How to…bind off with beads January 30, 2012 – Posted in: How to, Mondays with Mona

Here we are with my finished ‘Before and After’ Bias Scarf – that is the knitting is finished but I have not bound off yet. I have knit until I just have enough yarn left for finishing.

To be able to add the beads to my bind-off I am going to use the Stem Stitch method, which is a sewn bind-off, i.e. it is worked with a tapestry needle (a blunt one is better than a pointy one, that prevents splitting the yarn) rather than the two knitting needles. It is my favourite bind-off method, I use it all the time and I think it lends itself wonderfully to what I have planned. Remember how the beads added in the cast-on sit on the strand between the stitches?  I want to match that on the other end. Here’s how:

To bind off any knitting with the Stem Stitch method you need to leave a length of yarn 2-3 times as long as the length of all of the stitches on the needle. For example, I have 60 stitches on my needles which measure roughly 30 cm across, so I leave 90 cm of yarn for the bind-off. Three times the length is generous, but better be save than sorry! Thread the end onto a tapestry needle, ready to begin.

Add one bead and slide it up to the first stitch, then insert your needle knitwise into the second stitch on the needle, pull it through to the back. As for the cast-on, we are going to need 59 beads to bind off 60 stitches.

The pictures I took of the first bead between the first two stitches turned out blurry, so I had to substitute when further along. The method is the same, though!

From the back you insert your needle into the first stitch on the needle and pull it through to the front, making sure it goes underneath the yarn strand formed before that carries the bead.

Pull thread through and drop first stitch off needle while pulling tight. Continue with step one, i.e. adding a bead and inserting your needle into the second stitch.

As you can see I have dropped the first stitch already – before inserting the needle into the second stitch, which in this case is the first now. You can too, if you are so inclined. However, it needs a bit of practice.

That is it. I am pretty happy with how it worked out. On to blocking!

– Mona