In this post, you will learn how to cast off knitting for total beginners (step by step).
Once you have learned the knitting basics like how to cast on, knit, and purl you will need to know how to cast off or bind off your work from the needles.
No matter what you are making, from an easy baby blanket to a complicated sweater, you will need to cast off your work to finish the knitting project.
Is Bind Off The Same As Cast Off?
In any knitting pattern that you follow, when you have finished that last row, the pattern will tell you to bind off or cast off.
This has the same meaning.
You can knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches, just as you were working in the main pattern instructions.
When you cast off the stitches you do so with whatever stitch you were using.
Cast Off Meaning
This is another essential to know as a beginner knitter, how to cast off knitting (also known as binding off) your work.
- To cast off stitches, start by knitting two stitches.
- With your left needle select the first stitch you knit on the right needle (the bottom one) and pull it over the second stitch (the top one).
- Repeat this until you have no stitches left and you will have a neat edge along your work.
- Casting off is a way to take the working stitches off your needle, create a nice finished edge and stop the stitches from unraveling.
How Do You Cast Off In Knitting?
You will see step-by-step instructions below – a photo tutorial and a video tutorial.
To practice, you will need a pair of straight knitting needles and yarn (in this tutorial I use super bulky yarn and 9 mm/US13 needles).
You will also need a knitted swatch in garter stitch around 4×4 inches (10×10 cm) ready to cast off.
You can view the video tutorial on my YouTube channel here.
Time needed: 1 hour and 20 minutes
How To Cast Off Knitting
- Step 1 – Start by knitting (or purling) the first two stitches on your row.
In this tutorial, I am using a piece of knitting that has been knit in garter stitch (every row is knit).
I am working on a right-side row with the right side of the work facing me.
You can see below that I have knit the first two stitches.
- Step 2 – Pull the first stitch over the second
When you have the two knitted stitches on your right-hand needle, use the tip of your left needle to pull the first knitted stitch over the second stitch and over the tip of the right-hand needle (as you can see in the next step).
- Step 3 – Slide the stitch off the right-hand needle.
Slide that stitch off the right-hand needle (using the left-hand needle) so that you are left with one stitch.
- Step 4 – One stitch left to work with
This will leave you with one stitch (the second stitch that you knit) on the right-hand needle.
- Step 5 – Work into the next stitch on the left-hand needle.
Knit (or purl) the next stitch (the third stitch) and repeat steps 2 and 3.
Do this until you have no stitches of the row on the left-hand needle and one stitch remains on the right-hand needle.
- Step 6 – Secure the end when you have finished casting off.
Once you have cast off your last stitch, break yarn/cut the yarn so that you have a few inches of the tail.
(For a project like a sleeve you may need to leave a long tail if needed for stitching up any seams).
Place the end of the yarn through the loop and pull tight.
This secures the yarn so that the stitches will not come out.
Weave in the loose end with a darning needle/yarn needle.
Repeat steps 1-6 anytime you want to cast off a project in a simple way.
More Cast Off Knitting Methods
There are also many other ways to cast off, like the stretchy cast-off (for a stretchy edge), the Icelandic bind-off, the elastic bind-off, and more.
The stretchy bind-off/cast-off method is often used for shawls, cardigans, neckbands/necklines, a turtleneck ribbed collar, cables, and more.
If you would like to try another bind-off method, check out this post – Cast off Knitting Methods.
Are You New To Knitting?
Take a look at this list of more resources for beginners…
- Knitting cast-on methods.
- Knitting Lessons
- How to cast on knitting.
- How to knit the garter stitch.
- How to knit the purl stitch.
- How to knit stockinette stitch.
- How to read knitting patterns.
- Knitting abbreviations and terms.
- How to knit rib stitch.
- Mattress Stitch Tutorial.
The knitwise method is the most common way to cast off. (This is what you just learned in the tutorial above.) To cast off knitwise, you will need to knit the first two stitches on your needle as normal. Then, use your left-hand needle to lift the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right-hand needle. This method is great for beginners who are casting off their first project.
Yes! There are many different cast-off knitting methods you can try.
You can see them here – Cast off Knitting Methods.
The Standard Cast-Off Method.
Stretchy Cast Off.
Three-Needle Cast Off.
I Cord Cast Off.
Tubular Cast Off.
Picot Cast Off.
Yes! Casting off your knitting is the same term as binding off your knitting.
This is the way to end your knitting project, finishing that very final row so that the stitches are sealed in a way that they can’t unravel.
You can easily cast off your knitting by following this video tutorial here – How to cast off knitting. You can also see the step-by-step photo tutorial for beginners above.