Bind Off Stitches Knitting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Bind Off Stitches Knitting: A Step-by-Step Guide

When you’re finished knitting a project, whether it’s a cozy sweater, a plush blanket, or a cute hat, it’s important to properly bind off your stitches to secure your work and prevent it from unraveling. Binding off, also known as casting off, is the final step in knitting and it gives your project a clean and finished edge.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of binding off stitches in knitting. We’ll cover the basic method, as well as some variations you can try to add a decorative touch to your projects.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that different knitting patterns may have specific instructions for binding off. Make sure to follow the pattern’s instructions if they differ from the general technique we’ll outline here.

Ready to learn how to bind off stitches? Let’s get started!

Prepare your project

Before you can bind off your knitting, you’ll need to make sure your project is ready. Follow these steps to prepare your project:

  1. Complete the necessary rows or rounds: Make sure you have completed all the necessary rows or rounds of your knitting project. Binding off is typically done at the end of a project, so make sure you have reached the desired length or completed the required pattern before proceeding.
  2. Cut the yarn: Once you have finished your desired number of rows or rounds, cut the working yarn, leaving a tail that is long enough to comfortably weave in later. This tail will be used to secure the bound-off stitches.
  3. Arrange your stitches: Take a moment to arrange your stitches on the needles so they are positioned correctly. This will ensure a smooth and even bind off. Make sure all the stitches are facing the same direction and are not twisted on the needles.
  4. Prepare any necessary stitch markers: If your pattern requires any stitch markers, make sure you have them in place before beginning the bind off. These markers will help guide you and ensure you bind off the correct stitches in the correct order.

Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to start binding off your stitches. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the next section to learn how to bind off.

Start the first binding off stitch

To start the binding off process, begin by knitting the first two stitches as usual. This will create two stitches on the right-hand needle.

Next, use the tip of the left-hand needle to pass the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right-hand needle. This is similar to the process of knitting two together.

You now have one stitch left on the right-hand needle. Knit the next stitch as usual, creating two stitches on the right-hand needle again.

Repeat the process of passing the first stitch over the second stitch and off the needle until you have bound off all the stitches from the left-hand needle.

You can continue this process until you have bound off all of the stitches, or you can use a different binding off method for the last stitch, such as the traditional bind off or the stretchy bind off.

Knit the next stitch

After you have passed the first stitch over the second stitch, the next stitch on your left-hand needle is the one you will knit. Insert the right-hand needle into the next stitch from left to right, just as you would for a regular knit stitch.

Wrap the working yarn around the right-hand needle counterclockwise, bringing the yarn from the back to the front of the work.

Use the right-hand needle to pull the loop of the stitch through the existing stitch, creating a new loop on the right-hand needle.

Slide the new stitch onto the right-hand needle and allow the old stitch to fall off the left-hand needle, completing the knitting of that stitch.

Continue knitting each stitch in the row in the same manner until you reach the end of the row.

Pass the first stitch over the second stitch

Once you have completed knitting all the necessary stitches, it is time to bind off your work. Binding off, also known as casting off, is the process of securing the stitches and creating a finished edge. One common method to bind off stitches is to pass the first stitch over the second stitch. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Knit the first two stitches.
  2. Insert the tip of the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle.
  3. Lift the first stitch over the second stitch, passing it over the top and off the right needle.
  4. One stitch has now been bound off.
  5. Continue knitting the next stitch on the left needle.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 until all stitches have been bound off.
  7. When you have one stitch remaining on the right needle, cut the yarn, leaving a tail of about 6 inches.
  8. Thread the tail through the last stitch and pull tight to secure.

Now you have successfully bound off your stitches using the method of passing the first stitch over the second stitch. This technique creates a neat and even edge, perfect for finishing off your knitted project.

Continue binding off stitches

After binding off the first stitch, you will have one stitch on your right needle and one stitch on your left needle. To continue the binding off process, follow these steps:

  1. Insert your right needle into the first stitch on your left needle, as if to knit.
  2. Wrap the yarn around the right needle counterclockwise, just like you would for a knit stitch.
  3. Use the right needle to pull the wrapped stitch through the first stitch on the left needle.
  4. Now you have two stitches on your right needle.

Repeat the previous steps until you have bound off all the stitches. Keep in mind that the number of stitches on your left needle will decrease with each stitch you bind off.


Secure the last stitch

Once you have completed the bind off, it’s important to secure the last stitch to prevent it from unraveling.

