Monday, September 21, 2015

Binding Off Knitted Projects with a Crochet Hook, Part 4: Miraculous Elastic or Lacey 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. Here's what we've covered so far:

Part 1 - Basic terminology (crochet yarn over vs. crochet yarn under), recommended hook types and sizes, and Basic Crochet Bind Off.
Part 2 - Suspended Bind Off.
Part 3 - Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, or JSSBO.

In this post, we'll learn another stretchy bind off: the Lacey Bind Off, also known as the Miraculous Elastic Bind Off. Some call it the "decrease bind off" - but I've seen this name applied to more than one bind off, so I'm going to stick with "Lacey".

The Lacey Bind Off is one of several bind offs that involve knitting stitches together through the back loop. After practicing some of the others, I chose to feature this one because it seemed the simplest to work with a hook, and because it worked best for me. (But knitting and crochet are highly personal crafts - what works for one doesn't always work for another. If you'd like to try some of the other TBL or Through the Back Loop bind offs, do an internet search for "decrease bind off" or "k2togbl bind off". You'll find plenty of links!)

Miraculous Elastic or Lacey Bind Off

The Lacey Bind Off, like JSSBO, is super simple to work and gives amazing results. All you do is let two loops stack up on your hook, then yarn under and pull through both.

Why it works: I can't explain why this one works. But it does. :)

Here are some advantages of the Lacey Bind Off:
  • Very stretchy
  • Incredibly easy to work with a hook
  • Uses only crochet yarn unders, whether knitting or purling
  • Works well on ribbing
  • Recommended for lace projects that need a flexible bind off for blocking
  • Unobtrusive - the bind off sits close to the work
This bind off is already so straightforward and simple that the steps can't be minimised. Give it a try!

Miraculous Elastic or Lacey Bind Off Video Tutorial

Shows how to knit, purl, and frog the bind off, working with a crochet hook.

Miraculous Elastic or Lacey Bind Off Photo Tutorial

Note: This bind off uses only crochet yarn UNDERs. See Part 1 of the series for an explanation of the difference between crochet yarn overs and crochet yarn unders.

To set up the Lacey Bind Off on knit stitches:
With crochet hook, knit the first 2 stitches (2 loops now on hook);
yarn under, pull working yarn through both loops on hook.

To continue the Lacey Bind Off on knit stitches:
If your next stitch is a knit stitch, knit it (2 loops now on hook);
yarn under, pull through both loops on hook.

To purl the Lacey Bind off:
If your next stitch is a purl, purl it (2 loops now on hook);
yarn under, pull through both loops on hook.

That's it! Crazy simple, isn't it?

Tip: if your bind off is not as stretchy as you'd like, try inserting the knitting needle through the front of the 2 loops on your hook before yarning over and pulling through both loops. This will relax your stitching tension and create a looser bind off.


In our next post, I hope to feature a garter-stitch bind off invented by a blogging friend (but first I'll need to get her permission).

Until then, happy knitting and crocheting, AND binding off!

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Many thanks to these two websites for information on the Lacey Bind Off:
Slip Slip Knit
Stitch Diva Studios

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  1. I am going to remember these tutorials for the next time I knit something.. and then I will hunt you down and read these again.. lol. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Thanks for this series of tutorials. Very interesting and useful.

  3. Love your bike rides and your crochet help posts!!

  4. Oh, glory be..I think that I could do this. Thanks so much, you wonder you.

  5. Thanks so much for providing this resource, Sue. I appreciate your efforts and generosity! Wishing you and yours a Happy Week. :) xx

  6. Thank you for the great tutorials Sue. :) xx


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