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!
List –Sections of Bind Off Methods
Standard Bind Off Variations
3 Needle Bind Off Variation
Picot Bind Offs
Super Stretch Bind Offs
Bind Offs good for Ribbing
Double Chain Bind Offs
Sewn Bind Offs–Including Grafting
Edging Bind Offs (Simple)
Dealing with the Last Stitch in a Bind Off
All bind off methods run the risk of being tighter than the rows of knitting that proceed–make an effort to keep the bind off loose.
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.
See Part 1: Basic Cast On list, for a list of cast ons that have matching bind offs. That list will refer back to this list. Not all cast ons have matching bind off.
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.
8–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
9–The Suspended Bind Off. Another version of the standard bind off, that helps insure a loose bind off
10–Another version of the classic bind off–a bit tricky to do, and a slightly different look, also stretchier than average.
11–Two Row Bind Off- suggested for ribbing, and supposedly stretchy, but not a bind off I have personally tried.
12–Lace bind off– another variation of the standard, but with an extra stitch added… Uses more yarn, (as most stretchy bind offs do)
13-1 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.
14- Suspended bind off Text and still picture version of this bind off.
Back to LIST
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:,
1-right sides face,
2-wrong sides facing or
3-both pieces of knitting are facing to the right side (good for pockets) in the left hand.
The difference ways of holding the knitting will result in
1-bound off edge on right side of work,
2- bound off edge on inside of the the work, or
3–when done on wrong side, you can join a pocket to knitting with a seam on inside of garment)
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.
(or instead of knitting PURL the two stitches together, starting with placing right needle into back of work( first the needle held in back then into needle held in front of work)
*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 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.
OR It can be worked with the WRONG (inside) facing each other, and and resulting seam will be on the inside of the work, and unseen.
The thirds option is good for pockets.. The two pieces of knitting face the same direction, and the bind off is worked on the wrong (inside) of the work to create a seam on inside of the work.
It is shown in the video link above worked with KNITS, but like a standard bind off, 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:
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.
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.
Back to LIST
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.
Back to LIST
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 1 X 1 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 Invisible 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 of these are especially stretchy
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.
Back to LIST
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
Lori’s Twisted Bind off –An extra stretchy bind off –With a twist. The twist makes it extra stretchy, but this bind off does not flare the way many others do.
Sewn Grafted/Invisible bind offs–It is easy to make a sewn bind off too tight–check your work as you go.
Back to LIST
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.
Back to LIST
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)
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.
Tubular/Grafted/Kitchener Stitch Off.
1–As a bind off edge, it can be used to make a tubular (optional) or invisible bound off edge. The directions show it being worked in the round, but it can be worked identically on a straight edge.
2–Grafting can also be be used to make and invisible seam, (the toes of cuff down socks,, or a seam in the center back of a scarf) The most common use is for sewing seams in the tips of toes.
1: Grafted/Invisible Bind Off-In the round.-Particularly suited for 1 X 1 ribbing, a tubular bind off is identical in appearance to a tubular cast on.
This type of grafting is done with all the stitches on a single needle. This is especially nice for things knit in the round, like socks or hats (or even the hem of a sweater)
Tubular style Grafted/Invisible Bind Off–The same as 1 above.
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:
R1: * K1, bring yarn forward (as if to purl), slip 1, bring the yarn back (as if to knit) repeat from *.
It takes 2 rows (each working 1/2 the stitches to completed a full row.
When worked in the round, 2 rounds are needed. Round 1 works half the stitches, (most often the knits of a 1X1 ribbing) Round 2 is worked in Purling the purl stitches of the ribbing. with the yarn brought forwards (as if to knit) when slipping the previous worked knit stitches.
2 rounds of work 1, slip 1 are required to work 1 full round.
2: Grafted/Invisible Bind Off–worked as a seam
This type of grafted/invisible bind off is worked as a seam. It is common way to seam the toes of cuff down socks, or other seams
2:Grafted (Kitchener) stitch as a seam, to bind two edges together.
A Knitted version of this usually sewn seam- from wipinsanity, (of ravelry)
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)
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.
Back to LIST
Specialty Bind offs, for special stitches
A bind off for “twice knit stitches”
Bind offs for Brioche Stitch (this links you to The Brioche Stitch web page)
Bind offs for Double Knitting
Back to LIST
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.
Back to LIST
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.
need to check these out/possible add to list: