How to Bind Off Knitting Loosely – Suspended Bind Off Tutorial

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Is your bind-off edge too tight? Learn to bind off your knitting loosely with the Suspended Bind Off! This one extra step makes your bind off more stretchy.

 

It’s a common problem for many knitters.  The bind off / cast off edge often tends to be tight, limiting the stretch of the finished edge.  Because of this, pattern instructions may tell you to “bind off loosely”.

A looser bind off edge can be achieved in several different ways, but regardless of how it is done, it allows the edge to stretch more and lay nicer.  You can bind off with larger needles to get a looser bind off, but my favorite way is to use the Suspended Bind Off.

 

What is the Suspended Bind Off?

The Suspended Bind Off is very similar to a regular bind off, but adds one extra step to lengthen the stitches.  The structure of the finished edge is just like the edge created by a normal bind off, but is looser, and therefore, more stretchy.

 

How to do a Suspended Bind Off

Begin by knitting the first two stitches.

  1. 1. With the left needle tip, lift up the first stitch on the right needle.  Pass it over the second stitch and off the tip of the right needle, but leave it on the tip of the left needle.
  2. 2. Insert the right needle into the next stitch, leaving the passed-over stitch from the previous step still on the left needle tip.
  3. 3. Knit through the stitch.
  4. 4. Slide both the stitch held on the left needle tip and the stitch you just knit off of the left needle.

close up photos of steps to work suspended bind off in knitting

Repeat steps 1-4 across the row, until you have only two stitches remaining on the right needle and no stitches remaining on the left needle.  Pass the first stitch on the right needle over the second, then cut the yarn and tie off.

 

Here’s a video tutorial demonstrating the suspended bind off, and comparing it to the regular bind off method.

 

Do you have a favorite bind off technique?

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4 Comments

  • Dina

    Wow, that is really useful to know! I always worry about when I bind off necklines, especially sweaters for my husband, because he has (in my opinion) and ENORMOUS noggin, ha ha! I’m definitely going to try this method next time. Thanks so much for this tip!

    • Barbara G Meyer

      Thank you for presenting this. I do this bind off for all my knitting. It usually is too tight so I ALWAYS use a larger needle (at least one size, maybe two) to hold in the right hand for binding off. Makes a world of difference.

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