Ribbing Cast Off

So, I finished the buttonhole row on the button band of my cardigan and I looked at the pattern to see what was next and noticed it says “knit 3 more rows then cast off for ribbing”. Well, it hadn’t occurred to me until then that there might be a different type of cast off needed for ribbing. I looked in my knitting how-to book and it said for ribbing you can use a chain cast off as “a last resort” and that a tubular cast off is best. After looking up how to do the tubular cast off, I’m hoping you can convince me that it’s really not that much better and that the “last resort” cast off really will look fine…..seriously….please!


ronhuber's picture

I wonder if they simply mean that when you cast off you knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. The important thing on any cast on and cast off is that it is not tight. You might think you want a firm cast off so that it holds its shape, but you really don't because the tight cast off would defeat the purpose of your lovely flexible band and have an edge that didn't budge. Have you ever used Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn cast off? I really like it and it is never tight.

Bill's picture

casting off on a larger needle helps...

HuskerChub's picture

binding off ribbing....hmmmmm...depends on how anal you are. Some people just bind off and say to hell with it, some people bind off "in pattern" which is what this pattern is telling you to do. Work the knit sts as knits and the purls as purls i.e. in pattern, but bind off at the same time. k1, p1, b/o, k1, b/o, p1, b/o...etc.

In my experience, if you cast off loosely enough, doing either will work just fine. Just make sure to bind off loosely. The easier way for me to bind of loosely is to make sure that my work is supported, sitting on a table top or some such similar and being very deliberate about putting almost no tension on the new st as it is made.
Gee this is harder to explain than do....k1 with loose tension, k1 with loose tension, pass the first st over and still make sure that the tension on the lone st on the right needle does not tighten up on you (this is where the table top is a great help).

A tubular cast off is BEAUTIFUL to behold but a MAJOR PITA to accomplish, it's a kitchner stitch from one needle. Unless you are very anal and want the bestest fininshed product you can possibly get, then by all means this is the way to go. With all that being said I'd b/o in pattern loosely.

steve kadel's picture

i find a cast off in rib is great when you want it very stretchy, collar, maybe waist, but too loose for cuffs.

we put birds on things

krooks's picture

Check out:


I have used - looks very good