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Three Needle Bind Off Tutorial

This three needle join is a quick and easy way to seam together two sets of live stitches.

Updated October 20, 2020
Three Needle Bind Off Tutorial

The three needle bind off is a method that may look familiar to you if you're a fan of knitting cuff-down socks. Like the knit kitchener stitch, you work off of two double-pointed needles (each containing an equal number of live stitches) with a third needle and a length of yarn to seam the two pieces together and bind off all live stitches. Unlike the knit kitchener stitch, the three needle bind off doesn't give you the invisible edge that blends almost seamlessly into stockinette stitch.

The seam created using the three needle bind off method is more obvious to the eye, but quite strong and still very clean-looking and not too intrusive to a pattern. This makes it the perfect method for joining knit fabric together in a place where you don't mind the seamed look and would rather opt for sturdiness. This kind of bind-off is popular for wearables as it gives the garment a rustic look. Aside from being sturdy, this method is super quick and easy, which makes it a great option for newer knitters and veterans alike.

Three Needle Bind Off: Step By Step

1. If you haven't already done so, rearrange your two pieces of knit fabric (each on a double-pointed needle) so the right sides are facing each other. If you are using attached yarn from one of the pieces to do the three needle bind-off, make sure it's at the rightmost end of the needle. In this example, we will be using contrasting yarn to better see the effect of the seam.

Three Needle Bind Off Step 1
Three Needle Bind Off Step 1.5

2. Insert your third needle knitwise into the first stitch on both of the first two needles.

Three Needle Bind Off Step 2

3. Knit both stitches together.

Three Needle Bind Off Step 3

4. Slide both worked stitches off of the needles.

Three Needle Bind Off Step 4

5. Repeat steps 2-4 with the next stitch on each needle.

Three Needle Bind Off Step 5
Three Needle Bind Off Step 5.5

6. Pass the first stitch on your third needle over the most recent stitch you worked and off the needle, just like in a regular knitted bind off.

Three Needle Bind Off Step 6
Three Needle Bind Off Step 6.5

7. Repeat steps 5-6 until all the stitches on the first two needles have been worked off. One stitch remains on the third needle.

Three Needle Bind Off Step 7

8. Break yarn, and pull yarn end taut through last live stitch to fasten off.

Three Needle Bind Off Complete 1
Three Needle Bind Off Complete 2

Up Next:

7 Methods of Seaming Your Knitting

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