Icelandic Bind-Off

Instructions for working the Icelandic Bind-Off:

K the first stitch.
*transfer stitch from the right needle to the left, giving it a little twist so that it is mounted correctly. Put your right needle through that stitch, as if to purl, reaching through to knit the next stitch normally (through the front loop)*
Repeat between the *s until one stitch is left. Break yarn, pull end through last loop, tighten to fasten.

Information on things you’ll see in the video:

The bulky yarn I used for demonstration is Lion Brand Hometown USA. I demonstrated using size 13 US (9mm) needles.

The needles I used are bamboo, made by Clover.

The sweater on the mannequin is my Ombre Dyed Sweater, pattern + video tutorial.

25 comments on “Icelandic Bind-Off

  1. Staci,

    Wonderful demo. You’ve made it very simple to follow. I wonder if there is a similar “Icelandic” cast-on? Perhaps someone will know.

  2. I’m about to get to my cuff’s on Taat toe-up socks and I will definitely try this one, I’ve used the yo, Bo and Lori twisty Bo and like both of them but I’m for easy and fast , so I’m anxious to try Icelandic bind off

  3. I have made a couple Lacey Arches Infinity Scarves (Pattern by Tina Keenan of Made For Ewe) using the Icelandic Bind Off. The pattern uses the Old Norwegian Cast On which is also more elastic than many cast on methods and also decorative. I love the look and the pattern.

  4. When you go through the second stitch on the left hand needle as if to knit, are you also going back through the center of the first stitch before you wrap the yarn?

  5. Yes – the video demonstrates it better than I can explain it here, but you do have to pull the tip of the right needle back “out” of the first stitch, before you can wrap it and pull it through.

    S t a c i

  6. I was just looking for a video for this bind off for socks when I checked here. When placing the stitch back on the left needle I know that some people twist that stitch like you do in the knitted cast on. Do you think it makes a difference how it’s transferred? Really enjoy your videos and patterns. Thanks!

  7. Sorry, I meant to say when placing the stitch back on the needle some people don’t twist like you do. They just slip it back on purlwise. Do you think it makes a difference how it’s transferred?

  8. Tanya – I haven’t tested out what you’re asking, slipping the stitch back to the left needle without untwisting it and mounting it correctly. That just seems like bad knitting form! 🙂 I’m sure the stitch still works, there may be a slight difference in the way it looks. Ah – I shouldn’t answer knitting questions until I’m fully awake, I just thought of something else. If the first stitch is twisted, it will be more difficult to get your needle through it to work the second stitch, especially depending on the gauge you’re using.

    S t a c i

  9. Alex – I haven’t tested this, but it should be fine to work this stitch with both knit and purl stitches, working the second stitch on the needle thorough the first. Let us know how it goes!
    S t a c i

  10. For a cotton knitted wash cloth, where the cast on and bind off should be similar, what would you recommend?

  11. Thank you for this video, Staci. I am knitting a simple neck warmer for my husband and I used the German twisted cast on, so I think this will be a really good bind off for it. Elaine – ecalifornia on Ravelry

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  13. Staci, I love your video! I need some clarification about this one.

    When you knit the first stitch in the video, the needle appears to be knitting into the stitch below, or into the back of the stitch, but not the front of the st like a regular knit stitch. I’ve played it over and over and it always appears that way to me. Is this the case?

    Also, when I do a plain knit stitch, the new stitch is always mounted correctly with the right leg in front on the right needle, so slipping it back means just slipping it purl-wise rather than having to twist it.

    So, I guess I am asking how that first st is knitted, and how it ends up twisted on the right-hand needle.

  14. Jen – the first stitch is knitted normally. You see in the video that I have to transfer the stitch, as shown, to get it mounted correctly on the left needle…I can’t say why it would be any different for you, but the video shows how I do it, and that it is mounted correctly when I’m finished.

    S t a c i

  15. Staci
    I just tried this technique to finish up a pair of Toe-Up Socks and I am thrilled with the results. Thank you so much for the video. It was clear and easy and fun – as always!

  16. I used this bind off on a heart shaped shawl this week. It as wonderful on that long bottom edge. I’m thinking of making a shrug with a provisional cast on, just so I can use this bind off on both ends.

  17. I just finished another pair of toe up socks. This time I used the German short row method and the Icelandic bind-off. Both worked out wonderfully. Thank you so much for your great instructions. You have made my knitting so much easier.

  18. Thank you Staci – I just want to say that I love your videos. If there is anything I want to do in knitting, I always see if Very Pink has one first. Thank you.

    (kittycatkate on rav / kate_1973 on IG)

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