A step by step tutorial for a super stretchy bind-off method you can use when knitting double ribbings
Have you tried binding off your project with a standard method and the hem of your sweater or the cuff of your socks ended up too tight? Well, then you came to the right place because in this tutorial I will show you a simple and super stretchy bind-off for the 2×2 rib stitch.
Double ribbing is a very popular knitting stitch pattern. It does, however, have a lot of negative ease. Often, that is exactly the desired property. The problem: When you use a standard bind-off (or cast-off for the knitters from the UK) your edge isn’t stretchy enough and constricts your fabric.
So, let’s show you a very simple and stretchy alternative.
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- Knit two stitches.
- Knit these two stitches on your right needle together through the back loop (k2tog tbl) by inserting your left needle into them again.
- Purl 1 stitch.
- Purl the two stitches on your right needle together (p2tog). So, insert your left needle into them one more time.
- Purl another stitch and p2tog the two stitches (so repeat steps 3+4).
- Knit one stitch and k2tog tbl the two stitches on your right needle.
- Repeat step 6.
- Repeat steps 3-7 until you bound off all stitches.
Be aware that this stretchy bind-off will create a bit of flare. So, when your fabric lays flat, your edge will bunch out quite a bit. And the edge itself may look a bit puckered on top of that. For a fitted garment (like socks or a hat), this really doesn’t matter as it has to look neat when you wear it. And then and there it’s perfect.
If you are using it on a toy or for the hem of a sweater, then this might be an unwelcome effect. In this case, I would use the standard bind-off and knit really loosely. So, when you knit one stitch or you pass a stitch over, stretch out these loops a lot more than you normally would.
As an alternative, there’s the yarn over bind-off or even Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off. The latter involves reverse yarn overs and I feel is less smooth of a process. It does, however, form a more condensed edge when your project lays flat.