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Starting the Stretchy Bind Off
A knitter can never have too many different cast on and bind off techniques in her arsenal. This stretchy bind off is very simple and is great to use at the edges of shawls which need to be stretched out in blocking, and on cuffs. Fitted garments like socks, that require some give to put on really benefit from this style of binding off. It gives a nice looking chained edge, with plenty of give, and it bounces right back into shape. This simple technique is a variation on the regular bind off... that will make your knitted garments easier to take on and off.Continue to 2 of 3 below.
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How to Knit a Stretchy Bind Off
In a regular bind off, you knit the first two stitches. Here, you knit the first two stitches together through the back loops. Start by inserting the tip of the right needle into the back of both stitches and then knitting them.
Next, return the single stitch that is on the right needle to the left needle by slipping it purlwise.
Then, just repeat steps 1 and 2 across the whole row until all the stitches are bound off.Continue to 3 of 3 below.
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Using the Stretchy Bind Off
Now you are ready to use it whenever you need extra stretch in your finished item. It's a useful technique that will help make the cuffs of socks, sleeves, stocking hats, and necklines more comfortable to wear. If you've been having problems with your knitting resulting in an opening for the garment that needs more give, try switching to the stretchy bind off stitch. The best part is that if you don't like it, you can just rip out the row and finish it in a different way.
Tips for... Adding More Stretch When Binding Off
One trick if you need even more stretch is to do the bind off on a larger pair of needles than you have used for the cuff up until that point.
Patterns That Use the Stretchy Bind Off
See this bind off in action in the ruffled leg warmers pattern, sized for kids from babies up to age 10. They are a great item for little dancers and need to have stretch at both the top and bottom of the leg warmers. Or, use this ribbed leg warmers pattern, suitable for all ages. Leg warmers are definitely an item where one size does not fit all. It seems we all have a different arrangement of wide or narrow calves paired with slim or wide ankles. It can be a challenge to knit leg warmers without getting good measurements from the person you intend to wear them. With the stretchy bind off, you have more leeway with size, and it makes for a more comfortably fitting item.