The hardest part of figuring out a bind off edging that would match the beautiful criss-cross cast on border was to turn the usual chain of stitches at the top of the bind off edge into a chain of knots like the ones we see at the very bottom of the criss-cross cast on edging.
Another challenge was to add stitches to the work without disrupting the row of purls at the bottom of the bind off edging.
After quite a few trial and error runs, there came solutions to both these issues, and now I’m more than happy to share with you a bind off that looks very similar to the criss-cross cast on edging. Used in tandem, these two techniques work great for making matching edges on scarves, blankets and cowls.
If you missed a tutorial about the criss-cross cast on border, you will find it here.
In this tutorial, we’ll discuss how we can make a matching bind off edging.
If you prefer to learn from a video, click here.
CRISS-CROSS BIND OFF EDGING WORKED FLAT
We start to make this edging with a wrong side row, so before you work row 1 described below, make sure you are looking at the wrong side of the work and the working yarn is at the right side of the project.
ROW 1 (WRONG SIDE)
Knit all stitches.
Not that complicated, right? We need this row to visually divide the border from the rest of the project. And what a better way to do it than with a row of purls 🙂
ROW 2 (RIGHT SIDE)
In this row, we’ll add more stitches to the work so that the total number of stitches almost doubles. These extra stitches will later form the lovely criss-cross pattern. They will also serve to make the edge thicker and more stable. This will keep the edge from curling even when the rest of the project is worked in straight stockinette stitch.
To add those helpful stitches to the project, we’ll use a slightly unusual way that is explained in step by step photos below. You can also watch how to do it in this part of the video tutorial.
2.1. Insert the tip of the right needle from front to back into the space between the first two stitches on the left needle.
2.2. Wrap the needle with the working yarn as we do when we knit a stitch.
2.3. Pull the wrap through the fabric to form a new stitch.
Make this new stitch fairly loose if you want to create a puffier texture with a more vivid criss-cross pattern.
2.4. Knit one stitch. It will be the first stitch from the tip of the left needle.
Repeat steps 2.1 through 2.4 until you get to the last stitch of this row. Knit the last stitch.
ROW 3 (WRONG SIDE)
It is a preparation row for shaping the criss-cross pattern. To make sure the stitches form visible X’s, we need to twist each extra stitch. We’ll also twist the regular (“resident”) stitches to mimic the look of the corresponding part of the cast on edging.
Here’s how we do it step by step:
3.1. Knit one stitch through the back loop.
This is the odd stitch that didn’t get a companion new stitch in the previous row. This stitch is not included in the pattern repeat. It is destined to be lonely in this row 🙂
3.2. Knit one stitch through the back loop.
Make sure this is one of the “resident” stitches and not the one we created in the previous row.
3.3. Bring the yarn to the front of the work and insert the tip of the right needle from left to right under the back leg of the first stitch from the tip of the left needle.
This should be a stitch formed from a yarn wrap in row 2.
3.4. Take the left needle out of this stitch slipping it to the right needle.
Repeat steps 3.2 through 3.4 to the end of the row.
ROW 4 (RIGHT SIDE)
The previous two rows set the scene for the criss-cross edging. Now we are ready to make the beautiful line of crossed strands, bring the number of stitches back to the original number and bind off stitches forming a line of knots at the top of the bind off edge.
We’ll accomplish all these tasks in the same row. Here’s how:
4.1. Knit two stitches together through the back loop.
Make sure the first of the stitches is the long stitch added to the work in row 2 and slipped with a twist in row 3.
4.2. Take the working yarn in your right hand and move it clockwise around the stitch on the right needle – to the right, then to the front of the work, and then to the back of the work. Watch how to do it in this part of the video.
These wraps form the knot-like look that is similar to the one that we see at the very bottom of the criss-cross cast on border.
4.3. Knit the next two stitches together through the back loop.
Now we have two stitches on the right needle.
4.4. Pass the second stitch from the tip of the right needle over the first one, the same way as we do when we bind off stitches.
Repeat steps 4.2 through 4.4 until you get to the last stitch of the row. Knit the last stitch through the back loop. Bind it off by passing the second stitch from the tip of the right needle over the first one.
Cut the the yarn, thread the yarn tail through the last stitch and pull tight to secure.
As you see, this bind off edge looks very similar to the criss-cross cast on edging. If you use this cast on + bind off pair on a scarf or a blanket, your project will have edges that not only match but also look great on both sides of the work and keep the fabric from curling.
If you plan to use this bind off edging to finish off a top-down hat, a cowl or any other project worked in the round, you will need to make a few adjustments to the steps described above.
CRISS-CROSS BING OFF EDGING WORKED IN THE ROUND
Purl all stitches.
Make a new stitch the same way as we did in steps 2.1 – 2.3, then knit one stitch. Repeat to the end of the round.
With the yarn at the back of the work, insert the tip of the right needle from left to right into the back loop of the first stitch from the tip of the left needle. It will be the extra stitch created in the previous step.
Take the left needle out to slip this stitch to the right needle.
Purl the next stitch through the back loop.
Repeat these steps to the end of the round.
In this round, we’ll make the same wraps as we did in the last row of this edging worked back and forth. Because we need to pass yarn around the right needle, it is more convenient to use a double-pointed needle as your right-hand needle.
Work steps 4.1 through 4.4 and then repeat steps 4.2 – 4.4 to the end of the round.
Cut the yarn, pass the tail through the last stitch and pull tight to secure. Then fix the gap between the first and the last bound off stitches using the simple way described in this tutorial
Now you can add this lovely bind off edging to any project, no matter whether it is worked flat or in the round.
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.
Dealing with Unfinished Projects
Dictionary of Knitting Symbols and Abbreviations – E-Book
Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified
How to Shape Neckline Without Binding Off Stitches – E-Book