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How to Bind Off Loosely


What are your tips and tricks for binding off loosely?

I am such a tight knitter and I find thumbs are especially challenging with the lower stitch count. I have tried using a needle 2 sizes larger but the bind off is still a bit tight. I would love for the bind off to feel like just another knit row!


I do the lace or Russian bind off as described here:


If you consider yourself a tight knitter, BEWARE!!

I only thought I was a kind of tight knitter, but when I do that neckline bind off row, I have found out that I am actually a stranglehold tight knitter! Like, when I do a neckline, and I have used a size 7 (I’m addi and Signature addict) to make the body, I use an 11, minimum, to bind off.

Oops, movie’s starting, back later!


There is a VeryPinkKnit you tube video on the very stretchy bindoff that I use for almost everything. Good luck with it!


You could google “Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bindoff.” I use it a lot, and find it very stretchy. (Not sure if Jeny might have two Ns, but you should be able to find it anyway.)


Judy’s stretchy bind off can be found on Knitty under techniques. A similar bind off is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind off which also works well


Ok, I’m back! Wow, I don’t care what the critics say, the new Harry Potter movie was good enough that I had to put down my knitting or have massive gauge issues!

But back to binding off…

The main reason I don’t automatically recommend one of the super stretchy or wrap the yarn an extra time around the needle bind off is because you mentioned a neckline. In my experience (not the most expert, manifestly), necklines are usually bound off in pattern, thus making it a little bit fiddly to deal with an extra loop. That might just be me, though. In the days of a very simple click of a circular needle change, and I do use addi needles, so YMMV, I think it’s so much easier just to change the needle and then bind off in pattern like you normally would.

However, you’ll probably find as many ways to do this and reasons why as there are knitters, and we all do it right, because there’s no wrong way in the end!


I don’t know what this bind off is called, but I use it to bind off toe up socks.

K2 stitches, then put them back onto the left needle. Knit both those stitches through the back loop.

From here to the end : K1, then put the 2 stitches in the R needle back on the L needle, and K2TB ( through the back loop).

I suppose if you are a SUPER tight knitter, you could also use a size or two larger needle to bind off.

Good luck!


Are you knitting up your socks toe-up? If so, then it must be the top of the socks that are too tight? Have you tried the tubular bind off? It’s extremely stretchy! Very Pink Knits has a tutorial for a 1X1 and I think a 2X2 ribbing.

Good luck


Have you tried the Elizabeth Zimmermann sewn bindoff? It is my favourite.


I like to use the suspended bind off because it’s pretty much impossible tp perform tightly. Added bonus, you can use it in pattern, too. Otherwise check every stitch to make sure you haven’t tightened it when pulling the previous over. Ya’know, the only way that loop can get bigger is from stealing yarn from a stitch beside it.


I just did a tubular bindoff on the neckline of Andrea Mowry’s The Weekender sweater. Plenty stretchy enough. It’s good to have options!


I’m using this one right now on the edge of my top down shawl. It’s my favorite!

I don’t really put the two stitches back on the left needle and then k2tbl. It’s all one continuous motion: As you complete the next knit stitch, don’t drop it from the left needle. Roll the left needle to the front of the completed stitch and scoop up the other stitch from the left needle; this puts the left needle into the fronts of the stitches. K2tbl, like an ssk.


Yes - your words describe that continuous motion very well. It can be challenging for me to break down what has become a habitual movement pattern into words. I think that’s why I find knitting videos so helpful. Sometimes, it is easier for me to learn from them with the sound off!