Sweater Torso Finished - Question about binding off

I have made it through all the trials and tribulations of the yarn I was moaning about in an earlier posting and am now at the bind off point of the sweater's torso.

As you can see, it's just a simple stockinette stitch with a 2x2 rib border at the bottom. I am considering doing the Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy bind off but was concerned. If I do the stretchy bind off will that make the border flair a bit at the bottom, or does it retain its normal shape? With the cables still in the stitches, it looks a bit flared, but it will not be once the cables are removed, and I don't want it to be. I ask because of the yarn overs. Do you think that a standard bind off might be better for a sweater bottom? What about the cuffs as well?

What do you guys think? I have never used the stretchy bind off. Do you guys know of a different/better bind off?

Here is a link to the video Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy bind off for reference.

Thanks guys! I will be giving the sweater to my son for his birthday tomorrow with a hope and promise that I will be able to take measurements for the arms and get it under the Christmas tree all nice and finished.


Image icon Nicholas Sweater 3.jpg1.15 MB


ronhuber's picture

IMHO..... My favourite bind off for a top down sweater is Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind off. It does not flair and it is definitely not tight. However, just a normal bind off in pattern would do the trick especially if you do it loosely.

I've always just used the normal bind off in pattern and never had a flair-out, especially in 2/2 rib.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

What I've done in the past is go up a needle size - or two - binding off in pattern. For a sweater, that usually is enough. On the Jeny BO...I've usually knit the extra yarn over before every other stitch. That gives it the stretch but prevents any looseness...at least for me. Great looking sweater.

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

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks Joe. He tried it on tonight and it looks great. He had no trouble getting it on so I think I will just knit in pattern and be done with it. If it needs more stretch after I BO, I can always just tink that last row and make adjustments. I will run into the same dilemma when I do the cuffs, but I want those to be a little tighter, so I will probably use a size or two smaller and see how it progresses. If after 2 inches it doesn't like I want it to, I will just rip it back to a lifeline.

Thanks again Joe. My son loved the sweater so far!


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

You are very welcome. It is great that you had him there to try it on. Thank goodness tinking back and reknitting edges isn't complicated. I had to guess on the sweater I knit for my great-grandniece and she'll be able to enjoy it until she is 8 or 9 years old. [Yes, it was that large.] However, the photo of her trying it on was priceless...it hung to her knees and the sleeves were rolled up.

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

davidUK's picture

I like the look of a normal casting off (excuse my English!) but I use Elizabeth zimmerman's sewn bind off. It's quick and easy to do....I made a tank top (excuse my English again) and even with a v neck, it was too tight. The knitted bind of is very stretchy but doesn't flare or curl out either. As far as I remember, with your work facing you bring the sewing needle through two stitches frm right to left. I call this stitch 1 and 2. Then take the needle from left to right through stitch one and slip it off and repeat.

I' m prett sure that tis is right but you'll find it online and in her books

The sweater looks great

All the best


CLABBERS's picture

Thanks David. Your English is spot-on...pardon my British! LOL
Also, thanks for the little mini-tutorial. I will give that a try on a swatch and see how it looks. One of these days I really do have to get a Zimmerman book or two or three.

albert's picture

Bloody difficult to separate your "English" from your "English"! I propose Esperanto.

Nashrunner's picture

I usually just use a plain old bind off and try not to pull the stitches too tight. Was always told the cast on and bind off should have as much "give" as the rest of the piece. If everything has about the same amount of stretch then the ribbing should lie flat at the bottom, no "blooming out" but not too tight. And even though we don't like to think about it, if you do it one way and don't like it, well, you know...

CLABBERS's picture

Hi Kevin,
I ended up using just an ordinary bind off in the 2 x 2 rib pattern and took your advice and didn't pull things to tightly. It worked well. Thanks for the advice.


chipsir's picture

Lucy Neatby does a modified bindoff the allows you to knit or purl off without having to lift the stitches over. It slightly stretchy but not to much ....ideal for toe up socks or waist bands.