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14 The knitsofacto bind off

Close up of bound off edge of button band.
I promised you a tutorial for the bind off I stumbled across while experimenting with just-so edges for Demne, and here it is! Oh, and I've added a picture to Demne's Ravelry page of young Finn wearing his little cardigan ... he's just so cute!

Demne is knitted cuff-to-cuff, and both cuffs and the button and buttonhole bands have bound off edges*. In consequence there's no need to worry about matching cast ons to bind offs, but two of the bind offs are prominently center front and I wanted them to blend well with the seed stitch bands. That's a section of the bound off buttonhole band in the picture above. What do you think?

I liked my bind off enough to ask Lal and Francesca to test knit it for me - thank you so much you two - and happily I got positive feedback from them both. Francesca declared it to be "the best garter stitch bind off ever" - you can see what she meant in picture 5 below - and encouragingly she both tried and failed to find anything quite like it elsewhere. Not that I suppose, not for one moment, that I'm the first to have invented a twisted purled bind off - think of all the knitters down the centuries puzzling out solutions to their knitting problems and you know there can be nothing new - but maybe I'm the first to have written it down?**

So, how do you work my knitsofacto bind off? Like this!

First tutorial image.
Working with needles a size or two smaller than those you have used to knit your garment*** purl the first stitch and place the new stitch you have just made, purlwise, back onto the left needle (not pictured). Next, insert the right needle into the first two stitches as if to knit them together (1), but instead slide them from the left needle (2), twist them anti-clockwise (3) and replace them, purlwise, onto the left needle, keeping the right needle to the front (4) ...

Second tutorial image.
... now purl these two stitches together (5 and 6), and then place the new stitch you have just made, purlwise, back onto the left needle (7), snugging the stitch into position (8), before working again from (1). Continue until you have purled the last two stitches together and then, as with any other bind off, pull the end of the yarn through the remaining stitch to finish. It's the right side that I've pictured here, but the reverse has a certain knobbly cable-like appeal too.

*Courtesy of a couple of provisional cast ons

**If you have seen this bind off somewhere else please do let me know.

*** If you knit reasonably tightly you may not need to drop a needle size ... experiment if you're unsure. If your needles are too big for the technique the bound off edge will flare slightly, if too small it will be too tight.

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  1. Very clear tutorial. I am sure this will go viral. :)

    BTW, I was looking at YouTube videos for more bind-off techniques in my search for the best match to the Channel Islands cast-on, and didn't see anything resembling your method. But I saw a couple of things that might be a starting point for my swatches: Russian and Icelandic bind-offs. And I am also looking at picot bind-offs. I'll keep trying until I can get the book you recommended.

  2. Great tutorial. I have been so hooked on crochet lately but I am getting the urge to knit. Time to start thinking about those winter jumpers... x

  3. Thank you Annie for this great tutorial! I'll try this new and beautiful cast off as soon as possible!

  4. Thank you Annie for this unvention. I shall try it when I finish my next project.

  5. I haven't seen anything like that before - how clever to make it up!

    Pomona x

  6. I must try this - it is always hard to find matching cast ons and bind offs. Sometimes I use crochet cast on the match regular bind off, but it's more fussy and you have to plan in advance.

  7. I'm approaching the cast off stage (of a very, very slowly knitted back to a sweater for a friend), so I'm going to give this a go - very clear instructions, thank you!


  8. Thank you all for your kind comments. And if you do give this bind off a try please let me know what you think of it :)

  9. This is very nice and neat! I know this will come in handy one day--thanks!

  10. This is great, thanks for sharing it in such a clear way. xxx

  11. Very clear and looks mighty clean and straight. I will save this to my knitting bookmarks for later. I love a good bind off - and I admire inventive knitters like you!

  12. I am seriously in awe of you right now... Never seen anything like it in my 35 years of knitting. I'm about to cast on for a February Lady sweater and as I was binding off my swatch (yes! I really made a swatch!), I did a quick search on Pinterest to see if there was a bind off that might look better with garter stitch but still have some give. You've done it! Hats off to you!

  13. Wow! This really works and it looks great! It took me a few goes to work out whether to hold the yarn in front or back in the different stages, but got there in the end. Thank you for sharing this. Btw I have to work slightly on the loose side on same size needles to get the best result. Thank you! Imke


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