Almost every knitting project is finished by using the bind-off technique. Binding off creates a finished edge and secures the final stitches so that they do not unravel your work.
There are times when a pattern may call for you to knit in the round. This means that you will knit in a circle with double-pointed or circular needles, creating a seamless "tube" of knitwork. An unseamed sleeve of a sweater, for instance, would be knit in the round.
Binding off when knitting in the round is very similar to the method used when knitting with straight needles. The only real difference is that you must control several double-pointed needles when knitting in the round, setting them aside as you cast off, or remove the final stitches, from each one.
Things You'll Need
- Tapestry needle
- Knitting project still on the needles (circular or double-pointed)
With just a tapestry needle, yarn and scissors, you can bind off when knitting in the round. Please see the last slide for an itemized list of tools and materials.
At the beginning of a round, knit the first two stitches. Most beginning knitters will use a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of a round by placing a marker behind the first stitch that they knit on their first round.
Insert the left needle (the second needle in your round) from left to right into the front of the first knitted stitch.
With the left needle inserted under the first stitch, lift up the stitch and pull it up and over the second stitch.
Drop the stitch off the tip of the right needle until only the second stitch remains on the right needle. You have just bound off one stitch.
Knit the next stitch from the left needle. There are now two stitches on the right needle.
Repeat steps 3-6 until only 1 stitch remains on the last double-pointed needle.
Remove the needle and loosen the stitch to make it bigger.
Cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail. Thread the end of the yarn through the last stitch and pull it tight.
Weave in the loose tails of yarn by threading them on your tapestry needle and weaving them in and out of several stitches to hide the tails. If a little bit of yarn remains sticking out, cut it off close to the stitches so that no tail remains visible.
This is what a finished item knitted in the round looks like. Notice how it is knit as a tube with no seams.
Tips & Warnings
- When threading the yarn tail through the last stitch, do not pull too tightly. This could result in a pinched, or uneven finished edge.
- Be sure to begin binding off at the beginning of a round. Failure to do so will result in an obvious drop-off along the finished edge.