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Sock Knitting: Sewn Bind-Off Tutorial

Feb 17, 2012

    
Newly finished Lacy Socks
An example of the sewn bind-off
I just finished a pair of toe-up socks; a beautiful lacy pattern that I've been working on for at least six months. Remember those New Year's Resolutions? These socks were on my "must-finish" UFO list! Yahoo! And it's the season for socks, so I've already worn them. I love

Finishing these socks made me thing about stretchy bind-offs. I bucked convention on these and simply used a size 4 needle to bind of, which made the stitches long enough to be plenty stretchy for toe-up socks, but I think this was just lucky. I'll try it again because it was so easy, but if you enjoy sock knitting, it's important to have a couple of bind-offs in your arsenal.

My favorite is the sewn bind-off. It's a bit fiddly to work, but it's worth it. Here's a tutorial by Karen Frisa, from the Spring 2011 issue of Sockupied:

Invisible Sewn Bind-Off

This bind-off makes an unassuming, attractive edge that is surprisingly elastic. It's especially effective for a garter-stitch cuff but it also works well for ribbing.

You will need: A tapestry needle and a yarn tail 4 times the circumference of your sock.

    
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
1. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle.

2. Insert the tapestry needle knitwise (kwise) into the second stitch on the left needle and pull the yarn through to the back. Insert the tapestry needle purlwise (pwise) into the first stitch on the left needle (Figure 1), pull the yarn through to the front, and transfer this stitch pwise to the right needle. Repeat this step once more (Figures 2 & 3).

3. Insert the tapestry needle kwise into the second stitch on the left needle and pull the yarn through. Insert the tapestry needle pwise into the first stitch on the left needle and pull the yarn through (Figure 4). Drop the first stitch off the left needle. Repeat this step until 2 stitches remain.

4. Insert the tapestry needle kwise into the second stitch on the left needle and pull the yarn through. Drop both stitches off of the left needle.

Variation: To make the purl bumps show on the right side of the work, substitute "purlswise" for "knitwise" and "knitwise" for "purlwise" in the above instructions.

Tip: Don't pull the working yarn too tightly; make sure there's enough give for the bind-off to remain stretchy.

—by Karen Frisa, from Sockupied, Spring 2011

This bind-off is truly stretchy and I think you'll like it for your toe-up knitting projects.

And for a bunch more tips and techniques about sock knitting (plus beautiful patterns!), check out spring 2011 issue of our eMag Sockupied, now available on CD!

Cheers,


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Comments

Karen Frisa wrote
on Feb 18, 2012 11:24 PM

Maybe people are confused because the illustration shows 3 stitches on the right needle?  The bind-off is for working in the round, so you will start with stitches on both needles.  The 3 stitches on the right needle are the last 3 stitches of the round; does that help?

ConnieR wrote
on Feb 18, 2012 3:00 PM

Why do you start this bind off with three stitches on the right needle?

Karen Frisa wrote
on Feb 17, 2012 8:37 PM

The bind-off instructions assume you're working in the round (as for socks), so you will eventually make it around to the stitches that you put on the right needle in step 2 and work them off.

annieb47 wrote
on Feb 17, 2012 2:53 PM

What happens to the 3 stitches remaining on the right needle?

on Feb 17, 2012 12:54 PM

The pattern is from Wendy Johnson's toe-up sock book, I think it's called Simple Lace Socks. I love that book!

LGB-MD wrote
on Feb 17, 2012 9:40 AM

Lovely socks! What is the pattern?

I am going to use that bind-off on the pair I have on the needles now. Thank you for the tutorial!!