k1p1 invisible bind-off tutorial

15 01 2007

this being my first real adventure in toe-up socks, i was a loss as to what bind off to use. sensational knitted socks didn’t have a recommended bind-off (did it?)…and i’ve read enough blogs to know that i needed something stretchy. a quick google search didn’t turn up much, although i did rediscover laurie b’s toes and heels webpage (it’s a fantastic collection of links for different toe and heel techniques…thanks!).

since you end at the cuff when you knit toe-up, the bind-off must be loose and elastic. it would be a tragedy to have (unintentionally) slouchy socks after all the time you put into it. i found a k1p1 invisible bind-off that i thought might work for me described in the twisted sister’s sock workbook. the wording was a little confusing, but i plowed on…and thought to put what i learned up on the ol’ blog to share with you. 🙂

it may seem like a lot of work, but i think this bind-off is espcially pretty and very elastic. i hope you enjoy it as much as i do!

k1p1 invisible bind-off tutorial

  • after you have finished the desired length of your k1p1 cuff, break off a length of yarn about three times the circumference of your sock. thread through a tapestry needle to begin.
  • note: the photos are associated with the text below it.
  • please leave me feedback – this is my first tutorial!


  • in the first stitch (a knit stitch) thread the needle from back to front. pull yarn through and snug gently.


  • in the next stitch (a purl stitch) thread the needle from front to back. pull yarn through and snug.


  • the yarn should look something like this.


  • go back to the first knit stitch and thread the needle from front to back. pull yarn through. snug.


  • slip this stitch off the needle.


  • *in the next stitch (a knit stitch), thread the needle from back to front.


  • go back to the purl stitch (now the first stitch on the needle) and thread needle from back to front. slip this stitch off the needle.
  • the second stitch on the needle should be a purl stitch. you will need to thread your yarn through this stitch from front to back . BUT, you need to do this from BEHIND the first knit stitch.


  • to do this, approaching from the back, put your needle between the first and second stitch. now thread the needle from the front to the back of the purl (second) stitch.


  • it may seem a little awkward, but it will get easier.


  • now, in the first (knit) stitch, thread the needle from front to back. pull the yarn through. snug. slip stitch off needle.
  • go to *.
  • continue until the last purl stitch.


  • thread the needle from back to front on the inital knit stitch.


  • thread the needle from back to front on the last purl stitch.


  • now thread the needle once more on the inital stitch. pull yarn through. snug.


  • last step!! pull needle through to other side. weave in ends.


  • viola! a stretchy k1p1 invisible cast-off!



110 responses

16 01 2007

great tutorial!!! I’m always looking for new BO’s for toe ups – I usually do the EZ sewn cast off, which looks very similar to this one…

16 01 2007

Holy cow woman! That was great!

17 01 2007

What a great idea — I’ve been putting off an attempt at toe-ups partly because I didn’t know what to do about the bind off — now I have no excuse!

17 01 2007

This is very cool — thanks! I’m very tempted to do 1×1 ribbing now.

17 01 2007

Thanks for the tutorial, the photos are great. The Tubular cast-off is my favorite for toe-up socks.

Before cutting the yarn and threading the darning needle, I set up the tubular cast-off by knitting 2 full rounds of tubular knitting.
Round 1, part A: *k1, sl1 wyif* all the way around, p last st
Round 1, part B: *sl1 wyib, p1* all the way around
Round 2, part A: *k1, sl1 wyif* all the way around, p last st
Round 2, part B: *sl1 wyib, p1* all the way around

Also, the wording accompanied by your photos is fine, but you might want to consider using “knitwise” and “purlwise” for “front to back” and “back to front”. Just a small suggestion. Thanks again!

4 03 2014

Thanks for these additions!

21 06 2015

Being a non knitter the front and back was great for me!! And pictures were wonderful.

18 01 2007

cool tutorial, thanks for such nice pics.

i love the yarn also. will try it out asap

22 01 2007

Very clear wording, and very clear pictures! I’m working on my first pair of toe-up socks right now, and was wondering how to end the cuff. Thanks for the great tutorial!

28 01 2007

Beautiful! Thanks! It’s tagged as a favorite!

