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Binding Off at Both Ends

It has taken me awhile to shoot video and post this technique, partly because this is one of my "unventions." I haven't seen this technique documented elsewhere. Rather, I derived it. It allows you to bind off at both the beginning and the end of a row of knitting without one side being taller than the other.

In the top photograph, you can see the left corner and right corner don't match. The left corner has one more row of stitches, making the stripe thicker. In the bottom photograph, both corners match. Yes, this is a very picky detail that typically makes little difference. But for those it does annoy, this technique will delight. I usually teach this in my "Refined Baby Surprise Jacket" class as well as "Unventions" and "Looping Back" classes.

The directions:
  • Bind off at the beginning of the row, as per the instructions.
  • Work across in pattern, stopping with what you need to bind off plus one stitch remaining at the end of the row. (For example, if you want to bind off 5 stitches, stop when 6 remain.)
  • Put the work down. Stretch the yarn out and create a numeral "4."
  • The horizontal in the "4" becomes the yarn to be trapped, while the vertical is attached to the project and remains the working yarn.
  • Work the remaining stitches just a little loosely, trapping the horizontal yarn as you work. This is the same trapping maneuver used in stranded Fair Isle colorwork knitting.
  • Turn the work.
  • Evaporate the excess yarn by tugging gently on the skein end of the yarn.
  • Bind off the stitches without working them.
  • Note: if you will be resuming work with a purl stitch, you do not need to move the working yarn. If you will be resuming work with a knit stitch, then move that yarn to the back of the work just before you bind off the last stitch.
  • Slip the stitch on the right needle back to the left needle, as it has not yet been worked.
  • Resume work in pattern.


plnc said…
Another fabulous technique!
Anonymous said…
Very cool!
Anonymous said…
Hi - this is amazing! Does anyone have an idea how it could work on a purl row?
Anonymous said…
Wonderful! This was keeping me awake last night, trying to figure out how to get that working yarn back to where i needed it. Thanks for posting this wonderful solution!
Anonymous said…
Thank you so much. I was very confused and ended up knitting 2 together instead of casting off(only 2 stitches). Excellent video. Well done. K from Australia.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for writing out these instructions and including them with the video.
Excellent technique!!