Flags Tradewind Knitwear Designs by Lucy Neatby

Tubular Bind-Off

This technique always looks so complex in a book, but I feel there is really an easy way to view what is going on, and once you can visualise it, the grafting together of the ribbing is easy. Now, how to explain a visual thing in words? I am speaking of single rib here, but the same principle applies to double rib.

If you slip a needle out of a piece of ribbing the stiches dive off in two directions: the knits come towards you and the purls lean away from you. OK, so far?

Viewed from either side, you have a row of loose knit stitches ( half the total number).

The tubular bind-off is simply grafting the tops of both these (+) rows of knit sts together, just the same as any top to top graft of raw stitches, such as at the shoulder. It appears differently because the stitches used to be on the same row together.

For easiest grafting, don't attempt to start at the beginning of a row, for this is the most confusing place of all. If you feel nervous of letting go of the stitches to experiment, slip a fine sewing thread through all the knit stitches on one side and another through all the purl stitches before sliding them off the needle.

Start 3 or 4 sts in from the beginning, with a new piece of yarn, leaving a few inches of tail dangling down; get the grafting going... and later return to the tail of yarn and work outwards towards the beginning and graft the few stitches you skipped initially.

If you are not happy with the 2 extra ends this leaves you with, you can perform the preliminary graft with a contrasting colour and then take the tail of the former working yarn and retrace over the contrasting graft and finally remove the contrast colour.

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