Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Super Stretchy Cast Off

Having knit more Theolie's than perhaps a sane person should knit, I've had the opportunity to experiment with different cast off/bind off techniques. Theolie is a simple shawl, constructed largely of garter stitch, with a textured/lace border. Knit in alpaca it makes for a gloriously smooshy, squishy, comfortable shawl.

Theolie in Artesano Alpaca 4ply
The trouble with alpaca though, is that it has no memory. In this respect, I sometimes wonder if I am alpaca.

For the shawl pictured above, I worked the cast off as written in the pattern. For my next incarnation in the same yarn I tried various stitch combinations. Mostly I wanted to give structure to the edges whilst still being sufficient stretchy....what I finally came up with was really really stretchy….check out these points!

A second Theolie in Artesano Alpaca 4ply

So how is it done?

Firstly, use a needle one or two sizes larger than the main knitting. I used a needle two sizes larger (i.e. 1mm bigger). Then work the cast off row as follows:

1. K2.
2. Slip these 2sts back to the left needle.
3. K2togtbl.
4. K1.

You now have 2 sts on your right needle again so you can repeat steps 2-4 to the end of the row.

This edging was super stretchy and so I’d definitely recommend it if you’re having trouble getting a stretchy-enough cast off edge.

K2togtbl = knit two stitches together through the back of the loops.

Theolie pattern page on Ravelry


  1. This if absolutely the GREATEST cast-off for the garter stitch. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. just used this and it yielded a lovely looking cast off on my garterstitch blanket. However I began with a +0.5mm needle and tinked it back, sticking to the same size of needle was absolutely fine. I tend generally to knit tight though, don't know if that contributed.