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Summer of Sock Techniques: Stretchy Bind Off

Post by Gretchen, Lion Brand Yarn Studio Education Director

This week we had a toe up sock knitter finishing off her first sock, so I showed her how to work Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off – frequently abbreviated as “JSSBO”. Many knitters find their bind off becoming tight, which is undesirable in the top of your socks, and this bind off bends with the ribbing whether it’s k1, p1 (as in the photos) or k2, p2. It really is quite stretchy, and uses up more yarn than a standard bind off, so be sure to leave a longer tail than you usually would to bind off – about twice as much.

To work this bind off, you will add a yarn over before each stitch you are binding off. Before KNITS you’ll add a BACKWARDS yarn over. Before PURLS you’ll add a REGULAR yarn over. Once you create the yarn over, simply bind it off with the stitch behind it:

bind off

1: Backwards yarn over before first knit stitch.


bind off

2: Knit the first stitch.


bind off
3: Bind initial yarn over over first knit.


bind off

4: I’m working k1, p1 ribbing, so my next stitch is a PURL so I will work a REGULAR yarnover and purl the next stitch.


bind off

5: Now I have my first knit, sporting it’s initial backwards yarnover, a standard yarnover and my first purl stitch on the right hand needle. I need to bind off the yarnover and the knit together.


bind off

6: My next stitch is a KNIT so I need a BACKWARDS yarn over.


bind off
7: Continue around the top of your sock until you have bound off all stitches.


bind off

8. To complete my bind off I will pull the last loop until the tail is free and thread that through a large eye blunt needle.


bind off

9. Then I want to find the first loop of my bind off, and bring the needle under both sides of that loop, from the right side to the wrong side.


bind off

10. And finally bring the tail back into the center of the loop it is emerging from.

I promise you will be surprised at how stretchy this bind off is!

I thought I would share some photos of the socks participants made and some of the happy faces of our sock knitters. People tried new things and learned a lot and I’m looking forward to seeing them at Sock Hop!

sock hop

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