How can the instruction for binding off within a row be made clearer to the knitter? I’ve found a way that works for me. I need to have every stitch accounted for in the instruction, but when you are binding off within a row, some stitches have a dual role.
Why There is Confusion When Binding Off Within a Row
Here’s an example from Jill Wolcott Knits® Silver Valley pattern, which is worked in one piece to the Divide for Armhole. In this case, the center back is where the opening is.
We started with 244 (268) (292) (316) (340) stitches. There are 56 (61) (66) (71) (76) Back stitches, then 16 (18) (20) (22) (24) stitches are bound off at the underarm. There are 100 (110) (120) (130) (140) Front stitches, and again 16 (18) (20) (22) (24) stitches are bound off, leaving 56 (61) (66) (71) (76) Back stitches. All stitches are accounted for in the stitch counts.
The problem is that when binding off within a row, that you actually need to knit or work two more stitches to start your bind off. Then, when you are at the end of your bind off, you need to knit or work one more stitch to take that final bind off stitch over.
Binding Off Within a Row
This is specific to the situation above, but it can be generalized too.
To bind off, work 2 stitches following the Back stitches to leave the correct number of stitches for the Back. Those 2 stitches are bound off, so they do not increase the number of Back stitches. At the other end of the bind off number, an extra stitch needs to be worked, but that stitch is included in the total number of Front stitches since it remains after the last bind off stitch is lifted over it.
After working the number of Back stitches, count the number of stitches to be bound off, and place a removable marker there. You have now marked off the stitches to be bound off. Remember, you will have to work one stitch past the removable marker to complete the bind off.
You can mark the bind off at the other armhole by counting the stitches for the Back from the other end of the needle, then placing removable markers to mark off the number of bind off stitches. At this second armhole, you will work to 2 stitches past the first removable marker then begin binding off. Work to 1 stitch past the second removable marker to complete the total number of bind offs, leaving the correct stitches in each of your three garment segments.
Dual Stitch Role When Binding Off Within a Row
The first two stitches seem like they are worked before the bind off, which they are, but they are counted as part of the actual bind off, not the stitches knit for the Back. The same for the stitch knit after the removable end bind off marker. It is part of the Front, not the bind off, but it must be worked before the last stitch can be bound off. I’ve taken some photos as I worked a sample. I used a contrast color yarn for the bind off stitches.
From left, then right (2 photos): 1) Work 2 sts after Back stitches; 2) bind off 1 stitch;
What I used: US Size 7(4.5mm) Inox Turbo circular needles (may no longer be available)
Clover locking pin markers
Clover ring markers
Civility Worsted 3-ply from Elemental Affects, 70% US merino, 30% mulberry silk (main)
Rambouillet 2-ply Worsted from Local Color Fiber Studio, 100% US rambouillet merino (contrast)