15 02 2007
The Purloined Letter

Thanks for allowing me to post this on Yarnival!

15 02 2007

great tute! I like this bind off a LOT if it’s 1×1 — I tried it with a 2×2 (adjusting for the rib of course) and didn’t like it nearly as much.

I talked a little about toe-up sock bind offs here:


and linked to a couple of other blog posts about the topic! These days I usually use the Russian bind-off out of laziness, but I think my next toe-up socks I’ll use this one. 🙂

And hmm, that yarn is gorgeous! 🙂

[I’m here via yarnival – congrats! 🙂 ]

16 02 2007
how was your v-day?…and i’ve been yarnival’d!! « crankygrrrrrl

[…] your v-day?…and i’ve been yarnival’d!! February 16th, 2007 edited to add: my tutorial has been linked to yarnival, hosted this month by the purloined letter. […]

20 02 2007

Here from Yarnival also. Thanks for the tutorial, great photos!

26 02 2007

Thanks for the tutorial. I found it when googling stretchy BOs for this hat I’m knitting.

Your instructions worked well, I successfully bound off. My only suggestion – your tapestry needles looks so much like your knitting needle that I was very confused. I wasn’t sure if I was knitting and weaving at the same time or what. I did eventually figure it out, but it would have been easier if the tapestry needle was a different color.


6 03 2007

Thank you so much! I have a book that basically shows this but doesn’t make a lick of sense. Your instructions were so much easier to follow! And the yarn was a good choice to make the stitches clear.

6 10 2007
Sock It » k1p1 invisible bind-off tutorial " crankygrrrrrl

[…] geekess wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

21 10 2007

Thanks for a great tutorial, you helped me finish my first toe-up socks 🙂 Very clear pictures and instructions, thanks so much for detailing it here.

21 10 2007
Pipe Dreams and Purling Plans » Blog Archive » Kaylee Socks!

[…] Invisible sewn bind off, I have a couple books and magazines with this technique, but there’s a great tutorial here. […]

5 11 2007

This is an awesome tutorial, especially the pictures because of the multi-dyed yarn! The only minor problem I found out as I printed this and translated it into Finnish for my 70-year-old grandmom (she’s the Old Fashioned Knitter, I had to introduce her to the wonders of toe-up socks and tubular binding) was that the last few pictures introducing the final steps has the original colors reversed. It might be helpful to someone figuring out this technique to point out that in the last pics the binding yarn is red and not blue like in the first pics.

This probably is not a major issue if you are looking at the series as a whole, but if you are just following the flow of the b-o yarn you might get confused.

Cheers from Finland o/

18 11 2007

Every time I make socks the patterns tell you to use elastic bind-off but it has never turned out right until I followed your bind-off instructions. Thanks, it made it so much easier and the pictures were really clear. Could you write a tutorial with pictures on elastic 2×2 ribbed bind-off?

17 12 2007

For the benefit of the knitting community, you need to quit your day job and devote your life to creating knitting tutorials! Thank you so much.

30 12 2007

Invisible bind off tutorial was very helpful! Thanks.

13 07 2008

Thanks so much for this tutorial–I am making a the fingers on a pair of fingerless gloves for my hubby’s best friend, and I am very pleased with this new technique you’ve just taught me:) Thanks bunches for taking the time to post it here–I don’t think I would have been able to figure it out without this tutorial!!

6 08 2008

I’ve found this sewn bind off in several books and other web tutorials but your descriptions and pictures were the most clear and easy to follow. I learned this technique a while back during my machine knitting days but could not find my notes. Thank you for making this information available.

26 10 2008
Palindrome Scarf « AuburnChick’s Weblog

[…] finally understanding them after trying several times, and wound up with a clean edge. Here is a link for a p1, k1 bind off, which will give you a general idea of the […]

1 02 2009

does this bind-off also work for k2p1 rib?

2 02 2009

i don’t think so, as there is a different bo for 2×2 rib. if you find one let me know!! good luck!

8 03 2009

Thanks for the great instructions. I’m using it for fingerless gloves I am making. As I’m a very visual person, the pictures helped tremendously.

