KW Tips + Tricks: Channel Island Bind Off

CHANNEL ISLAND BIND OFF

I was making a Gansey sweater years ago, and I used the Channel Island cast-on, which makes a nice understated picot edge.

In a traditional Gansey, like Seascale, you work the body from the bottom up in the round, divide the work and work back and forth for the yoke on the front and back, join the shoulder seams, and then pick up stitches around the armhole and knit the sleeves from the top down. When I got to the point where I had to bind off the cuffs of the sleeves I realized that the bind-off and the cast-on edges wouldn't match. I did a little research to see if I could find a bind-off that would look similar to the Channel Island cast-on, and I couldn't find a thing. So I started fiddling around with a few different picot bind-offs. These were all a bit too "picot-y" for my purposes. In the end, I merged two different bind-offs; the Icelandic bind-off and a picot bind-off. The Icelandic bind-off is worked by inserting the left hand needle through the first stitch on the right hand needle and pulling the second stitch through the first. You then knit this stitch and pull both stitches off the left hand needle, place the single stitch back on the right hand needle, and repeat. This creates a very firm bind off, which I liked. By working the second stitch a few extra times, I got the added benefit of a picot look which was also worked very firmly so it didn't dangle too much, and the end result is what you see below. - CK

KW Tips + Tricks: Channel Island Bind Off

STEP 1 / 
1a: The right hand needle has been inserted into the first stitch on the left hand needle as if to purl.
1b: While the right hand needle is through the first stitch, the second stitch will be pulled through the first stitch. The stitches have switch places on the needle.

KW Tips + Tricks: Channel Island Bind Off

STEP 2 / Knit this stitch as you normally would.

STEP 3a / Return the just knit stitch on your right hand needle back onto the left hand needle. knit this stitch again, creating the appearance of a chain.

KW Tips + Tricks: Channel Island Bind Off
KW Tips + Tricks: Channel Island Bind Off

STEP 3b / Once you have knit the first stitch a second time, leave it on your right hand needle. Then, knit the next two stitches on the left hand needle together. You have just decreased 3 stitches down to two. 

STEP 4 / This step is worked in the exact same manner as a "typical" bind off. 

KW Tips + Tricks: Channel Island Bind Off

STEP 5 / Return the stitch to the left hand needle. This step is critical: if the stitch is not returned, you will amass a large quantity of stitches that are still "live" on the right hand needle.

Repeat Steps 1-5 for the desired number of stitches, or until all your stitches have been bound off.