sweater shoulder bind off?

Well I just finished a terrific red alpaca sweater. I am joining the pieces and I hate the shoulders, well the one that I joined anyways. So I thought I would just undo a few rows and knit back up to try the method of leaving them on the needle and knitting them, back and front pieces, together? It makes sense that it would have a nicer finish without the unseemly bulges. I've never done that. I don't know what it's called and so can't find it on you tube. -H.E.L.P.-


MMario's picture

Three needle bind off?

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

bobshome's picture

That's it thanks.

YarnGuy716's picture

3-Needle Bind Off is how I do almost all of my shoulder seams. It gives a nice clean edge, that can support the weight of the sweater. Plus I hate seaming, so it's a way out of doing that.

Also Knitting Help.com is a great demo video resource when you're not sure what something is called

bobshome's picture

I live in a vacumm! Thanks for KnittingHelp.com

RednVA2's picture

You want basically to graft the shoulder seams. This joins them without much bulk and makes a nice finish to the seam. The three-needle bind off is an easier way to get that effect. You have the two active rows on their respective needles. You can either put right sides or wrong sides together. Take a third needle and you knit thru the first loop on each needle, knitting the two loops together. Now you have one stitch on the third needle. Repeat with the next stitches on the other needles, knitting thru the two to knit them together. You have two stitches on the third needle now and you pass the first stitch over the second, just like casting off. Repeat across the rows to close your seam and bind off at the same time.
This youtube video shows it very nicely. There are many more if you search for "three needle bind off"


bobshome's picture

Perfect description. Thank You

Tallguy's picture

I agree that the grafted shoulder will give you the smoothest join without any bulk. However, you will want some stability, something solid, for the shoulders to support the rest of the sweater -- otherwise you will get stretching and a sloppy look.

I do like the 3-needle bind-off. You can do this inside or on the outside. It gives you a nice finish with a nice edge plus a strong stable support on the shoulders.

If you want a smooth join over the shoulders, do the 3-needle bind-off inside, and then graft over the "seam" created at the shoulder. Because you will have half a stitch on either side of the seam, simply do a duplicate stitch over that seam, and you will have a perfectly smooth finish to the shoulders, without that seam line, but still have the support. A little extra work, yes, but the results are worth it!

P.S. You can also do this over any join, such as the sleeves to body, to create a smooth finish.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Great tip about duplicate stitching for a fake grafting to create a smooth line. Thanks! -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

HuskerChub's picture

The other option for shoulders that are already bound off is to crochet them together. This is also a very helpful way to "fix" shoulders that are saggy and fall 3-4" down on the arm. To do this you get a crochet hook the same size as the needles you used (if using the same yarn)...the mm size on the hook and needles match i.e. a 5mm needle (US 8) and a 5mm (US H) are the same size. Holding your pieces right sides together, at one edge pull a loop through both layers, move over one stitch, pull a loop through both layers and the loop currently on the hook, repeat. You are doing a chain stitch only. You want to keep your tension even and not too tight. If you are using this to make a shoulder seem "shorter" you can take out the old sewing, or go right under it with the chain but this time pull the stitches tight so that the seem is shorter. If you look in many purchased sweaters, you will see this type of construction, which is done on a machine called a linker.