kelbourne tips + tricks: three needle bind off

Quite a few Kelbourne Woolens patterns utilize a 3-Needle Bind-Off - it is a wonderful way to work a secure, yet not-bulky shoulder seam or finish off a cowl knit horizontally. In contrast to the kitchener stitch, the bind-off row creates a stable seam, but it is not as bulky or prone to issues as a seamed edge. Below is a tutorial for you to reference when working this lovely finish!

Please Note: For this tutorial, we are utilizing three different colors so you can clearly see both sets of stitches and the bind-off row. In your actual work, you most likely will be binding off matching pieces of fabric. If you end one piece working a RS row, you should be able to use the yarn attached to the work for your Bind-Off. Additionally, it is necessary to have the same number of stitches on each piece in order to bind off evenly. 

STEP ONE: To work the 3-Needle Bind Off on the inside of the work, so it cannot be seen from the right-side, you will want to hold your pieces with right sides together with both needle points facing to the right. (If you are familiar with sewing, this is the same concept if you were to sew a seam with right-sides of the fabric facing.)

three needle bind off step2.jpg

STEP TWO: Using a spare dpn of the same size, insert the dpn into the first stitch on both needles as if to knit. You will be treating both pieces of fabric as if they are one.

three needle bind off step3.jpg

STEP THREE: Knit the stitches together as one, slide both stitches off of your left hand needle. 

three needle bind off step4.jpg

STEP FOUR: Knit the next stitch on each left hand needle together as one. Slide both stitches off of your left hand needle. You now have 2 stitches on the right hand needle. Two stitches have been worked off of each left hand needle, for a total of 4 stitches worked.

STEP FIVE: Pass the right stitch over the left stitch on the right hand needle as if you are working a traditional bind off. One stitch has been bound off.

REPEAT STEPS FOUR + FIVE until all stitches have been bound off and you have one stitch remaining on your right hand needle.

Fasten off the final stitch and weave in your ends. 

Even if a pattern does not call for a 3-Needle Bind-Off, 9 times out of 10, you can use this technique when joining two pieces of knit fabric together. Enjoy! - KGO

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