Alpaca Direct Blog

A Stretchy Sewn Bind-Off Tutorial

AD-stretchy-bind-offToday'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, and anywhere you'd like a nice stretchy edge. It's also a near perfect match for the backwards loop cast on! We suggest trying this on your next cowl too, as you can have perfectly matching and stretchy edges on both your cast on and bind off edges. This bind off can be difficult if worked over really large numbers of stitches, like on the bottom edge of a shawl. Because the yarn is cut and pulled through the stitches you need a tail that's four times the length of your fabric where you are binding off, which can be quite large on the bottom edging of a shawl! This bind off is, however, faster and easier than some of the knit alternatives, so we'd recommend trying it on smaller projects that have a moderate number of stitches that need to be bound off. This bind off is great for any pattern you're working. Our swatch here is knit in stockinette stitch, but this bind off works on all stitch patterns equally well. Alpaca Direct Stretchy Bind Off 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 needleAlpaca Direct Stretchy Bind Off Step 2: Insert  the tapestry needle purlwise into the first stitch, pulling it off the needle. Alpaca Direct Stretchy Bind Off Step 3: Insert tapestry needle knitwise into the next stitch, leaving the stitch on the needle. Alpaca Direct Stretchy Bind Off Step 3: Pull yarn through the two stitches, leaving a loop before the first stitch (the one that you just dropped off the knitting needle). DSC_0653 Step 4: With the yarn in front bring the tapestry needle through the loop, from front to back, making sure the loop is not twisted. Alpaca Direct Stretchy Bind Off Step 5: Pull yarn and tapestry needle until the loop is snug.  You've bound off one stitch!Alpaca Direct Stretchy Bind Off Repeat Steps 1-5 until there's one stitch left on the needle, and just slip that 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!  In the meantime, happy yarn shopping at Alpaca Direct!  
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