Saturday, August 29, 2015

Binding Off Knitted Projects with a Crochet Hook, Part 2: Suspended Bind Off

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This series was developed for crocheters who knit,
and for knitters who have never bound off with a hook.
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Welcome back to our series on using a crochet hook to bind off knitted projects. In Part 1, we discussed some basic terminology (crochet yarn over vs. crochet yarn under), recommended hook types and sizes, and introduced the Basic Crochet Bind Off.

This week we're going to expand our skills and tackle something slightly more advanced: the Suspended Bind Off.

All yarn overs / yarn unders are made crochetwise.

Suspended Bind Off

The Suspended Bind Off is really just a Basic bind off with a "delay" built in: after binding off a stitch, you keep it on the needle while you bind off the next. Doing this keeps your tension more even, and builds in a bit of controlled stretch.

Here are some of the features of the Suspended Bind Off:
  • Looks like a Basic bind off
  • Slightly stretchier than a Basic bind off
  • Has an even, more relaxed tension
  • Good choice for stitchers who want a basic bind off but struggle with tight tension
Why it Works: Holding (or suspending) the previous bound-off stitch on the needle preserves the loop size, so it can't be accidentally tugged or tightened while the next stitch is bound off. Because you have to reach around the suspended stitch to form the next stitch, the loop you draw up for the next stitch will be a little longer, producing a slightly larger stitch (which in its turn will sit safely on the needle while you make the next stitch).

Working the Suspended Bind Off with a hook is very similar to working it with two needles. Because both hook and needle are in constant use, either stitching loops or holding them in suspension, there is no way I can see to minimise the steps involved.

The Suspended Bind Off is not difficult, though it can seem a bit awkward at first (especially to a beginner-intermediate knitter like me). But once you get a rhythm going, you'll find it's like a dance between hook and needle, loop and loop.

Suspended Bind Off Video Tutorial

Shows how to knit and purl the Suspended Bind Off with a crochet hook.

Photo Tutorial

Suspended Bind Off for knit stitches:

Suspended Bind Off for purl stitches:

(If transitioning from knit to purl, move the yarn to the front of the work.)

Note on the Purled version: It seems to be less stretchy than the Knit version, though this may be due to my own inconsistencies of tension. I couldn't find any tutorials online that demonstrated a Purled Suspended Bind Off, so I worked out a technique for myself. If you have any information on purling this bind off, I'd love to see it! :)


Next week, in Part 3, we'll tackle Jeny's Super Stretchy Bind Off, or JSSBO. (I know I promised it for this week, but I changed my mind and decided to focus on one bind off at at time.)

Until then, happy knitting and crocheting and binding off!

If you have any questions about this technique, please feel free to ask using the comment box below.


P.S. If you haven't yet entered the Flowery Giveaway, click on the button below to read all about it. Giveaway is open until midnight (US CDT) Sunday August 30, 2015.

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  1. You are so kind to do this service for your readers! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Repeating Teresa's comment above. You do such a great job and I can appreciated how much time a good tutorial involves, and yours are excellent.

  3. Nice video. I, too, repeat Teresa's comment. These videos and written instructions are a great help to me.

  4. I too, appreciate your generosity in sharing your skills so clearly with us, Sue. Thank you, again! xx

  5. I am going to sit and concentrate when I get to the cast off part of my current knitting, so that I can do it properly. Thank you Sue.


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