A while back I showed you a couple of decorative cast ons and what else you can do to decorate a knitted edge. But there is still more to this subject that I haven’t talked about yet. There are also a number of beautiful bind-offs you can decorate your knitting with. And some of these may seem familiar to you because they have matching cast ons. Those are great to keep in mind for any future projects you may be planning.
The I-Cord bind-off is very easy to do and looks very clean and elegant. It resembles the I-Cord cast on but as with the cast on it might be a bit bulky for sleeve cuffs especially when worked with heavier yarns.
It is about as flexible as stockinette knitting. But choose the fabric you are using it for wisely. If you are going to work it as a bind off for ribbing (or other stitches that draw in like cables), the edge will flare unless you reduce the number of stitches first.
You can work this bind-off in the round. However, you will either have to work a provisional cast on – which can be a bit fiddly because the yarn is still attached to the knitting. Or you will have to graft life stitches to a cast on edge.
The picot bind-off is also easy to learn. If you can work a standard bind off and can cast on stitches in the middle of a row, this one won’t give you any problems. It looks light, summery and feminine. It is flexible and flares a bit, but it could look stunning on the hemline of a skirt or the bottom hem of an A-Line cardigan (for example). Picot edges are also common for baby clothes.
There are two different picot bind-offs. The one with longer teeth you can find videos for all over Youtube. You can control the length of the teeth by casting on more or fewer stitches for the teeth. For my swatch, I cast on three stitches for example. The other one has smaller rounder teeth. I couldn’t find a video for this one, but you can find it in the book Cast On Bind Off (*) by Leslie Ann Bestor. The gist of it is that turn the work to cast on two stitches and turn back to the right side and immediately cast off the stitches by pulling the stitches over one another without knitting them.
There are also a lot of creative variations to choose from. If you like none of these or want a picot edge that does not flare you will have to choose a picot hem which is less flexible than the bind off.
This is a very simple bind off and again quite easy to learn. The created edge looks nice but isn’t showy and is very suitable for adding fringe. It has its drawbacks, however. It tends to draw in a little on stockinette but looks nice on ribbing. If you want to use it on stockinette, you may have to switch to larger needles for the bind-off to keep it from drawing in. And it is very stiff and has absolutely no stretch. You can use it for items like scarfs or blankets but not for hats, socks or any piece edge that needs to be able to give a little.
Frilled Standard Bind-Off
This is a moderately stretchy and very easy bind off but flares a little. It creates a lovely clean edge that doesn’t stand out, but it adds delicate and charming detail. It has just enough stretch to be a great bind off for the bottom edge of lace shawls. You could easily pin and block it in shape.
This bind off looks very fun. I could imagine it on cowls, scarves, ponchos, shawls (not the lace kind) or even skirts. This one definitely stands out. On top of all that is quite easy since it consists of I-Cord loops.
If you are going to use it, I would first swatch with the yarn and needle size you are planning on using. You will have to figure out how long to make the I-Cord loops to get the edge you want. I knit my tiny swatch with fingering weight yarn on 2.5 mm needles, and the I-Cord loops are ten rows long.
Also, make sure your stitch count is divisible by three (or however many stitches you want to use for the I-Cord loops) or you will have leftover stitches at the end. And for a nice finish – or a nicer one than I have in my swatch here – graft the last I-Cord’s stitches to the last three stitches. Unless you are using it in the round: Then I would likely sew the stitches in place behind the first I-Cord to make it look seamless.
Which is your favorite decorative bind off? Do you know of any other ones? Have you ever used a decorative bind off before? Please let me know in the comments below!
- 6 Quick & Easy Stretchy Bind Offs You Need to Know
- 4 Quick & Easy Tubular Cast Ons to Improve Your Knitting Skill
- 6 Breathtaking, Colorful Cast Ons That Will Pep up Your Project
- 7 Striking, Decorative Cast Ons That Will Make Your Projects Special
- Everything You Need to Know About Provisional Cast Ons
- 7 Beautiful & Stretchy Cast Ons You Need to Know
Also, there are two books I can recommend:
- Cast On Bind Off (*) by Leslie Ann Bestor
- Cast On, Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting (*) by Cap Sease
On top of that Craftsy has a class on the subject of cast ons and bind offs that is worth watching: 40 Ways to Cast On & Bind Off with Aurora Sisneros (*). And besides searching on Youtube and Google you can always check out Very Pink Knits. They have a large library of knitting technique videos.
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