The Tubular Bind Off is a sewn bind off that mimics the Tubular Cast On to make matching edges. It’s ideal for 1x1 ribbing and creates an incredibly stretchy edge with no harsh end to the ribbing. This method is done without rearranging stitches, and it can take some practice to memorize, but once you get a feel for the rhythm of it, it doesn’t take as long as you might expect to bind off long edges. Another method for the Tubular Bind Off is to put every other stitch on a new needle and graft them together using the Kitchener Stitch. For this method, all you need is your project with the working yarn still attached, scissors, and a yarn needle.
To begin, cut the working yarn, leaving a tail approximately three times the width of your finished piece of knitting, and thread the yarn onto a yarn needle. The first stitch here is a knit stitch, so that dictates how we begin. Insert the needle and yarn through the first stitch from left to right knitwise and drop the stitch off of the knitting needle.
We’ll be repeating a sewing sequence over 4 stitches. It may be helpful to think of it as a set of two purlwise actions and a set of two knitwise actions. First, insert the needle from right to left purlwise into the second stitch on the left knitting needle.
Now back up and insert the needle from right to left purlwise into the first stitch on the needle, and drop the stitch off of the knitting needle. That’s our set of purlwise actions.
Pass the needle between the first and last stitch from the wrong side to the right side to get your yarn in position to create the correct twist in stitches.
Insert the yarn needle knitwise through the second stitch, passing it through to the wrong side of your knitting.
Bring the yarn back around to the front, and insert the needle and yarn through the first stitch from left to right knitwise and drop the stitch off of the knitting needle. That completes the set of knitwise actions
Repeat Steps 1-5 until the end. When only one stitch remains, stitch into it knitwise if it’s a knit stitch or purlwise if it’s a purl stitch, secure your yarn, and weave in your ends.
Tubular Bind Off Tips
If you find yourself unsure where you are in your work, you can look at the next stitch on your needle.
- If it’s only got one strand of yarn sewn into it, that’s the sign that you’ve just finished a set of actions and can use that stitch as a guide. If it’s got two strands of yarn sewn into it, it should be dropped off the needle, and you should look at the next stitch.
- If that stitch is a purl stitch, you need to work a set of purlwise actions next.
- If that stitch is a knit stitch, you need to work a set of knitwise sections next.
With the exception of the very first two stitches, every stitch bound off should get sewn into both purlwise and knitwise, with the order depending on their position on your needles.