Socks - Three Needle Bind Off vs. Kitchener Stitch

I'm about to finish up shaping the second toe of my hiking socks from _The Knitting Man(ual)_. The first sock I finished with the kitchener stitch and it looks great!! However, it seems the three needle bind off, done on the inside, would be much easier and faster. So I'm wondering what people thought about the two ways to finish off the toe. So... let's have them box... in one corner we have "Three Needle Bind Off". In the other corner we have "Kitchener Stitch". Let round one begin!


albert's picture

Three needle bind off inside out will leave a ridge inside your sock which may prove uncomfortable.

purlyman's picture

Thanks Albert. Round one - Kitchener Stitch!


scenter's picture

I have done both Kitchener and three needle bind off in various socks. For speed, you are correct, the three needle bind off on the inside is faster, but it does leave the ridge that Albert mentions. I have not found this ridge objectionable, as most commercial socks have a similar seam at the toe. Kitchener does give you a 'seamless' toe, but is slow, and requires a higher level of concentration to execute. So I'm voting both ways, as both techniques are good in their own way.
Pick whichever you feel like doing at the time, with the exception of keeping it the same for sock 2 of the pair.

scubasinger's picture

I haven't tried the three-needle bind off for socks...I've used it for something else before (don't ask what....old age strikes) but not for socks. On the other hand, I have done numerous pairs of socks (and other things) that close with a Kitchener and I will say one thing: It gets easier and requires less concentration the more you do it. By this point I have the pattern locked in my head so I don't need directions, nor do I need to concentrate quite as much.

So from a purely 'future productivity' point of view, I'd say keep with the Kitchener until you decide to avoid it 'cause you don't like the looks, not 'cause it's a demanding technique.

teejtc's picture

Other people have made their points, all make sense to me. I'd simply say that I think the Kitchener makes a MUCH nicer finish and, since you can obviously do it, it's worth the extra time for a sock that may well last for YEARS! :-)

Given my druthers, I'd replace a 3 needle bindoff with Kitchener just about any time -- I don't like the bump the former makes.

Grace and Peace,

Kerry's picture

Kitchener for me. and the more you do it the easier it gets.

YarnGuy716's picture

I've done both ways. Three needle bind-off is easier and faster, kitchener looks better. I also echo the sentiment that the more you do kitchener the better you get at it and the easier it is to do.

Bottom line though: your socks, your feet, the knitting police will not cart you away for doing a 3 needle bind-off on the toe of your socks.