Learn To Knit – Binding Off

Binding off in pattern for knitting is the process of closing off open loops on your knitting needles. Today, we’ll be finishing a sample project using the binding off technique. You can use what you learned here for any of our knitting patterns available.

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For this tutorial. you’ll need:

  • Yarn
  • One pair of knitting needles
  • Scissors
  • A small piece of knitting

Getting started

To work a bind off, we start with a piece of knitting that’s been worked as far as you want to take the project. In the video, I have a sample that I’m ready to finish. You can see I’ve worked a bit of knitting and I have a row of active stitches on my left-hand needle.

You’ll begin with setting up to start a new row of knitting, holding the right-hand needle with no stitches on it, as well as the working yarn, in your right hand. If you’re knitting left-handed, this will be the other way around.

To begin:

  • Knit two stitches as you normally would.
  • Holding the working yarn in behind the right-hand needle, insert the right-hand needle into the front of the first stitch on the left-hand needle, from front to back.
  • Wrap the working yarn around, pull this yarn through, then slip the stitch off the left-hand needles.

That’s one stitch knit. Then, you will repeat this process: Insert the needle, wrap the yarn, pull through, slip the stitch off the left-hand needle. Now you will have two stitches on your right-hand needle.

Next steps:

  • Use the left-hand needle to pick up the first stitch on the right-hand needle.
  • Lift it over the second stitch, and let it fall off the right-hand needle.

This secures this first stitch so it won’t unwind. You now have one fewer stitches on your needles, and will have bound off one stitch. Let’s try it again.

Forming the bound-off edge

Now that you have one stitch on your right-hand needle, knit one more stitch so you have two stitches on the right-hand needle. Next:

  • Use the left-hand needle to pick up the first stitch on the right-hand needle.
  • Lift it over the second stitch.
  • Let it drop off the right-hand needle.

After you’ve worked a little way down your row of stitches, you’ll be able to see the bound-off edge forming along the top of your knitting. All the stitches are secured and we’re creating a nice, clean edge.

Last step

There’s one more step to binding off, which is what to do when you get to the end of the row. Continue to the last stitch on the left-hand needle, binding off as we’ve done up to this point. At the last stitch, we knit the stitch, as usual, bind off one stitch as we’ve done before, and now we have one stitch left on the right-hand needle.

At this point:

  • Pull a little extra yarn through to make this stitch larger.
  • Remove the needle and set it aside.
  • Cut the working yarn a little ways away from your knitting. I usually leave about 8-10 inches of yarn, which leaves some room to weave in the ends (we’ll cover this in another tutorial).
  • After you cut the yarn, pull the last stitch until the cut end of the yarn comes through the last bound-off stitch.

This last stitch becomes the loose end you’ll weave in. You’ve now bound off all your stitches to complete your knitting project.

And that’s all there is to it! Give it a try, let me know if you get stuck on anything, and subscribe to Ellevate Design’s YouTube channel if you’d like to see more Learn to Knit tutorials.


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Photography by Piotr Angiel