A stretchy bind-off for the 2×2 rib stitch

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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Stretchy bind-off for the 2x2 rib instructions

a surprisingly stretchy bind off 2x2 rib stitch - close-up shot

This stretchy bind-off works similar to the standard method. But instead of passing stitches over, you knit them together. Plus, you have to bind off in pattern. Meaning you knit all knit stitches and purl all purl stitches.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  1. Knit two stitches.

    knitting two stitches as a preparation for the stretchy bind-off
  2. Knit these two stitches on your right needle together through the back loop (k2tog tbl) by inserting your left needle into them again.

    knitting the two stitches on the right needle together though back loop to start the stretchy bind-off for 2x2 rib stitch
  3. Purl 1 stitch.

    purling one stitch
  4. Purl the two stitches on your right needle together (p2tog). So, insert your left needle into them one more time.

    purling the two stitches together
  5. Purl another stitch and p2tog the two stitches (so repeat steps 3+4).

    purling two stitches on the right needle together
  6. Knit one stitch and k2tog tbl the two stitches on your right needle.

    knitting one more stitch
  7. Repeat step 6.

    knitting two stitches on the right needle together through back loop
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 until you bound off all stitches.
    step 9 repeat over and over again to finish the stretchy 2x2 rib bind off

Reading tip: Here’s a post comparing the 10 stretchiest bind-offs in knitting

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.

And that’s how to do the stretchy bind-off for the 2×2 rib. Comment below in case you have any questions.

a super stretchy bind off for 2x2 rib stitch

7 thoughts on “A stretchy bind-off for the 2×2 rib stitch”

    • Hey Ann,

      sure. I mean, it’s a bit difficult to generalize because it will depend on quite a lot of factors, but as a general rule yes. And I mean..for a cuff, just try it and if it doesn’t work you can frog it again. It’s not like you are binding off a shawl with 400 stitches

  1. this looks so easy! I’m about to use it on a 6″ 2×2 rib cowl that will flare out anyway at the bottom to sort of sit at the collarbone so the flare will be just perfect there! Thanks-I’ve subscribed for more tips and patterns too!


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