If you’re keen to begin a knitting project, you’ll need to know how to cast off knitting. 

Every knitting project ends with the casting off technique. Once you have completed your knitting pattern, the last step is to secure your knit carefully so it doesn’t unravel.

This is known as castingoff or bindingoffyourknitting. And it leaves a neat, finished, and closed-end to thecompletedknit.

There are a few different methods that you can use for casting off your knitting. In this article, I will discuss some of my favorite techniques that are super easy to learn.

Best Techniques for How to Cast Off Knitting

Here are the most popular casting off techniques in knitting for you to try.

  1. The Standard Cast Off Method
  2. The Stretchy Cast Off Method
  3. I-cord Cast Off Method
  4. Picot Cast Off Method
  5. Sewn Cast Off Method

The Standard Cast Off Method

The standard casting off knitting technique is the most straightforward method to seal off your edge. This works for almost every knitting pattern. And you can also quickly learn this cast-off process from a knitting expert on Lrnkey. 

Here is how to cast off knitting using the Standard cast-off method:

  • You need to start by stitching the first two stitches. Move the left-hand needle towards your right-hand needle. 

start by stitching the first two stitches

  • Now insert the left-hand needle into the opening stitch that you made using the right-hand needle. 

left-hand needle into the opening stitch

  • Use the left needle to lift the first stitch up and move it over the second stitch. Drop the stitch from the right-hand needle. You have successfully cast off the first stitch. 

left needle to lift the first stitch up

  • Repeat this process until no stitches remain on the left-hand needle, and just one stitch remains on the right-hand needle.

stitches remain on the left-hand needle,

  • Cut the yarn attached to the ball, leaving at least 6 inches on the thread. 

the yarn attached to the ball

  • Now gently pull the last stitch with your left hand to make it slightly bigger. Pull the loose end of the yarn all the way through this loop and take your right needle out. Tug the thread tightly, and you’re done. 

The Stretchy Cast Off Method

The stretchy casting-off method is a simple technique that seals the end of your knitted garments. It is perfect for shawls, socks, or cuffs, which will likely be stretched in the future. It creates a tidy, elastic chained edge on your knit.

Here is how to cast off knitting using the Stretchy cast-off method:

  • Knit the first two stitches together using the left and the right-hand needles.

  • Now move the right-hand needle behind the left-hand one that has the stitches on it. Loop the yarn over the right-hand needle and pull it gently through both stitches. 

the right-hand needle behind the left-hand one

  • You will now have a new stitch on your right needle. Gently slip the stitch back onto the left-hand needle. 

new stitch on your right needle

  • Now repeat this process across the row until all loose stitches are cast off perfectly. 
  • Cut off the end attached to the ball of yarn, and you are done.

attached to the ball of yarn

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I-cord Cast Off Method


The I-cord casting off knitting technique results in clean and neat ends. It adds a smooth finish to the edge of your knit. With this method, you’ll create an elegant tubular edge, running horizontally across the last row. 

Although the I-cord casting-off method is time-consuming and uses a great deal of yarn, the result is worth the effort. It results in a beautiful finishing touch to the top of bags, collars, and pockets.

Here is how to cast off knitting using the I-cord cast-off method:

  • Start by knitting three new stitches on your needle ahead of all the other stitches.

knitting three new stitches

  • Knit two standard stitches into the first two stitches you just cast on. You can do this by inserting the right needle into the back loop. Then pull the yarn over and thread it through the loop. Let the stitch in your right-hand needle slide off to the left. 

Knit two standard stitches

  • Now you need to knit two stitches together. With one stitch already present on your left needle, you will need to cast the other stitch. 

knit two stitches together

  • Insert your right needle through the back of both the loops and yarn. Pull through both the loops and let them slip onto the needle. 

right needle through the back

  • You would now have three stitches on your right-hand needle. Now, transfer them gently to the left-hand needle. 

now have three stitches

  • Cast on three new stitches again and repeat the process until you have the last three stitches left.

 three new stitches

  • Cut the yarn attached to the ball, leaving at least 4 inches on the thread. 

the yarn attached

  • Thread the yarn into a tapestry needle, and weave through the last three stitches. Pull tightly to secure the cast-off, and you are done. 

the yarn into a tapestry needle

Picot Cast Off Method


The Picot casting off knitting technique is a delightful way to bind off your knitted garment. It adds a quaint look to your knit and gives it some stretch. You can use this casting-off knitting technique for necklines or children’s clothing.

The Picot cast-off method leaves the edge of the knit with what looks like tiny spikes. However, there are various possible approaches to this technique. 

For instance, if you use smaller needles or cast off fewer stitches, the spikes will appear smaller and closer to each other. But should you cast off more stitches, you’ll create more significant spikes that are further apart. 

Even though this method requires a fair amount of time, patience, and yarn, the result can be beautiful. And you can learn how to cast off knitting easily with this technique by signing up with Lrnkey. 

Here is how to cast off knitting using the Picot cast-off method:

  • Start by casting on two new stitches in front of all the other stitches.

Picot Cast Off Method

  • Now, take the first stitch you cast on and loop it over the second stitch in the row. Slowly slide the first stitch off the right needle as you wind it over the second one. This will help bind off the two new stitches you make. 

irst stitch you cast

  • The next step is to create the picots by knitting one stitch and passing this stitch over the second stitch. Repeat this three times to make a small picot. 

next step is to create the picots

  • Now, cast on two new stitches and repeat the process until you bind off all the stitches on your garment. 

two new stitches

Sewn Cast Off Method


The sewn casting off knitting method looks very similar to what is known as the long tail cast on way. This technique is beneficial when you want to ensure that all the edges of your knit are uniform. 

This method was developed by famed knitting teacher and designer Elizabeth Zimmermann. And it’s a unique, flexible alternative to the standard cast-off method. 

The sewn casting-off knitting method is perfect for clothing that requires some elasticity. It can be used to knit elements such as the neck of a sweater, socks, or cuffs. 

However, unlike other casting-off knitting methods, this one cannot easily be undone. If you need to remove the final row, you’ll have to pull every stitch to undo it. 

Here is how to cast off knitting using the Sewn cast-off method:

Cut at least three times the yarn needed to bind off the knit from the ball. Now thread the tail of the yarn into the tapestry needle.

  • Insert the tapestry needle purlwise into the first two stitches on your knit.

Sewn Cast Off Method

  • Then draw the yarn through the stitches. 

through the stitches.

  • Now, insert your tapestry needle knitwise into the first stitch and draw the yarn through this first stitch. Gently drop the stitc from the left-hand knitting needle. You have now cast off the first stitch.

insert your tapestry needle knitwise

  • Repeat this process until just one stitch remains on the left-hand knitting needle.

left-hand knitting needle.

  • Insert a tapestry needle into the last stitch as if to purl. Draw the remaining thread through the stitch and drop the previous stitch off the knitting needle. Cut off the excess yarn, and you are done. 

tapestry needle into the last stitch

Conclusion for Learning How to Cast Off Knitting

The primary action remains the same when casting off your stitches, no matter which method you use. The only thing that differs is the way you work your stitches throughout the process. 

The Standard cast-off method is the most fundamental technique used to bind off almost every knitting project. While the Stretchy and Sewn cast-off forms are usually used to add elasticity to your garment for easy fitting. These techniques are used for necklines, socks, or sleeve cuffs. 

The I-cord and Picot cast-off methods are fancy techniques that can add some flair to the edge of your garment. 

That said, no method is better than the other. Different garments or situations require diverse casting off techniques. Learning these five basic methods would help you end your knitting project with ease.