In Which We Microwave the 3-Needle Bind Off
November 16, 2006
The people, most of whom are named Heather, are CLAMORING to know the three-needle bindoff method Cristina used to join the squares of her naturally dyed wool blanket. (Three comments is clamoring; four is a revolution.)
Luckily, I have a post in the deep freeze that I can re-heat. Way back when, I described, ever so succinctly considering it was me, how I had joined the squares of a baby blanket using a three-needle bindoff on the right side. Here’s the post, with loads of photos that will make you nostalgic if you knit a square for that bloggy baby shower.
But let me just show you the tech-y bits. I’m assuming you have a bunch of squares, more or less equal in size, that you want to join together without sewing the seams. This method will give you a very strong, flexible seam, and it gives a decorative finish to the side showing the bind-off, and a super-tidy, clean finish to the other side. The only downside is that you do create more ends to weave in. I’m just putting that out there. For me, it’s not a problem. For you, it might be the End of the World As We Know It.
Step 1: Pick up stitches along the 2 edges to be joined. You will have each square on a separate needle. Ideally, you want to have an equal number of stitches on each needle, but if you have a few stitches more on one needle, they can be dealt with gracefully as you bind off (explanation below) .
Step 2: Bind off the 2 rows of stitches together. To do this, you hold both of the loaded needles in your left hand (arrange them wrong-sides facing if you want the bind off to show on the RS). Then
insert the right needle (the third needle) through the first stitch on EACH of the left needles, and knit them together. Repeat this once more, which will give you 2 stitches on your right needle. Now pull the first loop on the right needle over the second loop, as in an ordinary bindoff. Repeat this step until you have one stitch remaining on your right needle, and fasten off.
If you have an extra stitch on one needle, you must pick up 2 stitches on that needle, and knit those two together with one stitch from the other needle. In effect you are doing a K2tog and a 3NBO in one heroic moment of uber-competence. Yay you! It really works. If there is more than one extra stitch, space the double pickups evenly. The fix will not show. Scout’s honor.
You join the squares into strips using this method, and then to join the strips, you do the same thing, only picking up lots more stitches.
This is how the bind off looks on the RS. Very similar to crocheting the edges together. But knittier!
I believe the instructions for making the knitted pig that y’all are going nuts about are in this book. (Cristina please correct me if this is wrong.) Knit a whole barnyard! (Henry Fussy pattern not included.)
Everybody relax now.