I can’t believe it took me this long to get to 3-needle joins! I love them. Joining without sewing is good for most knitters–we get to keep using the needles we’re most comfortable with.
Favorite 3-needle Joins
I like using a 3-needle join without the bind off to put two pieces together. to do this the first stitch on each needle being held in the left hand are worked together in a front/back k2tog, so that the total number of stitches is reduced.
- two pieces worked separately into a single piece
I most frequently use the 3-needle bind off to join shoulder seams, although it can be used to join almost anything. It has a slight lean, which doesn’t matter when the two pieces are falling in opposite directions.
- joining pieces
I am particularly taken with the flat 3-needle bind off for joins that need to be flat or are decorative.
- closing the tops of my flat hats
- the center of a piece worked from the outside in
- two or more pieces that are to lay flat
Executing 3-needle Joins
At the beginning it can feel really awkward to be working with two needles in the left hand and one in the right. It is perhaps slightly more exciting if you are a thrower! The 3-needle joins are stockinette and no matter how you work the stitches, it adds a row of knit stitches. Purl makes the stitches lay differently, but doesn’t change the basic look of the bind off.
The 3-needle bind off is what most knitters are familiar with. It is a nice join and has the strength of a bind-off. In the photo I’ve done it after picking up stitches. The orange and blue pieces each had stitches picked up and joined. The bind off leans to the piece that is on the front needle. It is easy to block it so it lays nearly flat.
The version above is stitches to stitches horizontally, and the one below is stitches, but picked up into rows.