How to cast off knitting

So, ya’ll mastered the casting on for your knitting, right? But unless you want the world’s longest scarf, you will need to learn how to finish up those knitted stitches.  At the end of your knitting project you will need to secure the last row of stitches to ensure they don’t come undone and that the piece of knitting doesn’t unravel.

Securing the stitches is called casting off – or binding off –  and this is done at the end of virtually every knitting project that you will work. This step-by-step guide to Casting Off will show you how to secure the stitches and leave a neatly finished edge.

Casting-off-step1Once you have completed your knitting, you are ready to cast off. Turn the knitting as if to work the next row ready to cast off the stitches.Casting-off-step2Knit the first to stitches in the row. You will now have two stitches on the right-hand needle.Casting-off-step3Pass the tip of the left-hand needle into the first of the two stiches on the right-hand needle and lift it over the second of the two stitches on the right-hand needle.

Casting-off-step4Allow the stitch to slide off the tip of the needle. This stitch will be looped around the remaining stitch on the right-hand needle and will now be secured.Casting-off-step5Knit the next stitch on the left-hand needle to create two more stitches on the right-hand needle. Picking up the first of these two stitches with the tip of the left-hand needle, bring it over the second stitch and slide off the needle.Casting-off-step6Continue in the manner knitting one stitch at a time and passing the first stitch from the right hand-needle over it, letting it slide from the needle to secure it. As you work you will notice a neat row of secured cast off stitches sitting along the upper edge of the knitting.Casting-off-step7Once all of the stitches have been cast off knit the remaining stitch and trim the yarn to a 10cm tail. Slip the last stitch from the needle and pass the tail of the yarn through the loop of the stitch before drawing up to create a secure knot.Casting-off-step8The knitting has now been secured and the stitches cast off, weave in the yarn ends to neaten and finish the project.

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So, there isn’t much more too it – you can cast on and, now, cast off…so what’s stopping you?

//  Knit two stitches on to your right arm.//  With your left hand, pick up the first stitch you knit on your right arm.

//  Pull that first stitch over the last stitch you knit.

// Knit the next stitch from your left arm. You should have two stitches on your right arm again.// Pick up the first stitch on your right hand again.// Pull it up and over the stitch you just put on.

// The stitches you bind off will chain with one another over the top of the fabric.

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Ending it:

// Remove the last loop from your arm.  Loosen loop a bit so the stitches won’t pull out. Lay down your piece.// Cut the working yarn with enough yarn to seam your project (you need approximately 1.5 yards to seam the cowl).// Bring the end of the yarn you just cut through the loop that remains.

// Tighten the loop. It’s ready to finish!

Only one thing left!Part 4: Finishing

The finishing tutorial will include a tutorial on mattress stitch seaming (which is what you need if you are making the cowl) and other finishing details (if you are just making a scarf or something else). The mattress stitch creates an invisible seam on the right side of the knit fabric – so great!  It’s super easy to do and you’ll use it for all sorts of other knitterly goodness, too!

Look at this beautiful fabric.  I want to dive into it!

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