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Beginner Basics: Knit.101

Binding Off

Once your knitted fabric is as long as you want it to be, you’ll need to bind off its top stitches in order to prevent it from unraveling into an unfortunate pile of yarn on the floor. Binding off is generally a very easy process, with only one thing to watch out for: tension. Knitters often bind off too tightly, creating a pucker at the top of all that hard work. To avoid this, try binding off with a needle two sizes larger than you were using for the project.

BASIC KNIT BIND-OFF

We have shown the basic knit bind-off over stockinette stitch, but the process is exactly the same when binding off garter stitch.

basic knit bind-off
basic bind-off basic bind-off basic bind-off

1. Knit two stitches. *Insert the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle.

2. Pull this stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle. 3. One stitch remains on the right needle as shown. Knit the next stitch. Repeat from the * until you have bound off the required number of stitches.

THREE-NEEDLE BIND-OFF

This bind-off is used to join two edges that have the same number of stitches, such as shoulder edges, which have been placed on holders.

three-needle bind-off
three-needle bind-off three-needle bind-off three-needle bind-off

1. With the right side of the two pieces facing each other, and the needles parallel, insert a third needle knitwise into the first stitch of each needle. Wrap the yarn around the needle as if to knit.

2. Knit these two stitches together and slip them off the needles. *Knit the next two stitches together in the same way as shown. 3. Slip the first stitch on the third needle over the second stitch and off the needle. Repeat from the * in step 2 across the row until all the stitches are bound off.

See Finishing to learn how to weave in ends, block and seam your garment.