19 03 2009
Smooooossshy « I saw her STRANDing there

[…] socks to an ok length and then scoured the internet for a sewn 2×2 rib cast off. I found this tutorial with piccies and I’m fairly happy with how it turned […]

15 05 2009

This is the best tutorial for this binding I have found on the net. I watched a few videos, but this is so clear and easy to understand each of the steps. I had to undo my last attempt, because the instructions weren’t clear, but now I have it down pat. Thankyou.

29 05 2009
Granny Judy

Hi, great job. It would be easier to follow if you numbered the instructions because I find as I scroll back and forth I get lost.

19 06 2009

Great tutorial. A big help.

4 07 2009
Gloria and Edgar

This is a very well-done tutorial. I just wish we had seen it before struggling with the written instructions we got from who-knows-where. Gloria used it in a sweater knit in the round from the bottom up (for our granddaughter) and it yielded a very stretchable neck opening. I use it in my toe-up socks, even when I end with a 3×3 rib (I cheat by adding on a 1×1 rib in the last row). Thanks for a great job.

9 01 2010

Thanks!! This is a fantastic tutorial!! 😀 😀

9 01 2010

FAB-U-LOUS tute!

26 02 2010

I don’t understand, you could do it on video? thanks!

24 03 2010

Great tutorial!! I have linked to your blog on my Ravelry project page where I used your tutorial. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Orchid22/mrs-darcy-cardigan


17 04 2010

This is fantastic, your photos brilliant! Thank you!! Angela aka Allforloveofyarn

31 05 2010

Thank you so much for this small tutorial. I too came online looking for a loose cast off but couldn’t find anything in my searches. That was until I came upon your post here! Am off to go try it 🙂

21 09 2010
Anne A.

Just learned invisible cast-on and want to use it for a sweater waistband and cuffs, but still needed to learn invisible bind-off to make a matching collar. Great pics and instructions, very clear! Thanks!

10 11 2010

This is so helpful! I just made my first sweater, and although there was a hood so no binding off a collar, just grafting a seam, I went back to re-knit the ribbed portion on the bottom of the sleeves since they were too long and used this bind off for that. It looks great! Thanks so much for this tutorial!
PS – submitted to StumbleUpon.

4 12 2010

How would you adapt this bind-off for a k2p2 ribbing?

4 01 2011

i’m sorry this response has got to you so late! I hope by now you’ve found your answer. 🙂

I was planning on doing a tutorial eventually…but lack of time and a good camera has prevented me from blogging it! i have only done this bo for k2p2 ribbing once because it seems very complicated. in reality, it probably isn’t…eventually i’ll figure it out and post up some pictures. thanks for stopping by!

12 08 2012

Do you have a link for a great 2×2 tubular bind off?

30 12 2010

This was absolutely fantastic! Thanks so much!

16 01 2011

Fantastic tutorial!! I have never done an invisible bind off before, this was the first time and I was making fingerless gloves for my husband, so I had to do it for each finger. Thanks for posting these wonderful in depth instructions!!

16 01 2011

you’re welcome! i am so glad that this little tutorial was useful. 🙂

16 01 2011

Well done and very easy to folow! I learned this new method in less than 2 minutes and love it!! So far my favorite way to finish toe-up cuffs. ‘ve learned many int he 30+ years I’ve been knitting. I wholeheartedly agree with many responses that this would be a great method to finish the hem and cuffs on top-down sewaters, too.

1 07 2011

Great tutorial, thank you so much for sharing! I noticed that pulling the yarn snug means VERY snug, otherwise my bind off seemed to fan out. (This is at least true for extra bulky yarn.) Overall I love the results, very stretchy and blends in perfectly with 1×1 ribbing!

1 08 2011

Thanks so much! I just finished my first pair of toe up socks with your help. You are so talented! The photos are excellent and you made the perfect yarn choice to make it clear. I agree with another commenter that it would be very helpful to have the steps numbered or lettered so that I don’t get lost scrolling through. (the iPhone screen is so tiny and I think a lot of us knit with them now)

9 11 2011


5 01 2012

Thanks so much for the great tutorial. The step-by-step pictures along with descriptions really made things clear.

