There are many knitting projects where a stretchy bind off method is needed. The Icelandic Bind Off creates an elastic edge that is perfect for lace projects, cuffs, and necklines. In this video, Mary Beth Temple demonstrates how to work this bind off.
Mary Beth begins with a swatch of Stockinette stitch (knit on Right Side/purl on Wrong Side) and is ready to begin the bind off. She follows these steps to create the bind off edge:
1. Knit one stitch.
2. Slip stitch purlwise from right needle to left needle.
3. Insert right needle purlwise into the first stitch on left needle and into the next stitch on the left needle knitwise.
4. Knit the second stitch, pulling the new stitch through the slipped stitch and drop both stitches off the needle.
Mary Beth repeats steps 2 through 4 until one stitch remains. The working yarn can be cut and drawn through this final stitch to fasten off.
It’s noted that in some variations of the Icelandic Bind Off the stitch is slipped from the right needle to the left needle knitwise, creating a twist in the stitch. This changes the look of the bind off and it also makes it less elastic. Mary Beth recommends always slipping this stitch purlwise to keep the bind off edge as stretchy as possible.