Learn to cast off your knitting: the easy way!
This is one of my best kept knitting secrets, and I can’t wait to share it with you! Let me first ask you a question: have you ever cast off too tightly? I sure have! Casting off (or binding off, it’s the same thing), has never been one of my favourite things. The stitches kept sliding off my needles when I wanted to slip one stitch over the other, it was very fiddly! And when I finally finished, I found out that I’ve been casting off too tightly and as a result the cast-on side was wider than the cast-off side.. For a while I tried larger needles for casting off, but it was still fiddly. Until I tried casting off with a crochet hook! It has never been easier to cast off, and here’s how!
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Casting off is the easiest if you pick a crochet hook that’s slightly larger than your needles, to prevent a tight cast off. Today I’m showing you how to cast off ribbing, this way you’ll see the technique for both the knit and purl stitch. I never knit the first stitch, so I just slipped it of the left needle. If you don’t use this technique yet, don’t worry! Just skip this step.
First I’ll show you how to cast off a knit stitch. Click on the picture above to enlarge it. Holding your yarn at the back of your work, insert the crochet hook into the next stitch (or into your first stitch if you didn’t slip if off the needle like I did). Knit it like you would do with a knitting needle. At this moment, I already had two stitches on my right-hand needle (pic 3). If you don’t then continue and knit one more (pay attention if it needs to be knit or purl). When you do have two stitches on your right needle, use the crochet hook to pass the left stitch under the right stitch (pic 4). You have one stitch left on your right needle.
For casting of a purl stitch, you’ll need the yarn in front of your work. Work the next stitch just like you would purl a stitch: insert in stitch from right to left, yarnover, pass loop through and slip the loop off the left needle. Now you have two stitches on your right needle again. Use the crochet hook to pass the left loop through the right loop. Bonus tip: if you’re actually casting off a 1×1 rib stitch: when you pass the left loop through the right loop (pic 4), try to push your working yarn to the back of your work with the crochet hook.