How to knit Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off

A step-by-step tutorial (+video) on knitting Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off the continental way – perfect for rib stitches.

Are you looking for a super stretchy bind-off to finish your ribbings? Did you notice that your cuffs or hems always lack that little bit of extra give whenever you use your standard method? Then I’m sure you will find Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off a lovely alternative.

someone stretching out a swatch with jenys surprisingly stretchy bind off

It was first popularized by Jeny Staiman in 2009 and quickly gained popularity in the knitting community. It is reasonably easy to knit, stretchy (as the name would suggest), doesn’t flare out all that much, and is very versatile. You can basically use it for any knit-purl combination, though it is typically used for ribbing.

someone holding a swatch to show the edge created by jenys surprisingly stretchy bind off

I personally am not that happy with the name. I would argue that knitting techniques should have descriptive and systematic names (like the equally as stretchy yarn over bind-off). Double-decrease bind-off would thus be a better name. Less confusing for beginners if you ask me.

Either way, let’s knit it together the continental way.

Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.

Instructions: How to knit Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off

close up of the edge created by jenys surprisingly stretchy bind off on a wooden table with various knitting tools in the background

For this bind-off technique, you have to work in pattern. This means you have to knit all stitches the way they appear. While it will work for any knitting stitch pattern, I will demonstrate the repeat for a 1x1 rib stitch as an example. See below for further applications of Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Instructions

  1. Start with a backward yarn over (so you wrap the yarn around the needle clockwise, instead of the usual counter-clockwise).

    starting jenys surprisingly stretchy bind off with a backward yarn over
  2. Knit one stitch.

    knitting one stitch
  3. Pass the second stitch (the yarn over) over the first one and drop it off the needles.

    passing the second stitch over the first one and dropping it off the needles
  4. Add a regular yarn over.

    adding a simple yarn over to the right needle
  5. Purl one stitch. You should now have three stitches on your right needle.

    purling one stitch
  6. Pass the second stitch over the first stitch on the right needle and drop it off the needles.

    passing the second stitch over the first one on the right needle
  7. Pass the last stitch over the first stitch and drop it off the needles as well. Essentially you are knitting a double decrease here.

    passing the last stitch over
  8. Add a backward yarn over.

    adding a backward yarn over between the stitches
  9. Knit one stitch. You should be back to three stitches on your right needle again.

    knitting one stitch
  10. Pass the second, and then the third stitch over the first one, and drop both off the needle the way you did before.

    passing the second and third stitch over the first
  11. Continue repeating steps 4-10 to knit Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off.

    continuing these steps to knit jenys stretchy bind off

Notes

If your pattern starts with a purl stitch, then you have to start this bind-off with a regular yarn over followed by a purl stitch. As I said in the introduction, the idea is knitting every stitch the way it appears according to the following system:

  • Before every purl stitch, you add a regular yarn over, then you purl that stitch.
  • Before every knit stitch, you add a backward yarn over, then you knit that stitch.
  • After every step, you pass all stitches on the right needle over the first one at a time.
  • Instructions for the 2×2 rib stitch

    someone knitting jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off for a 2x2 rib stitch

    Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off is also a favorite for a 2×2 rib stitch. The technique is the exact same but I thought a lot of readers might benefit from having the written instructions just in case. My swatch starts with two knit stitches and then you can finish your project as follows:

    • Step 1: Start with a backward yarn over.
    • Step 2: Knit one stitch.
    • Step 3: Pass the second stitch over & drop it off the needle.
    • Step 4: Add a backward yarn over.
    • Step 5: Knit one stitch (3 stitches on the needle).
    • Step 6: First, pass the second stitch over the first one and drop it off the needle. Then pass the last stitch over the first one and drop it as well.
    • Step 7: Add a yarn over.
    • Step 8: Purl one stitch (3 stitches on the needle).
    • Step 9: Pass over and drop the second and third stitch on the right needle.
    • Step 10: Add a yarn over.
    • Step 11: Purl one stitch (3 stitches on the needle).
    • Step 12: Pass over and drop the second and third stitch.
    • Repeat steps 1-12 over and over again until you reached the desired length
    close-up of the edge created by jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off when you pair with with a 2x2 rib stitch

    Again, the trick really boils down to understanding that you simply have to add a backward yarn over before every knit stitch and a standard yarn over before every purl stitch (read this article if you have problems telling the difference between knit and purl stitches & how to read your knitting).

    Do note, however, that there is also a special stretchy bind-off for the 2×2 rib stitch you might want to check out instead. Both methods are entirely valid and I leave it up to you and your preferences/pattern to pick the one that works best for you.

    Anyway, that’s how to knit Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off. Comment below in case you need any further help.

    how to knit jenys surprisingly stretchy bind off - a step by step tutorial

    Leave a Comment

    Skip to Instructions