10 Cast Off Knitting Methods To Learn and Pick From

cast off knitting

How many cast off knitting methods do you know? I rounded up 10 here.

Cast off and bind off means the same thing, although I suspect bind off is more commonly known. According to Wikipedia, “binding off, or casting off, is a family of techniques for ending a column of stitches“.

It creates the final edge of a knitted fabric. Beginners need to know this if they ever want to complete their project.

There are several methods to bind off and I have compiled them. There is no better way to learn knitting than to watch someone demonstrate it so I have included as many how-to videos as I can, selecting those I think are really clear.  

1. Knitted Cast Off 

The Purl Soho demonstrator calls this the basic bind off but it is, to be exact, the knitted cast off or knitted bind off. There are both written instructions and pictures on their website

I am a fairly tight knitter so I almost always find the knitted bind off edge is a little shorter and less elastic than my cast-on edge. Some knitters have suggested using a larger knitting needle when doing the bind off. That is a good idea.

2. Stretchy Cast Off

As the name suggests, this cast off edge is really stretchy. You will need to know how to knit 2 together through the back. It is a good match with the German Twisted cast on method.

3. Jeny’s Stretchy Bind Off

This is another way to create an ultra-stretchy cast off edge. Instead of using knit 2 together like the Stretchy cast off before this, it uses yarn overs.

4. Russian Bind Off

Another great bind off technique for tight knitters.

5. Picot Bind Off

A picot bind off creates a nice decorative edge. Picots can be small or big or elaborate. So, there are different instructions for each type of picot bind off.

I don’t like complicated decorations. I prefer something simple, which is why I choose to show this method by Ambah O’Brien. Love her shawls. It is basically casting on 2 stitches and then binding off 5 stitches. 

The picots are spaced 5 stitches away from each other. To narrow the space, reduce the number of bind off stitches. For example, cast on 2 stitches, bind off 4 stitches.

6. Picot Hem

The picot cast off leaves a small hole below the picot. It can be quite obvious with certain patterns. To avoid this, try the picot hem. Suzanne Bryan has an excellent video tutorial on it.

7. I-Cord Bind Off 

I-cord is a small tube of knitting. Can you imagine it as the edge of a project? It is like having a very stable rolled stockinette. I think it solves edge curling in the most fabulous way. 

8. Icelandic Bind Off

This bind off method is great for garter stitch projects. It produces a garter edge that matches the garter stitch project. If you knit English style, it should be easier. 

9. Tubular Bind Off

This is an amazing bind off for ribbing but you must be familiar with the Kitchener graft technique. Some people call this the invisible rib bind off. 

Used together with the Italian cast on method, I am seeing handsome wrist warmers here. 

10. Sloped Bind off

A sloped bind off is for shaping necklines and underarms. If you have done any sort of stepped bind offs, you will notice that it leaves little steps which are painfully obvious, especially for necklines. The sloped bind off technique produced a smooth edge. 

Final Notes on Cast Off Knitting

After researching both cast on and cast off knitting methods, I realised that there are fewer ways to cast off than to cast on.

I mentioned in my cast on roundup that some of the methods are more about personal preferences than necessity.

With these 10 cast off knitting techniques, I felt that the methods are all quite practical. They are designed to solve problems.  

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