By Popular Request: Stretchy Bind-Offs!

Back by popular demand, Knitting Daily's Online Editor, Kathleen Cubley, shares step-by-step instructions for different stretchy bind-offs in knitting.

I'm too sick to knit; the knitter's equivalent of purgatory. Imagine it: The mere motions of the needles are making me ill.

I've been sick for FOUR DAYS. Four days of NO KNITTING.

I think we might have a situation here.

Thus, with your indulgence, I will cheat a wee bit and repeat one of my most-requested tutorials: Stretchy Bind-Offs. Many, many folks have asked for links to this one ever since I wrote it two years ago…so here you are.

Where can you use these stretchy bind-offs? At the top of socks cuffs, at the edges of lacy shawls, at necklines and hems and sleeve edgings, oh my. Use them anyplace where you need a bit more give, a little more room, than a regular bind-off provides. See? Trés useful.

By the way: Apparently too-sick-to-knit isn't too sick to cuddle yarn. A friend sent me some completely rockin' awesome baby alpaca and silk laceweight yarn that she had dyed…and in the end, I literally crawled into bed with it clutched in my hand. Pathetic, I know. But I had the stomach flu…and I couldn't knit. However: I could still cuddle yarn. Not too sick for that. Too sick for knitting. Never too sick for yarn.

Do you have something soothing and knitterly you do when you are sick? Let me know! I have a feeling that snuggling with my yarn isn't exactly the most grown-up thing to do, fever or no. But hey. It's how I roll…

I hope you are well, and that you find joy amidst your stitches this week.

– Sandi

P.S. As you read this, I'm much better and back at the needles. Whew! I feel human again.

 

Step-By-Step Instructions for Variations on the Stretchy Bind-off

Version A: Knitting through the back loops

This version gives a bind-off edge that looks just like a standard bind-off, but it is much stretchier.


Knitting Cast-On - Eastern Cast-On

Step 1: Knit together the first two stitches on the left needle THROUGH THE BACK LOOP. (Figure 1)


Back by popular demand, Knitting Daily's Online Editor, Kathleen Cubley, shares step-by-step instructions for different stretchy bind-offs in knitting.

Step 2: Slip the new stitch on the right needle back to the left needle. (Figure 2)


Step 3: Repeat 1 and 2 until all stitches are bound off.

Back by popular demand, Knitting Daily's Online Editor, Kathleen Cubley, shares step-by-step instructions for different stretchy bind-offs in knitting.

Notice how the bind-off edge is nearly indistiguishable from your normal bind-off, but give it a tug and you'll see how much more flexible it is. (Figure 3)

 

Version B: Knitting through the front loops

The finished edge of this version looks slightly different but is just as stretchy as the other version.
Which to use when? I'd say it's a matter of personal taste.


Back by popular demand, Knitting Daily's Online Editor, Kathleen Cubley, shares step-by-step instructions for different stretchy bind-offs in knitting.

Step 1: Knit together the first two stitches on the left needle. (Figure 4)


Step 2: Slip the new stitch on the right needle back to the left needle.


Step 3: Repeat these two steps until all stitches are bound off.

Back by popular demand, Knitting Daily's Online Editor, Kathleen Cubley, shares step-by-step instructions for different stretchy bind-offs in knitting.

Notice that I show two samples in (Figure 5); the stitches are worked exactly the same way in both, but in the sample on the right, I used bright green yarn for the bind-off row so that you could see the finished effect more clearly.

Note that you can also use a variation of this bind-off on the purl side of a garment: Either *P2tog, slip new stitch to left needle; repeat to end–OR *P2tog tbl, slip new stitch to left needle; repeat to end.

All right then: Go forth and bind off–or, if you use the British nomenclature: Cast off!



Back by popular demand, Knitting Daily's Online Editor, Kathleen Cubley, shares step-by-step instructions for different stretchy bind-offs in knitting.

 

Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, follow her tweets: alpacasandi.

 



 

Back by popular demand, Knitting Daily's Online Editor, Kathleen Cubley, shares step-by-step instructions for different stretchy bind-offs in knitting.

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