At the School of SweetGeorgia, we’re all about multicraftual making. It’s even more fun to combine two different crafts in the same project, especially if it means we can create unique effects or leverage the strengths of one craft to make the other easier. Crochet bind-offs in knitting are a great example of this.
Binding off knitting can be tedious and time-consuming, especially decorative bind-offs. But crochet bind-offs make finishing a breeze! In this article, we’ll cover three different crochet bind-offs that can be used in a wide variety of projects. If you’re not familiar with basic crochet stitches, be sure to watch Charlotte Lee’s Crochet Basics course to give you a good foundation before trying these bind-offs.
Choosing a Hook
Before diving into a crochet bind-off, consider the needs of your knitted project. Should the finished edge be firm, or does it need to stretch? Is your yarn smooth or textured? Charlotte covers more detailed tips for choosing hooks that meet your crochet needs in her Crochet Basics course. For binding off knitted projects, choose a hook that’s close in size (mm) to the knitting needles you used. I.e., if you used a US 8/5mm needle, start with an H-8/5mm crochet hook and size up or down as needed.
Plain Crochet Bind-off
If you’re looking for an alternative to a basic knitted bind-off, try a plain crochet bind-off. This option is slightly bulkier than a standard knit bind-off, but it’s less cumbersome to execute. It also has good elasticity and is a little more decorative., you’re working single crochets in your live knit stitches.
To work a plain crochet bind-off, insert your hook into the next stitch on your left-hand needle, yarnover and pull up a loop, removing the stitch from the needle. *Repeat with the next stitch, yarnover, and pull through both loops on your hook. Work from * until all live stitches are bound off.
Crochet Picot Bind-off
Knitted picot bind-offs have become extremely popular in the last few years, but they’re known to be tedious and fiddly. A crochet picot bind-off yields similar results, but with far less fuss!
A crochet bind-off starts with a plain crochet bind-off as a base. Bind off a few stitches (as many as desired to space out your picots). Then to work a picot: *chain 2, skip 1 chain and slip stitch in the next chain; resume binding off plain until your next desired picot placement. Repeat from * until all stitches are bound off.
Loopy Crochet Bind-off
A classic technique often used for doilies, this speedy, delicate bind-off option can do so much more; it’s perfect for shawls and other lace projects and can also be used for stockinette.
You’ll be binding off multiple stitches at once with this method, creating clusters of knit stitches in between loops, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time how many stitches will be in each cluster. If you’re binding off lace, you can vary the number of stitches in a cluster to coordinate with the lace motif (i.e., some clusters might have 3 stitches, while others have 5).
Try to stay between 3-7 stitches per cluster, as more will cause the fabric to bunch. Since the loops are formed with chain stitches, try experimenting with how many chains to work in between clusters. To give the bind-off sufficient stretch room, work at least as many chains as there are stitches in your cluster (i.e., if your cluster contains 5 stitches, work at least 5 chains); more chains will create more dramatic loops.
It’s also helpful to use a hook with a more tapered head, since you’ll need to insert it through multiple stitches on the left-hand needle. Alternatively, slip your stitches onto a smaller needle before binding off to give yourself more room to maneuver the hook.
To work this bind-off, *insert your hook into the desired number of stitches, yarnover, and pull through all stitches; you’ll have one loop on your hook. Work several chains, at least as many as there are stitches in your cluster. Repeat from * until all stitches are bound off.
Go Forth and Bind Off!
Whether you dislike binding off and wish there was a faster way, or you love trying new finishing techniques, crochet bind-offs are a great way to add interest to your knitting projects. Plus, they’re super satisfying and will make you feel quite clever! Happy binding off!