There are several methods you can use to secure the last stitch, including:

  • Weaving in the ends: Thread the tail of the yarn onto a tapestry needle and pass it through the last stitch. Then, weave the needle in and out of the nearby stitches on the wrong side of the work to secure the yarn. Trim any excess yarn.
  • Using a crochet hook: Insert the crochet hook into the last stitch and pull the yarn through to create a loop. Then, pull the loop tight to secure the stitch. Trim any excess yarn.
  • Knotting the yarn: If you prefer a more secure method, you can knot the yarn. Leave a long tail of yarn before cutting it, then make a knot at the end of the tail. Trim any excess yarn.
  • Using a slipknot: Create a slipknot with the yarn tail and insert it into the last stitch. Pull the slipknot tight to secure the stitch. Trim any excess yarn.

Choose the method that you feel most comfortable with and ensure that the last stitch is securely fastened.

This will help to prevent any accidental unraveling of your finished knitting project.


Weave in the loose ends

Once you have completed binding off your stitches, you will be left with a few loose ends of yarn from the cast-on and bind-off edges. It is important to weave in these loose ends to secure them and prevent your work from unraveling.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to weave in the loose ends:

  1. Thread the loose end onto a yarn needle: Take one of the loose ends and thread it onto a yarn needle with a large eye. This will make it easier to weave in the ends without them slipping out.
  2. Weave the needle under the stitches: Insert the needle under the stitches of the knitted fabric, following the same path as the yarn. Be careful not to pull too tightly, as this can cause the fabric to pucker.
  3. Weave in multiple directions: To ensure a secure weave, weave the loose end in multiple directions. For example, if you initially weave the end horizontally, weave it vertically in the opposite direction.
  4. Trim the excess: Once you have woven the loose end in securely, trim any excess yarn, leaving a small tail that is less likely to come undone.

Note: If you are joining a new skein of yarn, it is best to weave in the loose end as you go along. This will help to eliminate bulkiness and prevent loose ends from getting in the way while knitting.

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

Once you have finished binding off your stitches, you’re almost done with your knitting project! However, there are a few final touches you can add to give your project a polished look.

1. Weave in the ends: Use a tapestry needle to weave the loose ends of yarn into the fabric of your project. This will secure them and prevent them from unraveling.

2. Block your project: Depending on the type of yarn you used and the pattern of your knitting, you may want to block your project to give it a more professional finish. Blocking involves wetting your knitted piece, pinning it into shape, and allowing it to dry.

3. Add any decorative touches: If desired, you can add decorative elements to your knitting project. This could include adding buttons, embroidery, or appliques to enhance the design.

4. Give it a final check: Once you have completed these finishing touches, take a moment to inspect your project. Check for any mistakes or imperfections and fix them if necessary. This is your last chance to make any adjustments before considering your project complete.

Remember, the finishing touches are what give your knitting project its final polish. Take the time to complete these steps and your project will look even more beautiful!


What is binding off in knitting?

Binding off in knitting is the process of finishing a piece by creating a secure edge and preventing further unraveling of the stitches. It involves removing stitches from the knitting needle in a controlled manner.

How do I bind off stitches in knitting?

To bind off stitches in knitting, you start by knitting two stitches. Then, you use the left needle to lift the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle. Next, you knit one stitch and repeat the process of lifting stitches over until only one stitch remains. Finally, you cut the yarn, draw it through the last stitch, and pull it tight.

Are there different ways to bind off stitches in knitting?

Yes, there are different ways to bind off stitches in knitting. The most common method is the basic bind off described in the article, where you simply lift stitches over each other. However, there are also stretchy bind offs, decorative bind offs, and picot bind offs, among others, which create different effects and edges.

What is a stretchy bind off in knitting?

A stretchy bind off in knitting is a method of finishing a piece that creates a more flexible and elastic edge. It is especially useful when binding off stitches for items like socks or hats, where a tight edge could be uncomfortable. The stretchy bind off typically involves using yarn overs and knitting two stitches together to add extra give to the edge.

Can I use a crochet hook for binding off stitches in knitting?

Yes, you can use a crochet hook for binding off stitches in knitting. This method is called a crochet bind off and can be used to create a decorative edge or when you need to bind off a large number of stitches quickly. To crochet bind off, you insert the hook into the first stitch, yarn over, and pull through both the stitch and the loop on the hook. Repeat this process for each stitch until all stitches are bound off.


How to bind off – 10 different techniques from easy to super stretchy [+tips & tricks]

How to knit Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off [step-by-step for beginners]

How to bind off the last stitch in knitting and make it look neater (2 easy methods)

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