8 02 2012

ah this is lovely! also i know how hard it is to photograph DIYs step by step, thank you so much for doing this. i just started knitting as a way to still DIY without a sewing machine. instant following. ❤

4 03 2012

THANK YOU for this tutorial! I didn’t have to search long – this was the first link from google that I clicked on as I finished up a sock, and the instructions are so clear. I love it!

4 03 2012

you’re welcome! glad it was useful 🙂

1 05 2012

Lovely tutelage. Thanks so very much 🙂

16 06 2012

Hi, I love the tutorial but it may help to use 2 solid colors; one for the sock and one for the bind off so the student can see a little better what is happening. For an example of what I mean you may want to check out Lucy Neatby she has a DVD where she shows kitchner stitch and uses contrasting colors to demonstrate what is happening.

16 08 2012

It would definitely help me – usually I understand fully from pictures, but this, with all the colours, is so confusing, I really cannot tell what is happening at all. Feel such an idiot seeing as everyone else seems to get it. 😦

18 06 2012
Knitalong Hopping Right Along | knitcircus

[…] a pair by the end of Fall Ball! This one’s ready for sime ribbing. I’m going to use this tutorial for an invisible, stretchy bind-off from […]

25 06 2012

This is a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing! Stop by at http://www.etsy.com/shop/karapoozcrochet

8 07 2012

Perfect!! I had this invisible bind-off on an old magazine that I lost long time ago so this comes in handy. Thank you very much!

9 07 2012

glad it helps! 🙂

31 08 2012

i know you posted this in ’07 but thank you for keeping it up!! it’s really helped me 🙂

31 08 2012

You’re welcome! 🙂

6 09 2012

It looks SCARY but you give it a “if I can do it, you can do it” feel so I will try 😉 Thanks!

7 09 2012

if I can do it, you can do it!

have faith in the process… it will work. if you want to think of it differently what you are actually. doing is taking the bind-off stitches, and placing every other stitch on another needle, then kitchener-ing the two rows together (if that didn’t make sense, ignore the last statement fearless!)


21 09 2012
Mary Sue Osborn

I learned this method many years ago but had lost my instructions and this old brain couldn’t remember how to do the bind of. Thank you so much for the clear instructions. I think I can now do my k2 p2 bind off, remembering to go into each stitch 2 times, the first time the opposit of what it is and the second time as it is. Does that make sense??? I have been a machine knittter in the past and have just now after years of not knitting gone to hand kiitting, I love these instructions.

25 09 2012
Miss entretelas

I did it!!!! Thank you so much for this tutorial!!!

14 11 2012
Pattern coveting « Kniterly

[…] is a LOT, let me tell you.  Also, if you are making very fitted mitts with ribbed cuffs I suggest this cast off. It saved my bacon after several ill-fated attempts at other […]

26 11 2012

Thanks! Never seen this before.

7 12 2012

Im a beginning knitter and while Im sure this post was very helpful for others, it only depressed me lol. I started around Thanksgiving, and I am still at the stage where Im just trying to make a few decent rows of stitches. Looking forward to exploring your blog for helpful tips!!!!! Showing love from Georgia!!

7 03 2013

I just wanted you to know, I come back to this post over and over again. I just do an image search for invisible bind off and look for your rainbow yarn (I’ve bookmarked it this time). I’m using it now to finish the neck of Kate Davies’ Puffin Sweater. Thanks so much!

2 05 2013
lloyd irvin

This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have
found something which helped me. Kudos!

16 08 2013

I can see what you are doing with the yarn as it has a different color, and with the knitting needles, but the needle-holding-the-blue-yarn is not at all clear: I can’t see where it is threaded, ever. the word ‘needle is used for both types.
Last, a question: could this be done with a regular straight needle, going back and forth through the open loops at the end?

25 08 2013
Year of Projects 3 | Knitspiring Odyssey

[…] sewn BO method that was in the book. It’s Elizabeth Zimmerman’s method. Here’s a photo tutorial I found on Pinterest if you’re […]

15 12 2013
Martina Staniek

thank you so much, i never liked the bind Offs on toe up socks or mittens which dont start at the bottom
this now gives a pretty nice ending

9 01 2014
Brenda Pitre

Thank you for the great tutorial. I will try this on my next pair if socks☺️!!!

