When you have reached the end of your knitting project you will want to bind off.
Binding off, or casting off, is the last step in your knitting project. It is what keeps your project from unraveling so it is an important part of knitting.
It’s also a pretty exciting moment as you near the finish line. But don’t start celebrating just yet.
Taking the time to learn how to bind off will be time well-invested. The photo tutorial below will show you how to cast off so you can finish your projects with confidence.
BASIC BIND OFF/CAST OFF
The technique demonstrated below is the standard bind off. It is also known as the basic bind off or cast off.
This method is the most commonly known and used for knitters. It is also easy to learn and makes a neat, tidy edge.
When to Use the Standard Bind Off/Cast Off
- Projects that require a loose or stretchy bind off.
- Pieces that you will seam together.
Scarves, blanket squares, and wraps are a few examples that would work well with the standard bind off.
How to Bind Off/Cast Off in Garter Stitch
When you have reached the last row of your project, you will follow the steps below to cast off in knitting.
STEP 1: Knit the first two stitches in your last row. Then insert your left needle into the first stitch on your right needle. This will be the stitch in the back.
STEP 2: Lift the first stitch over the second stitch and drop it off the needle.
You will now have one stitch on your right needle.
STEP 3: Knit another stitch from your left needle. You will again have two stitches on your right needle.
* Every time you have two stitches on your right needle you will repeat the process as before.
Lift the back stitch over the front stitch and drop it off the needle. Knit another stitch.
Repeat steps one, two, and three until only one stitch remains.
STEP 4: With the last stitch on your needle, cut your yarn. Be sure to leave a 4" - 6” tail to weave in later.
Draw the yarn tail through the last loop and pull it snug. This will keep your project from unraveling.
As you bind off remember to keep your tension relaxed (but not loose!). Too tight and the edge will pucker. Too loose and it will look sloppy.
TIP: If you tend to knit tightly, bind off with one needle size larger. This will ensure a nice, elastic edge that looks tidy.
How to Bind Off/Cast Off in Purl Stitch
If your pattern calls for a bind off in purl stitch, this is easy to do.
The bind off is like the garter stitch bind off. You just need to make one small change. Instead of knitting the stitches in the cast off row, you would purl them.
Don’t know how to purl yet? That’s ok. We've got you covered. You can quickly learn how to purl with our photo tutorial.
That’s it! Weave in ends and wear with pride.
Ready to start another project? Take a look at our Knitting Patterns page for knitting ideas. You’re sure to find something you’d love to knit.
*Editor's Note: First published in December 2017, this post has been completely updated. - October 29, 2018