Binding

This is the method by which you finish off your fabric, making sure that your work will not unravel. Always bind or cast off in the appropriate stitch for your work, that is knitwise on a knit row and purlwise on a purl row. Binding off on a purl row will have less of a tendency to roll, and the edge is less visible from the right side. If binding off a rib, cast off in both knit and purl, following the rib pattern.

Simple binding off

O On a knit row, knit the first two stitches. On a purl row, purl the first two stitches then cast off as described above, but purling every stitch).

© With the left needle, lift the first stitch over the second, then knit the second stitch (which is now the first on the needle). Follow this pattern of lifting one stitch over the next then knitting the next stitch until just one stitch remains. Break off the yarn and pass the tail through the last loop.

Double binding off

This method spreads out the cast-off row, giving more elasticity to the edge of your work Knit the first stitch, * then knit into the next stitch, but leave the loop on the left needle. Cast off the stitch on the right needle by lifting the first stitch over the second, then knit again into the old loop (on the left needle) and cast this off. Repeat from * until just one stitch remains. On a purl row, purl the first stitch then cast off as described above but purling every stitch. As with simple casting off, you do not need to cast off between every stitch. Invisible edge casting off

This method is not suitable for seams, but it is very useful for children or other beginners who have simply learned a basic knit stitch, or for gathering up knitting stitches.

Simply thread a length of yarn through all the stitches on each side of the garment and finish off the end by weaving it into your work This is used on the top of stocking- or beanie-type hats to gather them up and secure the stitches at the same time.

Holding the needles

The position of the needles is also crucial to the finished gauge of your knitting. Some knitters hold both needles evenly in front of them, while others secure one needle under the right arm and let the left needle drop diagonally. Yet another style is to secure both needles, one under either arm. It does not matter which style you choose, as long as you feel comfortable, without any strain on your hands, back or neck, and can work easily.

Picking up dropped stitches

With care, you should be able to repair a dropped stitch and correct your work.Try to do this from the right side. To repair a dropped stitch on the wrong side of your work, repair in the same way but with your stitch at the back of your work If you are repairing a stitch in a patterned piece of work make sure you knit or purl where appropriate.

O Make sure that your stitch is at the front of your work and then use your knitting needle or a crochet hook to pick up the horizontal threads, pulling each thread through the stitch one at a time until you have picked up all the dropped stitches.

© Place the stitch back on your needle.

Hints and tips

  • When casting off for children's clothes or other garments where the necks are fitted, it is best to cast off with needles two sizes bigger than the ones you used for knitting.
  • Another way of avoiding a tight cast-off edge is to pick up, knit, then cast off the loop lying between each of the stitches on the needle.This is a slightly less effective way than double casting off.

BEYOND THE BASICS

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