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.
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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- 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).
- Pick up color B and purl lightly all the way across the back needle. Just one row.
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.
- 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.
- Preparation step 1: Pull the yarn through the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl.
- 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.
Note: You only have to do these two preparational steps once.
- 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.
- Go into the next stitch purlwise, pull the yarn through but keep it on the needle.
- Pull the yarn through the first stitch on the back needle purlwise (so from left to right), and drop it off the needles.
- Insert your tapestry needle into the adjacent stitch knitwise, and keep it on the needles.
- Repeat steps 6-9 until you come to the last two stitches.
- 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).
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.
Step 2: Cutt off color A, thread it on a tapestry needle and go through the first stitch in color A 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.
Step 4: Go into the first stitch (color A) knitwise and slip it off the needle.
Step 5: Go into the next knit stitch in color A purlwise (so, that should be the second stitch).
Step 6: Go into the first purl stitch (color B; should now be the first stitch) purlwise and drop it off the needle.
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.
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.