Invisible bind off for double knitting

A step-by-step tutorial showing you how to bind off double knitting the most invisible way the easy way.

So, you just finished your first reversible colorwork project – well almost that is – and now you are looking for an invisible way to bind off double knitting, right? How do you do it? You tried casting off the regular way but it looked weird and not invisible at all.

Well, you did come to the right place. Because this tutorial will show you a very simple and easy way to finish your project. This method will create almost exactly the same edge as the invisible cast-on for double-knitting, so I do believe they are a match made in heaven.

someone holding an invisible bind off for double knitting in their hands so you can the profile and the neat transition

And the best part, it’s actually remarkably simple. Because basically you just have to do a standard Kitchener stitch. And if you think about it, why should it be more difficult? Double knitting is, at its core, a technique to knit two fabrics at the same time. And how do you join two pieces together in knitting the invisible? By grafting stitches.

Sounds scary? Not at all. It’s quite easy to do once you get the hang of it. Oh, and don’t forget to check out my video on double knitting on youtube.

Let’s dive right into it, eh?

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How to do an invisible bind-off for double knitting

someone doing an invisible bind-off for double knitting

This method is, strictly speaking, not a regular bind-off but rather a way to close a seam by grafting stitches. That's because in double knitting you are knitting two sides at the same time and in knitting, grafting is the easiest and most invisible way to seam. As a result, you will need a tapestry needle and two double-pointed or circular knitting needles.

Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Instructions

  1. Slip the stitches in color to A and B each to a separate needle (doesn't have to be the exact same size, can be slightly smaller or bigger as well).

    slipping the stitches in color a and b each to a separate knitting needle
    having slipped all stitches to two separate knitting needles
  2. Pick up color B and purl lightly all the way across the back needle. Just one row.

    purling across the row in color b on the back needle

    Note: You will be grafting one row of knit stitches in color A. So, to avoid creating a lopsided project, you have to add one row in color B here.
  3. Cut off yarn A leaving a tail that is around 4 times as long as your project is wide and thread it on a blunt tapestry needle.

    having cut off color a and having thread that tail on a tapestry needle
  4. Preparation step 1: Pull the yarn through the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl.

    pulling the tapestry needle through the second stitch on the front needle purlwise
  5. Preparation step 2: Pull the yarn through the first needle on the back needle as if to knit. Make sure that the needles don't catch the yarn; it always needs to stay below the knitting needles.

    pulling the yarn through the second stitch on the back needle knitwise

    Note: You only have to do these two preparational steps once.
  6. Insert your tapestry needle into the first stitch on the front needle knitwise (so from right to left), pull the yarn through, and drop the stitch off your needles.

    pulling the yarn through the first stitch on the front needle knitwise and dropping it off the needle at the same time
  7. Go into the next stitch purlwise, pull the yarn through but keep it on the needle.

    pulling the tapestry needle through the second stitch on the front needle purlwise
  8. Pull the yarn through the first stitch on the back needle purlwise (so from left to right), and drop it off the needles.

    pulling the tapestry needle through the first stitch on the back needle purlwise and dropping it off the knitting needle at the same time
  9. Insert your tapestry needle into the adjacent stitch knitwise, and keep it on the needles.
    inserting the tapestry needle through the second stitch on the back needle knitwise (and keeping that stitch on the needle)
  10. Repeat steps 6-9 until you come to the last two stitches.

    repeating these steps over and over again to bind off double stitch invisible
  11. Since there are no adjacent stitches anymore, you just drop the last stitch on the front needle knitwise, and the final stitch on the back needle purlwise (so skipping steps 7+9).

    binding off the last two stitches without going through the adjacent stitches (as there are none)

Notes

After each stitch, pull gently on the tail. Don't pull tight. You are grafting stitches and you want these stitches to be a bit loose - just like a normal knit stitch. If you pull too tight, you will create knots and that's not what you want.

You can adjust the tension by going into each stitch after you bound off all stitches. If they are too loose, you can pull out any excess, and carry it to the next stitch, working your way all the way to the edges.

How do bind off double knitting using only one needle?

Now, maybe you don’t have a spare needle at hand. Can you do this invisible bind-off for double knitting on only one needle – instead of two – as well? Sure you can, it is a bit more complicated, though.

Step 1: Instead of purling across the back needle, you have to *slip 1 with yarn in back, purl 1* one row using color B.

knitting across once with color b by doing slip 1 and purl 1

Step 2: Cutt off color A, thread it on a tapestry needle and go through the first stitch in color A purlwise.

inserting the tapestry needle into the first stitch purlwise

Step 3: Coming from behind, insert the tapestry needle into the gap between the first and second stitch, and then pull the yarn through the second stitch (should be color B) knitwise coming out on the backside. So you sorta have to go around in front.

inserting the tapestry needle through the gabe between the first and second stitch from behind and then going into the second stitch knitwise

Step 4: Go into the first stitch (color A) knitwise and slip it off the needle.

slipping the next stitch (color b) knitwise

Step 5: Go into the next knit stitch in color A purlwise (so, that should be the second stitch).

inserting the tapestry needle into the second stitch (color a) purlwise

Step 6: Go into the first purl stitch (color B; should now be the first stitch) purlwise and drop it off the needle.

inserting the tapestry needle into the next stitch (color b) purlwise and dropping it off the needles

Step 7: Insert the needle into the gap between the first and second stitch from behind, and pull the yarn through the next purl stitch (color B) knitwise.

inserting the tapestry needle from beind between the frist two stitches and then going into the second stitch knitwise

Step 8: Repeat steps 4-7 until the end of the row.

I don’t think this method is much harder but probably a bit more difficult to coordinate for a beginner. Especially, as you do go around the stitches, so you need to take care that you don’t accidentally mess up your tension.

On a more positive note: Once you understood that this is basically just regular grafting, you can use this technique to basically bind off any other knitting stitch pattern as well. Maybe you are double knitting ribbing, etc. Then you can always bind off two stitches the way I showed you here, and two with the Kitchener stitch purlwise (assuming you are doing a 2×2 rib stitch) and so on.

Anyway, that’s how to do the invisible bind-off for double knitting. Comment below in case you still have any questions.

Invisible bind off for double knitting - step by step tutorial for beginners.

3 thoughts on “Invisible bind off for double knitting”

  1. Two things I’ve never seen in other tutorials for this method: the extra back row of purl stitches, and the one simple sentence that says you must do a Kitchener stitch with the tapestry needle *always beneath the knitting needles*. I can’t tell you how frustrated I was with Kitchener when I first started because I was sewing from the top. Instructors don’t realize that might be a way first-timers will naturally sew.

    I also appreciate you giving instruction on doing this all on one needle. I usually do put it all on one needle, but again had never realized I should be adding that one extra purl row. Your photos make it simple to see how to do that.

    Reply

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