While the standard bind off technique is simple, it doesn't always produce the cleanest or neatest of edges. If you're looking to add some flair or just want a smooth finishing touch on your project, this bind off is perfect.
An I-cord is a little tube of knitting, usually only three to six stitches, and generally in stockinette stitch. If you've ever used a knitting knobby or done spool knitting as a child, you've made I-cord. Here, the cord is begun on the last row with a cast-on, and grows horizontally across the stitches being bound off. It's a brilliant little piece of knit edge engineering!
Equipment / Tools
- Knitting needles for working swatch
- Knit swatch, ready to bind off
Cast On I-Cord Stitches
Before beginning the bind off, the stitches of the I-cord must be added to the needle. There are several cast-ons that can be used to add stitches at the beginning of a row; one good choice is the cable cast-on.
- Using the cable cast-on, cast on 3 stitches.
You can cast on more than three stitches if you would like to make a wider cord, or fewer to make a narrower cord it all depends on the look desired for the project.
Begin I-Cord Bind Off
Work across the I-cord stitches, then work the last I-cord stitch together with a project stitch using an ssk decrease.
- K2, ssk.
There will be three stitches on your right-hand needle.
Continue Bind Off
Transfer the stitches you just worked back to the right needle, slipping them as if to purl.
Repeat the steps across the row: knit to the last I-cord stitch, join it and a project stitch with an ssk, and slip the I-cord stitches back to the right needle.
To finish off, slip the three I-cord stitches back to the left-hand needle one more time, and knit them all together.
Leaving a four inch tail, cut your yarn and pull it through the remaining loop.
This method of binding off can be time (and yarn) consuming, but it makes a great finishing touch for a pocket, collar, button band, the top of a bag... so many places!