applications, try working an alternate method, such as “Jeny’s Super Stretchy Bind-Off.” This technique is similar to the traditional version, except instead of working with two regular stitches, you are making each bind-off with one added yarnover stitch and one regular stitch. The yarnovers provide a great deal of stretch to the finished edge.
There are many, many more bind-offs to choose from – each with its own unique function. One of my personal favorites is the sloped bind-off. I like to use this technique to eliminate stepped edges on armholes and sleeve caps without resorting to complex short row shaping. Another one of my favorite finishes is the beaded bind-off which adds a burst of bling to an otherwise plain edge. I also like to add texture with the picot bind off.
For every knit there is a bind off. Think about the kind of finished edge you want before choosing a method to fit your next project.
Angelia Robinson is a knit and crochet designer residing in Los Angeles whose playful yet elegant designs explore the interplay of shape, texture, and style. Do you have a knitting question for Angelia? Write us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include “Ask a Knitter” in the subject line.