Binding Off Lace: 3 Loose Lace Bind-Offs

Lace Cardigan knitting pattern is an example of a lace bind off that is looser.

Lace Cardigan by Simona Merchant-Dest

From easy to advanced lace knitting projects, there are so many beautiful lace patterns to knit, it’s hard to choose. I find that after following pages of intricate charts and working instructions, it’s frustrating when a pattern ends abruptly with a note to “bind-off loosely.” You’ll find expert methods for the perfect lace bind off below.

We’ve gathered 20 of our favorite lace knitting patterns for you in one place, our new eBook, Simply Modern Lace. Believe me, it was hard to choose just 20! And not only does this collection include fabulous knit lace designs, it also includes instruction on knitting lace.

Today, I’m sharing one of the lessons from Simply Modern Lace: three loose, lace bind-offs that work great with lace projects.

Lace Bind Off Projects

Although the standard k1, psso bind-off may be loosened slightly by working it with needles many sizes larger than those used for the body, it still may not have the necessary give to stretch comfortably with the fabric.

The following variations on binding off may be a little more challenging to work, but the results are well worth it.

Modified Standard Bind-Off

Modified Standard Lace Bind Off.

Modified Standard Bind-Off

If working with very large needles doesn’t produce a bind-off with enough elasticity, a little extra yarn can be manually inserted as you work. Bind off as usual, making a yarnover between stitches at regular intervals (Figure 1) and slipping it over with the stitch being bound off (Figure 2). Depending on how open and airy the body stitch is—and how far it needs to stretch—a yarnover may be inserted between every third, second, or even after every stitch.

Suspended Bind-Off

Suspended Bind-Off

Suspended Bind-Off

Another variation on the standard method, this provides more stretch by inserting extra yarn in the bind-off. Slip one stitch, knit one stitch, *insert left needle tip into first stitch on right needle and lift the first stitch over the second, keeping the lifted stitch at the end of the left needle (Figure 1). Skipping the lifted stitch, knit the next stitch (Figure 2), then slip both stitches off the left needle—two stitches remain on right needle and one stitch has been bound off (Figure 3) Repeat from * until no stitches remain on left needle, then pass first stitch on right needle over second.

Lace Bind-Off

Lace Bind-Off

Lace Bind-Off

Sometimes called a Russian bind-off, the yielding—but very strong—edge this method created is ideal for edges that are to be blocked into points or scallops. Thought the lace bind off row is worked with purl stitches, it looks right at home on the right side of a stockinette fabric—a good thing, because a bind-off worked in this way with knit stitches doesn’t have the same elasticity.

Purl two stitches, *Slip the two stitches back onto the left needle, without twisting (Figure 1). Purl two together (Figure 2), purl one stitch (Figure 3). Repeat from * until one stitch remains; break yarn and pull through to finish.

I hope you try these bind-offs with your next lace project, or with any project that needs a loose bind-off.

Framework Shawl worked with a lace bind off method.

Framework Shawl

There are so many beautiful projects in Simply Modern Lace.

And there’s lots more lace knitting lessons, too, including instructions for four perfect cast-ons for lace knitting, how to read charts, and different ways to shape lace garments.

Download Simply Modern Lace today!


P.S. What challenges you about lace knitting? Tell us about it in the comments, and share your solutions, too!

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