How to Knit the Tubular Bind-Off for 2x2 Rib

One of the most popular knitting tutorials I have ever shared on this blog is on the tubular cast-on. In today's blog post, I will be showing you how to knit its perfect partner: the tubular bind-off.

For many years, I avoided learning the tubular bind-off. I felt it was too complicated and unnecessary for the majority of my projects.

That was until I started knitting sleeves from the top down.

Bind-off for a Stretchy Edge

If you want to create a slim-fitting cuff on your sweaters, you will need a bind-off that stretches easily, otherwise, it will be uncomfortable around your wrists. The tubular bind-off is wonderfully stretchy and aligns beautifully with the wales of your rib, making it ideal for trims such as sleeve cuffs and sock ribbing.

If you're a fan of the neat finish you get with a tubular cast-on, you are going to love this bind-off. It may seem complicated at first, however, once you get the hang of it, you will want to use it on all of your trims!

In today's knitting tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to transfer 2x2 rib into 1x1 rib
  • How to knit the tubular bind-off

Knitting Tutorial: Tubular Bind-off for 2x2 Rib

Knitting the tubular bind-off on a 2x2 rib requires two steps. First, you need to transfer it into a 1x1 rib and then you bind it off afterwards.

My version of this technique doesn't require set-up rows like many do - I find that this doesn't affect the overall effectiveness of the bind-off. I have used a contrasting yarn to help you visualise the bind-off, however, on your own work, just use the same yarn as you used in your rib.

How to Transfer 2x2 Rib into 1x1 Rib (Written Instructions)

  1. Starting with 2x2 (k2, p2, repeat) rib, knit 1st stitch.
  2. Insert RH needle into the back of 2nd st on LH needle purlwise.
  3. Slip this stitch off the LH needle, forcing the 1st st off the needle, resulting in a live st.
  4. Catch the live st at the front of the work with LH needle, then slip 1st st on RH needle back onto LH needle.
  5. p1, k1, p1.
  6. Repeat steps 2 - 5 to end of the row.

How to Knit the Tubular Bind-Off

  1. Cut the tail of yarn approximately 3-4 times the width of the ribbing and thread tapestry needle.
  2. Insert tapestry needle into 1 st on needle knitwise and slip off the knitting needle. Draw yarn through.
  3. Insert tapestry needle into 2nd st on needle purlwise. Draw yarn through.
  4. Insert tapestry needle into 1st st on needle purlwise and slip off the knitting needle. Draw yarn through.
  5. From behind the work, insert tapestry needle between 1st and 2nd st on the needle. Draw yarn through.
  6. Insert tapestry needle into 2nd stitch on the needle knitwise and draw yarn through.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 until the end of the work.

Now, it's your turn!

Next time you have to bind-off a ribbed trim, whether that's a neckline, a sleeve cuff or a sock trim, take the time to try out the tubular bind-off. It's easier than you think and will result in a perfectly stretchy bind-off.

This technique is used in my new pattern, Split Stone, which will be released on 2nd May 2017. Get ahead by learning this technique today, so that you'll be ready when it launches!

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