Quite a while ago I promised you guys a pictorial of the tubular bind off. It took 8 months, but here it is.
I learned this technique via Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook. I thoroughly recommend the book. It covers a lot of topics and the illustrations are good. There are 30 pages on cast ons and bind offs alone.
1×1 rib These instructions are for K1 P1 rib. You can tubular bind-off in other ribs, but the directions at each step will vary.
Bind offs can often be tight, or look like they don’t quite match the rest of the knitting. A tubular bind off is very stretchy and looks professional.
Cut your yarn and leave a tail about 4 times as long as the area you’re binding off. remember to stretch your ribbing to full width before measuring what 4 times its length is. i betcha can guess why i’m giving you this pointer..
Thread a yarn needle with the tail, sit down in a well-let area and get started.
Insert your sewing needle knitwise into the 1st st (this will be a knit st).
Pull the yarn average-tight and drop the stitch.
Insert your sewing needle purlwise into the second stitch on your left needle (a knit st).
Pull yarn loosely. The thread that’s left here will be spanning a stitch so you want to leave it some give. This was the step I found took the most practice to get right.
Insert your sewing needle purlwise into the first st on your left needle (a purl stitch).
Pull it average-tight and drop the stitch.
This step sounds fiddly but it really isn’t so bad.
Take your yarn and needle and put it to the back of the work. Be sure not to create an unintentional YO. Insert the sewing needle between the 1st and 2nd st on the left needle.
(a) Pull the yarn through.
(b) And then, insert the needle knitwise into that 2nd st.
Once you get used to it you’ll be able to do parts (a) and (b) at the same time.
Do not drop a stitch You’ve now bound off 2 sts.
Now, go back and follow Steps 1 through 4 until you’ve bound off all your sts.
That’s it folks. It’s takes a bit more time than a regular bind off, but the results are really worth it.