Thursday, September 24, 2009

Matching your cast-on to your bind-off

Knitters often ask about making the cast-on edge match the bound off edge. ("Bind off" is also sometimes called "cast off," the two terms are interchangeable.) Making matching edges is especially important for knitting with lots of long edges, where the edges are close together: this scarf, for example.

Although this blog has touched on this issue in other posts, today's post puts it all together in one place: a TECHknitting round-up of how to match cast-on and bind-off. At the bottom of each method are the links to the illustrated how-to's.

Method 1: Provisional cast on
Do a provisional cast on. Knit your garment. Bind off using any method you like. Go back to the beginning of the work and remove the provisional cast on. Now, bind off the live stitches using the same bind off method you used at the garment end. The two ends HAVE to match because they were done exactly the same way.
  • LINKS--
COWYAK provisional cast on
Crochet hook chain method of provisional cast-on
Method 2: Rolled stockinette edges
Cast on, using any method you like. Knit at least 5, and perhaps as many as 10 rows in plain stockinette. This makes a rolled edge to your garment. Start the garment according to the patten such that the stockinette roll rolls to the outside of the garment. At the end of the garment, knit the same number of rows of stockinette--again arranging matters so that the stockinette roll is to the outside. Bind off using any method you like. The stockinette rolls at the beginning and the end of the garment will hide the casting on and the binding off--the garment edges will therefore match: even though the cast on does not necessarily look like the bind off, no one will ever see them.
  • LINKS--
Rolled edges (scroll to bottom of post for gallery)

Method 3: chained (cable) cast on matches stitch-over-stitch bind off
The chained cast on (also called the cable cast on) looks a good deal like an ordinary stitch-over-stitch bind off. If you use the cable chain cast on and the stitch-over-stitch cast off, you will have two edges which match closely.
  • LINKS--
Chain cast-on, also known as "cable cast-on" or "knitting on"
Chain bind off

Method 4--tubular cast-on, tubular cast-off
A tubular cast on exactly matches a tubular cast off. So good is the match that they are, literally, indistinguishable, even for the person who knit them

  • LINKS--
Tubular cast-on
Tubular bind-off
Method 5: Hemming
When an item is hemmed at both the cast-on and the bind-off, the edges look identical because they are identical.

  • LINKS--
Sewing hems shut
Knitting hems shut

Have you got a match-matchy method you like?