Sunday, September 6, 2015

Binding Off with a Crochet Hook, Part 3: JSSBO

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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. In Part 2, we advanced to the Suspended Bind Off.

This week we're going to take a quantum leap into the Land of Super Stretch, and learn what is possibly the stretchiest (and easiest) non-sewn bind off around: Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, or JSSBO.

Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off (JSSBO)

JSSBO is one of the modern wonders of the knitting world. Invented by Jeny Staiman, it's simple, elegant, easy to work, amazingy stretchy, and so popular that it's now part of the standard knitting lexicon.

What makes JSSBO so stretchy? Adding a yarnover to each bound-off stitch. What could be simpler?

Why it works: The extra yarnover on each stitch acts like a little coiled spring that stretches when you need it to, then snaps back to its original size.

Here are some of the features of JSSBO:
  • Very stretchy
  • Easy to work with a hook
  • Can be knitted and purled
  • Works well on ribbing
  • Great for project edges that will be repeatedly stretched, such as hat brims and sock cuffs
Working JSSBO with a hook is even easier than working it with needles, because the hook allows you to draw through several loops at once, thus eliminating a step or two.

JSSBO Video Tutorial

Shows how to knit and purl JSSBO using a crochet hook; how to minimise the steps involved; and instructions for frogging.

Note: In the video I call this Jeny's SUPER Stretchy Bind Off - a slight but understandable error. The correct name is Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. Either way it's a great invention. :)

JSSBO Photo Tutorial

Remember, all yarn overs / yarn unders are made crochetwise. See Part 1 for an explanation of the difference between the two.

To set up JSSBO on knit stitches:
With your hook, yarn over, bring hook to front of work, then knit the first stitch on needle (insert hook knitwise, yarn under, draw loop through, slip stitch off needle) - 2 loops now on hook;
Draw the last (most recent) loop through the first.

Setting Up JSSBO on Knit Stitches

On following stitches:
*Yarn over, knit the next stitch (3 loops now on hook);
Using hook tip, draw the last (most recent) loop through the other two.
Repeat from *.

JSSBO on Knit Stitches

To work JSSBO on purl stitches:
Assuming you already have a loop on your hook, bring working yarn to front.
*Yarn under, then purl the next stitch (insert hook purlwise, yarn under, push hook back and up through loop, carrying yarn with it, slip stitch off needle) 3 loops now on hook;
Using hook tip, draw the last (most recent) loop through the other two.
Repeat from *.

To minimise these steps for knit or purl:
1. Yarn over or under as directed.
2. Knit or purl the next stitch, but before slipping it off the needle, pull the last loop (the knit or purl you just made) through the other two.
3. Now slip the stitch off the needle.
(I'm not sure if this is an actual time saver. Try it and see how you like it. You may find that this method changes your stitch tension.)


Next week, in Part 4, we'll learn the Lacey Bind Off (also known as Elastic Bind Off or K2tbl Bind Off).

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.



  1. Aren't you clever! I'm going to remember where to come the next time I knit something. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Me..I am going to save all of these..just have to figure out how to do them as I knit right handed, but what little crocheting I do is all left handed. Call me conflicted! I am certainly that. A hook in my right hand is beyond me.
    Sending love, E.
    (another good book is in my hands..both left and right. wow!)

  3. You are brilliant!!!!!

  4. Another wonderful tutorial. Thank you!

  5. This is how I bound off my first knit project when I was a kid! Who knew it had a name! Fun tute!


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