The three-needle bind-off is a great way to cast off live stitches, but it also joins two fabric pieces together.
If you’re looking for the answer to the question what is the three-needle cast-off method, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for my complete guide.
Table Of Contents
- How Do You Bind Off On Circular Needles?
- What Is The 3 Needle Bind Off?
- How To Do The 3 Needle Bind Off In Knitting
- More Uses for the Three-Needle Bind Off
- Your Questions Answered
How Do You Bind Off On Circular Needles?
Binding off on circular needles is pretty similar to binding off on straight needles. Read my complete guide on how to bind off on circular needles and straight needles here.
What Is The 3 Needle Bind Off?
People use this particular bind off method to join two pieces of knitted fabric, and you end up with two pieces seamed together. The three-needle bind-off creates a line of ‘Vs,’ similar to what the crochet chain stitch looks like.
Here’s an example where you could use the three-needle bind off.
You’ve knitted two swatches on straight needles, and you want to seam them together. You can use the three-needle bind-off to do that instead of sewing them together.
Three Needles Bind Off Garter Stitch (Knit Stitch)
Put the swatches right sides together so that the two needles with the swatches on them are right beside each other. Oh, and remember to get another straight needle. It’s not a three-needle bind-off with just two needles, is it!
Important note: Since this method of binding off results in a bit of a ridge, it’s best to hide it inside the work. You can put the wrong sides together, but the ridge shows on the right side once you have finished.
Remember: You need the same amount of stitches on both of the two needles.
Step #2. ‘Knit 2 Together’.
Right-handed: Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the needle closest to you, knitwise. Then go through the first stitch on the back needle, knitwise. Yarn over, pull through and take the stitch off of the left needle.
Left-handed: Insert the left needle into the first stitch on the needle closest to you, knitwise. Then go through the first stitch on the back needle, knitwise. Yarn over, pull through and take the stitch off of the right needle.
Then, do what you just did again, so that you have ‘knitted two together’ twice. You now have two stitches on your right needle. (left needle if you are left-handed).
Step #3. The bind off.
Right-handed: Take either one of the two needles in your left hand, and bind off one stitch on your right needle by bringing the second stitch over the stitch closest to the tip and off. Now there should be one stitch on your right needle.
Left-handed: Take either one of the two needles in your right hand, and bind off the stitches on your left needle by bringing the second stitch over the stitch closest to the tip and off. Now there should be one stitch on your left needle.
Step #4. Knit 2 Together. (Again).
Do another knit two together. You now have two stitches on your right needle again. (Left needle if you are left-handed).
Step #5. Do another bind off!
Do the same bind off you did in step 3, then follow the 4th step and this step until you have bound off all of your stitches. Then you can cut your yarn, tie off the end, and weave it in. Well done!
Here’s a great tutorial by Purl Soho on youtube.
Three Needles Bind Off Purlwise
You do a similar technique to the knit stitched three-needle bind off.
Instead of putting your needle through the first stitch on the front needle, you bring the yarn to the front, stick the needle purlwise into the first stitch on the back needle, and then into the first stitch on the front needle.
Then you yarn over and ‘purl two together.’ Continue with the bind off sequence above.
How To Do Three Needle Bind Off In The Round
You can do the same bind-off method with a magic loop. Just follow the same sequence above. The only difference is that you end up with the top of the tube closed.
More Uses for the Three Needles Bind Off
You can use the three-needle cast off for all sorts of things that you need to seam closed, sock toes, the tops of hats, amigurumi heads, etc.
Your Questions Answered
How Do You Hold Knitting Needles In The Round?
You hold circular knitting needles like you would when you hold straight needles, like a knife. The only difference between the two is that there is a cord that connects the needles.
Alternative To Three Needle Cast Off
A great bulk-free alternative to the three-needle cast-off is the Kitchener stitch.
Three Needle Bind Off Vs. Kitchener Stitch
The Kitchener stitch is handy, especially when you knit socks. This stitch closes up live stitches, so you don’t have to cast off the stitches, then seam it together with a needle and thread.
Sock knitters use the Kitchener stitch to close off the remaining stitches, thus making the toe.
The biggest difference between the three-needle bind off and the Kitchener stitch is that the former uses three knitting needles, and the latter uses a needle and some thread.
Kitchener stitch is much less bulky than the three-needle bind off.
Hope you found this guide to this way of casting off helpful. This is an essential skill for any knitter!