When it comes time to complete a knitting project, the last thing to do is bind off. There are many ways to bind off your knitting, from simple and functional to delicate and decorative. In this video, knitting expert Michele Lee Bernstein demonstrates a bind off technique that is both functional and decorative. She explains how to work the I-cord bind off.
The I-cord bind off is great for just about any knitting project. Not only does it provide a nice bit of stretch to the bind off edge of the fabric, but it also adds a nice decorative detail. Michele notes that this bind off can be worked in either the same color as your project or in a different color. If binding off in a different color, work the final wrong side row of the project in that new color, and then bind off on the right side of the piece as follows:
1. With right side facing and using the knitted cast on, cast on 3 stitches
2. Knit 2 stitches, k2tog tbl (knit two stitches together through the back loops)
3. Slip the 3 stitches purlwise from the right needle to the left needle
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all stitches have been bound off and the 3 stitches of the I-cord remain
5. Bind off the last 3 stitches using a traditional bind off
Michele explains that you can make the I-cord a little bit larger if you like. You can cast on 4 or 5 stitches instead of 3 to make the cord have a little more bulk. In those instances, you would knit 3 or 4 stitches and then work the knit two together through the back loops.
With the I-cord bind off complete, Michele is left with a nice, clean edge to her fabric that still has a good amount of stretch to it. By working the final wrong side row of the swatch in the new color there is a clean transition between the two colors.