Everything you need to know about the suspended bind-off knitting method for a stretchier edge
Are you looking to add a little bit more give to your edges? Then the suspended bind-off could be your best friend. This ingenious method allows you to create the exact same edge as your regular bind-off technique – only stretchier.
It can be a little bit more complicated (read awkward) to knit. Still, with a little bit of patience and practice, you will certainly be able to use it to finish projects that need a moderately stretchy edge.
Let’s dive right into it!
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- Knit two stitches as normal.
- With yarn held in back, pass the second stitch over the first but KEEP the loop suspended on the left needle.
- With the loop still on the left needle, enter the second stitch on the left needle knitwise.
- Wrap the working yarn around the needle counter-clockwise.
- And pull the yarn all the way through. The loop still stays suspended on the left needle.
- Drop both loops off the left needle to finish binding off your first stitch.
- Pass the new second stitch over the first one and keep the loop suspended on the left needle again.
- Continue repeating steps 2-7 by entering the second stitch on the left needle knitwise.
Now, you might wonder how stretchy the suspended bind-off is, right? It is only medium stretchy. Depending on your tension, it will add around 5-10 percent more give.
Again, you have to understand that, technically speaking, it is the same edge. But as you keep the loop suspended for the time being, you prevent pulling things tight as you knit. In a way, it’s like binding off with a larger needle size when you don’t have one at hand (or are too lazy to get it).
Reading tip: If you need even more give, check out this list of the 10 best stretchy bind-off techniques.
Alternating suspended bind-off (for ribbings)
Now, what happens if you want to use the suspended bind-off for a 2×2 rib stitch or similar patterns where you alternate knit and purl stitches? Well, you can certainly employ the same technique with one MAJOR difference: You have to bring the yarn forward before you pass over whenever you next stitch is a purl stitch.
Step 1: Whenever your next stitch is a purl stitch, bring the yarn forward.
Step 2: Pass the second stitch over the first and keep it suspended on the left needle.
Step 3: Purl the (now) second stitch on your left needle. Then drop both stitches.
Step 4: Drop both loops off the left needle. (Note: This will definitely feel a little bit awkward for continental knitters. That’s normal)
It boils down to reading your knitting in anticipation of the next stitch you need to bind off. Whenever the next stitch is a purl stitch, you bring the yarn to the front and pass over, and whenever the next stitch is a knit stitch, you keep the yarn in back and pass over.
And in that manner, you can adapt the suspended bind-off and create an in-pattern edge – no matter if you are knitting a 1×1 rib, a 2×2 rib, or seed stitch.