Saturday, May 31, 2003

Stretchy Bind Offs

I want to save these somewhere so I'll always know where to find them again. Will update this later after I test them all to say which one is my favorite for toe-up sock cuffs. Update: EZ wins, not a huge surprise. Hers is listed first.


Elizabeth Zimmermann's Sewn Cast off from Knitting Without Tears

Break yarn, leaving a tail about 4 times as long as the circumference of the sock. Thread a tapestry needle.

* sew forward (right to left) through two stitches as if to purl, leave the stitches on. Sew backward (left to right) through one stitch as if to knit and remove the stitch.
Repeat from * until you run out of stitches. Work in tail on the inside of the sock and trim any excess.

Denise's variation for circular knitting (from
For the very first stitch only, after you go backwards through it, do not remove it, instead move it to be the last stitch on the final needle. It will then become the final stitch to be cast off. This gives a neater finish to the end of the round.


From (Ask Athena)
Stretchy Bind Off by Sarah Hauschka
Email: -- Seattle, WA, USA

In the first stitch, draw up a loop and leave it on the right needle. Do not slip the stitch off the left needle. Now knit the first two stitches on the left needle together, slip the first one of those two off the left needle, and pass the first stitch of the two on the right needle over the second one. Yarn forward.

Purl the next two stitches together, slip off the first of the two on the left needle. On the right needle, with the yarn still forward , pass the first stitch over the second. Yarn back.

Continue to alternate this with yarn forward (purling) and yarn back (knitting). This cast off is tidy and very elastic without seeming loose. It works well for cuffs and hems and necklines. The combination of working each stitch twice, and moving the yarn forward and back gives it a lot of spring.

Attribution: This may be published by someone else, but I unvented it.


From (Ask Athena)
Stretchy Bind Off by Valerie

I learned this technique from someone on the socknitter's list who answered my question on the same subject when I was knitting a toe-up sock. It is very simple, both in concept and execution. For every two stitches you bind off, chain one (just like in crochet). Quick and easy!


From (Ask Athena)
y Jennifer Tocker
Email: -- Israel

One of my favorite methods for casting off elastically is to simply use a larger size needle, 1 or 2 sizes bigger than the ribbing, for the cast off row.

Another method taught to me by Sandy Miller in St. Paul, MN, includes a YO in the bind-off row after each 3 or 4 stitches, which is then immediately cast off with the stitch next to it.


Peggy's Stretchy Bind-off for Toe-Up Socks

If you are knitting a K1, P1 ribbing, on the row before the bind-off row: K1, M1 ("make one" by making a half-hitch loop, not by picking up the in-between thread), pull the M1 tight, P1.

Repeat around. Bind off row (go up a needle size or two): K1, slip the M1, pass the K1 over the slipped M1, P1, pass the slipped M1 over the P1, K1, pass the P1 over, etc. as for a regular bind off.

If you are knitting a K2, P2 ribbing, on the row before the bind-off row: K2, M1, P2, M1.

Repeat around. Do a regular bind off, as above, remembering to slip the M1 rather than knitting it. The M1 is never actually knit, so it doesn't make a stitch which will add bulk to the top of your cuff; it simply creates an extra loop in your chain bind off.


From: Doris (
posted to KNIT-U mailing list

Recommended for triangle shawls, cuffs on toe-up sock or necklines:

1. K2sts.
2. Slip the 2 sts from the right hand needle to the left hand needle.
3. K these 2 sts tog. K1.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all sts have been bound off.

Test the bind off on your swatch to make sure it gives the look and
flexibility you desire.



Phoebe said...

Thanks! The EZ one is sorta like kitchener but with no row to graft into, I'm thinking?

Tori said...

Wow, just wanted to let you know I searched on sewn cast off and found your wonderful blog entry! Thanks for putting this all together! I pointed a fellow blogger this way to as she's having bind off issues (that sounds funny) THanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the stretchy bind offs. It seems to be the secret to toe up socks.

Ashley said...

Oh, this is so handy! Thanks for accumulating all this info.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for listing all the stretchy bind-offs that you know in one post. I found this by googling "stretchy bind-off", and your page came up first. Very cool.

Now to use the Elizabeth Zimmerman bind-off

Sarah M said...

Thanks sooo much!! This is going to be immensely helpful for a beginning sock knitter :)

Vaedri said...

I have this entry bookmarked and I come back to it often - thanks so much for putting this in one place! Thanks in part to your post, I'm currently wearing my first finished pair of socks, done only an hour ago.

Aubyn Peach said...

thanks so much-i just finished my first toe up sock because i found this entry. i am a tight knitter so the EZ bind off was my only option but I couldn't find anything that explained it well enough.

Anonymous said...

Thank you soooo much for making this post about stretchy bind offs!!!!

It is very much appreciated!

Take care

Unknown said...

thanks so much for this entry. i also googled stretchy bind off and this page was so helpful. I think I'm going to try EZ's b/c its seems to be the one everyone loves.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list. It was really useful. I needed some stretchy bind-offs because I just nearly strangled myself on a sweater collar, having cast off too tightly lol

Gloria Patre said...

I can't thank you enough for this collection! I found it because some kind person posted the link on Sockknitters Yahoo Group. I have copied it and posted it to my own blog with a credit to you and a link to your blog because I can't resist sharing a good thing! Thanks again SO much!

Louise said...

This was so helpful, thank you for posting!

Anonymous said...

Great post. I found this pictorial guide from Knitty to a bunch of different bind offs, including EZ's. Thought I'd share:

sheknitupthat said...

Finding this post has transformed my toe-up socks! I am now very happily following your instructions for EZ's sewn cast-off. Thank you so much! :D

Kristi said...

I'm closing comments on this post because the spambots are out of control and target this post specifically. I really do appreciate everyone who takes the time to comment -- except the spambots. :) Thank you! :)