Many knitters and crocheters are aware of the standard crochet bind off (see tutorials below), but did you know that almost any knitted bind off can be worked with a hook? And that using a hook can reduce the number of steps involved?
In this series we'll take a look at several popular bind offs and “translate” them for use with a crochet hook. If you’re a knitter who’s never bound off with a hook, or (like me) a crocheter who knits and would like to expand your bind off repertoire, give these methods a try. You’ll be surprised at how straightforward they can be, and you'll gain the skills needed to adapt any knitted bind off for use with a crochet hook.
Note: The purpose of this series is not to rate or compare bind offs, but to encourage stitchers to try something new. This series does not address sewn bind offs.
Some Important Preliminaries
1. Yarning Over and Yarning Under
Yarn over, yarn under - does it really matter which way the loop goes? YES! The way the loop is twisted directly affects the appearance and performance of the completed stitch. Yarning over (or under) in the wrong direction at the wrong time can produce a tight, twisted stitch - which can turn a stretchy bind off into a strangled bind off.
All yarn overs/yarn unders used in this series will be made crochetwise.
So what's the difference between a crochet yarn over and a crochet yarn under? How do they compare to a knitting yarn over?
- To yarn over in crochet, start with the hook in front and the yarn in back. Move the tip of the hook under the yarn, then up and behind it. The yarn should wrap over the hook from back to front.
- To yarn under in crochet, move the tip of the hook over the yarn, then down behind it, then up towards you. The yarn should wrap over the hook from front to back.
2. Type of Hook
An inline hook is a good choice for binding off.
What is an inline hook? A hook with a straight throat and a non-bulging head. Your knitting needles don't have bulges at their tips, and neither should the crochet hook you use to bind off your knitted projects. You want a hook that can slip easily and smoothly into the loops on your knitting needle.
3. Hook Size
Use a hook the same size as, or smaller than, the knitting needles you used.
If your hook is too large, your bind off may be sloppy. If you're worried that a small hook might create a tight bind off, practice relaxing your tension. Experiment to find the best hook size for your project.
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Basic Crochet Bind Off Video Tutorial
This video shows you how to knit and purl a basic crochet bind off, and how to safely frog your bind off in case of mistakes.
Basic Crochet Bind Off Photo Tutorial
To bind off knit stitches:
1. Insert hook knitwise into first stitch, and knit the stitch (yarn under, pull a loop of yarn through knit stitch from back to front; keeping loop on hook, slip knit stitch off needle):
2. Repeat with the next stitch. You should now have 2 loops on your hook.
Draw the second loop through the first loop. You should now have 1 loop on your hook:
- To minimise these steps: insert hook knitwise, slip stitch off needle, yarn UNDER and draw through both loops on hook (see video for demonstration). Be careful to maintain relaxed tension.
To bind off a purl stitch:
Assuming you already have a loop on your hook....
1. With working yarn in front of work, insert hook purlwise into stitch.
2. Wrap yarn from front of hook to back of hook (yes, this is a yarn under, but instead of scooping the yarn with your hook you'll probably wrap it with your finger or "throw" it in some way).
3. Push the hook up and backwards through the stitch, taking the yarn with it.
4. Slide the loop off the needle.
Draw second loop through first loop (sorry, no photo for this step).
- To minimise these steps: insert hook purlwise, slip stitch off needle, yarn UNDER and draw through both loops on hook (see video for demonstration). Be careful to maintain relaxed tension. (Note: Yarning under with the yarn in front is a bit awkward - you may need to grasp the yarn with the fingers of your left hand in order to wrap it properly before drawing it through the loops.)
Next week, in Part 2, we'll take hook in hand and tackle something a little more advanced: the Suspended Bind Off and Jeny's Super Stretchy Bind Off (JSSBO). So swatch up a bit of knitting, and don't forget to practice those crochet yarn overs and yarn unders.
Until then, happy knitting and crocheting!
P.S. Don't forget, the Flowery Giveaway is open until Sunday 8/30/15. Click on the button below to enter.
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