Bind Off Knitting (Casting Off Beginner Friendly)

Bind Off Knitting (Casting Off)    by Janice Jones     |Published 03-31-2021

There are several ways to bind off, but the most common one is also the easiest to learn and perfect for beginners.  You may see it abbreviated as BO.

Bind off in the garter stitch

Bind Off Knitting or BO

You do this in the same type of stitch you have previously worked on, so if you are working in a knit stitch, you will continue to bind off in a knit stitch. 

If you are making a row of purl stitches, your bind-off would be done in a purl stitch.  If you are working a pattern of both knit and purl stitches, you will continue in that same pattern.

You will see the terms in a pattern, bind of knitwise or bind off purlwise, to describe this procedure.

The following directions would be for a piece worked in knit stitches.  Please change if you are working in any other combination of stitches. The bind-off row should be knit with a loose stitch as you will be passing one stitch over another, and it just makes it easier if your stitches are loose.  It also creates a stretchy edge.

Shown is the bind off in the garter stich.

Directions for Bind Off Knitting

Step One

Knit two stitches. You will have both of these two knit stitches on your right-hand needle. 

Step Two

Using the tip of your left-hand needle, lift the first knitted stitch up and pass it over the last stitch you just knitted and allow the stitch to fall off your needle.  You now have one worked stitch left on the right-hand needle.  The abbreviation for this technique is called pass slipped stitch over. (PSSO)

Step Three

Knit one more stitch and then pass the original knit stitch up and over the stitch you just knitted.  Let it fall off the needle.

Step Four

Continue doing this until you reach the end of the row.

Step Five

When you reach the last stitch on your right-hand needle, cut the yarn, leaving a five or six-inch tail. Draw the tail through the last stitch and tug on the yarn end to secure it in place. 

If it is easier, use a crochet hook to draw the tail through the last stitch.  Another way is to use a yarn needle.  If you do use a yarn needle, continue to step six without unthreading your needle.

Step Six

Weave the yarn in and out of the piece to secure it in place.

Bind off using the garter stitch.

Weaving in the Ends

It’s essential to leave a yarn length after you finish the project to weave in the ends. This is to hide and secure them so the ends don’t unravel. 

Weaving means just that – snake the end through about five or six stitches, going diagonally or horizontally and then turning and going in the opposite direction.  If you simply slip your needle through five stitches, the ends are likely to unravel.  

Do not pull the yarn so tightly as to cause puckering on the right side.  Also, be careful to weave the yarn on the back of the fabric so any tiny stitches you might make won’t show on the right side.  

There are other ways to bind of, but this is the easiest beginner-friendly way to do so.

Pin for Future Reference:  Bind Off Knitting

Learn how to bind off knitting tutorial

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