Today's post is about a lesser-known stretchy bind off. It's a variation on Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off, but stretchier. This bind-off is great for toe-up socks, neckbands, and anywhere you'd like a nice, stretchy edge.
It's also a near perfect match for the backwards loop cast on, so if that's your favorite cast-on, and you like your CO and BO edges to match, this one is for you!
The super stretchy bind-off is faster and easier than some of the knit alternatives; we'd recommend trying it on smaller projects that have a moderate number of stitches that need to be bound off. Since you need three times the length of yarn as the finished edge you're binding off, you'd be pulling LOTS of yarn through each stitch on a large project like a shawl.
Our swatch is knit in stockinette stitch, but this bind-off works on all stitch patterns equally well.
Step 1: Measure out yarn to about 4 times the length of your fabric, then an extra 10-16" for a tail, cut yarn and thread through a blunt tip tapestry needle.
Step 2: Insert the tapestry needle purlwise into the first stitch, pulling it off the needle.
Step 3: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into the next stitch, leaving the stitch on the needle.
Step 4: Pull yarn through the two stitches, leaving a loop before the first stitch (the one that you just dropped off the knitting needle).
Step 5: With the yarn in front bring the tapestry needle through the loop, from front to back, making sure the loop is not twisted.
Step 6: Pull yarn and tapestry needle until the loop is snug. You've bound off one stitch!
Repeat Steps 1-5 until there's one stitch left on the needle, and just slip that stitch off the needle. It won't unravel because you've already passed yarn through this stitch, since the sewn bind off pulls the yarn through each stitch twice, (once when you pull through and leave the stitch on the needle, and again when you thread the yarn through the stitch and pull it off the needle).
The first and last stitch will only have the yarn passed through once, but that's enough to make sure it won't come unraveled. If you try this bind off we'd love to hear about it.
If you knit socks cuff down be sure to take a look at our Super Stretchy Picot Cast-On Tutorial. Is there another technique that you'd like to see us write about on the blog? Leave a comment and let us know.
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