How to knit the Latvian bind-off

A step-by-step tutorial for the super stretchy Latvian bind-off method using a tapestry needle

The Latvian bind-off is a lovely variation of the sewn bind-off and requires a tapestry needle as well. It is even stretchier and creates a lovely little braided edge. It’s a very nice technique for lace patterns and all other projects where you absolutely don’t want to constrict the fabric with a tight edge.

someone stretching latvian bind off to the max

I would rank this method among the more difficult stretchy bind-offs in knitting, for three reasons: First of all you absolutely shouldn’t miscalculate your tail, you can mess up your gauge while sewing too tightly, and it’s very difficult to unravel. At the same, there’s no denying that the Latvian bind-off is beautiful, doesn’t flare out, and is stretchy. So, it sure comes with a lot of benefits as well.

top view of the edge created by the latvian bind-off

Note: Please do not confuse this method with the Latvian braid bind-off – they are two separate techniques. The latter uses two colors and is worked with knitting needles.

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Instructions: How to knit the Latvian bind-off

someone showing how to do the latvian bind off with a tapestry needle

The Latvian bind-off creates a very ornamental and stretchy edge. Do keep in mind it's very difficult to unravel. So, perhaps test it on a swatch first and definitely test your edge after the first 10-20 stitches.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  1. Break the yarn leaving a tail that is at least 4 times as long as your project is wide stretched out.

    preparing the tail for the latvian bind off
  2. First setup stitch: Thread the tail on a tapestry needle and go through the second stitch on your left needle knitwise and pull the yarn all the way through.
    Note: Some people skip this step but I feel it creates a neater connection between the first and second stitch.

    entering the second stitch knitwise and pulling the yarn through
  3. Second setup stitch: go through the first stitch purlwise (so from right to left).

    entertig the first stitch purlwise
  4. Next, pull the tapestry needle through the THIRD stitch knitwise (so from left to right).

    entering the third stitch on the needle knitwise
  5. Go through the SECOND stitch coming in from behind and get out UNDER the bar you created.

    entering the second stitch from behidn and getting out above the bar
  6. Drop the first stitch off the left needle.

    dropping the first stitch
  7. Next, go through the (new) third stitch knitwise and pull the yarn through.

    entering the third stitch knitwise and pulling the yarn all the way through
  8. From here, go through the (new) second stitch coming in from behind but exit ABOVE the bar.

    going through the second stitch from behind and getting out above the bar
  9. Drop the first stitch off the left needle.

    dropping the first stitch off the needle again
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 until you bound off all stitches.

    repeating these steps for the latvian bind off


When you are knitting flat, you have to be careful with the last two stitches. Since there will not be a third stitch to go through, simply wrap the yarn around that side as if there was, and then enter the second stitch from behind as usual. From there, just drop the stitches off the needle and thread the tail through to the back piercing through the last stitch one row below. The video that is on autoplay here on this page will show you how.

Kindly note that the edge will typically look a bit wonky right after you’ve finished. Once you’ve stretched things out and blocked things, the loops will settle it. You can also spread the fabric out a bit to the top to facilitate this process.

Reading tip: Also check out my tutorial on the Latvian braid.

How stretchy is the Latvian bind-off?

comparing latvian with standard bind off on a blocking board - the latter being much stretchier
Top: Standard bind-off | Bottom: Latvian bind-off

Compared to the standard bind-off, it is about 30 to 35 percent stretchier. In fact, in the swatch above, it is the fabric that kept me from stretching things out even further, not the edge. So, if you are working on a lace pattern with a very loose gauge, you will definitely benefit from that.

a small swatch finished with the latvian bind off in blue yarn

Truth be told, it is by far the stretchiest method I know, even stretchier than the yarn over bind-off or Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off. However, it doesn’t really flare out at all. So, you can achieve a totally balanced fabric that doesn’t get wider towards the edge. Quite lovely and unique, if you call me. But do check out my list of stretchy bind-off methods here.

That’s how to do the Latvian bind-off. Comment below if you have any further questions.

how to knit the latvian bind off a super stretchy sewn method

3 thoughts on “How to knit the Latvian bind-off”

  1. Hello Norman, I love all your tutorials: they are very clear and have taught me many knitting tricks in a clear, methodical and well-illustrated ways. I have often tried to practice the Italian or tubular bind off, but I would really appreciate a clear video with you explaining the steps since you are such a wonderful teacher. I have searched your videos but was unable to find such a tutorial. Thank you very, very much for all your great work!!


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