5 05 2014

I’ve just tried this on a sleeve cuff and it’s come out really well. Thank you!

21 07 2014

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I am french and the picture are very helpful to understand.

22 07 2014

Reblogged this on G-Ma Ellen's Hands – Adventures in Crochet and Knit and commented:
I need to remember to try this! 😀

22 07 2014

Love it. I really wanted to learn this bind off. Thank you. Great tutorial

29 07 2014

Great Tutorial! I’m going to give it a whirl! Happy knitting 🙂

20 08 2014

Dank u voor deze geweldige tip.

6 10 2014
Miumei Cheung

Love it. I really wanted to learn this bind off. Thank you. Great tutorial

10 10 2014

Thank you! tutorial is great! I love your explanations and pictures. I am doing it right now AND IT WORKS!!!!

24 12 2014

Heya – looks like Laurie B’s toe and heel website is no longer live. Does anyone know what happened to it? Or if it’s been replaced by anything?

30 12 2014

I wrote this post quite a while ago; perhaps it can be found on the way back machine? i’ll have to look around for another resource if i can’t find it…thanks for commenting!

27 02 2015

Great idea! I can that website on that web archive. Thanks Tani. Love the blog. 🙂

27 02 2015

Whoops! Missed a word there… I can *access* that website on that web archive.

27 01 2015

Thank you! I am going to try this on a pair of Roll-Down Wristers.

29 01 2015

Thank you! Have to try this. ❤

18 02 2015

Awesome! Making a sweater I am going to use that on, thanks!!

27 02 2015

The bind off is excellent and very neat. It’s part of my permanent repertoire now.

20 12 2015

I’m looking for a bind off for a 1×1 ribbed cowl and I don’t want to sew it. I found these instructions pretty confusing. As said above, I can’t tell the needle from the needle (knitting/tapestry). I also think it would have been helpful if the work had been solid with a different color yarn for the bind-off. I also didn’t understand what you were wanting when you talked about pulling the yarn through. Did you mean as though you were sewing? I’d already seen something on YouTube (which is much easier to follow) and decided I didn’t want to sew it if there is another option. Wish your title reflected that it was a sewn bind off.

20 01 2016

What do you do if your first stitch is a purl stitch? Thanks!

21 01 2016

I think the easiest thing to do would be to purl that stitch and transfer it to the back and then begin bo. Hope this helps!

Sent from my iPhone


21 01 2016

Thank you for this tutorial. I do not knit socks anymore but I do knit top-down sweaters and I can use your method to bind off the cuff of the sleeves and body! Thank you!!!

21 01 2016

Great! Glad you find the tutorial useful!

Sent from my iPhone


5 02 2017

I love this bind off, thank you! And much prefer it to a full tubular bind off which can be so tedious with set up. The first sweater sleeve I did it on I forgot to pull snug (was worried about the snugness affecting its elasticity!) so one cuff is a bit… wiggly cuz it’s looser at the end heh!

12 02 2017

So. Totally. Awesome!!!

2 02 2018
Tara Purcell

I believe this is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s cast off.

20 03 2018
Pam OConnor

How can you adapt a knit 2 purl 2 to this bind off

1 12 2018

Seems almost like Kitchener stitch used for seaming the toes when doing a top-down sock ..right? Looks beautiful but just like Kitchener I have to be looking at the directions ever stitch- I can’t seam to commit it to memory.

31 03 2019

That’s brilliant!! Thank you for the tutorial, very clear and easy to follow.

27 07 2019
Beverly Crooks

Would have been better for me, since I am very visual, to have a video of you doing this……several times so it “sticks”…….those are the tutorials I am attracted to when learning a new technique….never too late….thanks for sharing this

3 08 2019
Karen Taylor

To hard for a beginner like e, I have only just mastered the Seersucker pattern. But thanks anyway

3 08 2019

Does anyone have a beanie pattern from preemie babies up to adults and bed socks for adults also please. TIA

21 08 2019

Thanks a lot for the tutorial. İ couldn’t find a needle around so i did it with a crochet hook, it also worked well. Your tutorial is clear and good, thanks again.

19 12 2019
Patricia Herron

How can tutorials like this be saved? Great instructions and pictures. Thank you in advance.

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