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Ask Amanda: Why is my bind-off so tight?

Binding Off

Binding off in knitting can be one of the most exciting steps of the project, since every stitch takes you closer to finishing. While the actual motion of binding off (alternatively called casting off) is very similar to knitting, there is an important difference.

A standard bind-off row naturally has less elasticity than your typical knitted row, so it’s important to keep the tension nice and loose. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a very tight edge, possibly even causing the fabric to ruffle or pucker.

If you notice that your bind-off is too tight, try using a larger needle just for the bind-off row. Usually going up one or two sizes will be enough to make a difference. Avoid making your bind-off TOO loose however, since that could also cause ruffling. Experiment with a small swatch until you find the right solution, then you can return to your project and work a beautiful bind-off!

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Merna #

    That’s what I learned when i began knitting decades ago but there are far better ways to ensure an effective and neater bind off than going up a needle size or two. Look up Jenny’s stretchy bind off or a sewn bind off. This isn’t your grandma’s knitting anymore thanks to inventive thinking knitters.

    December 18, 2012
    • amandakeep #

      Thanks for mentioning!

      December 18, 2012
    • joy #

      Merna, your comment seems a little harsh. surely you could have made the suggestion in a kinder way.

      December 18, 2012
  2. Great tip! Thank you (:

    January 5, 2013
  3. Jean #

    I find my cast on stiches seem to be tighter than my bind off stiches. I use a bigger needle to cast on. Sort of a reverse problem…lol.

    January 13, 2013
    • amandakeep #

      That is funny – but it sounds like you found a solution that works!

      January 14, 2013

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