The holy grail of knitting – making a stretchy bindoff. You want it to stretch well, but you don’t want it to flair. And you definitely don’t want a bindoff that’s, well, binding.
This is a great bindoff to add to your arsenal for ribbing. It creates a zig zag (that’s part of what makes it so stretchy) so don’t work to try and get rid of that. If you don’t like the look, I suggest trying a different bind off.
Abbreviating Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off
You’ll often see it as JSSBO, so don’t think that it’s some great secret. JSSBO just means Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.
Working Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off
These instructions are for binding off something that’s knit in-the-round.
DON’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT NOW. THESE ARE JUST FOR REFERENCE.
Before a Knit Stitch
Step 1: Yarn over backward (bring the yarn from the back, over the right needle and to the front).
Step 2: K1
Step 3: Pass YO over the Knit stitch.
Before a Purl Stitch
Step 1: Yarn over regular (bring the yarn from the front, over the right needle and to the back).
Step 2: P1
Step 3: Pass YO over the purl stitch
Here’s where you actually DO the bind off.
Just once: Work the first 2 stitches as above. You’ll have 3 stitches on the RN. Insert the LN into the second stitch and PSSO. 2 stitches on RN.
Work the above steps 1-3 for either a knit or purl stitch. BUT, in Step 3, bring both the YO and the older real stitch over the next stitch. (this last part is different than in the first two stitches). Repeat this until you’re back at the beginning.
Once you’re back at the beginning, you’ll work that final stitch like all the rest. You’ll have one stitch remaining.
Cut the yarn and pull it up to get rid of that final loop. Thread the yarn through a tapestry needle and weave in the end.
What it’s like for real
It’s the wave that make it stretchy!
To compare, the unstretched pic has 11 stitches in it.
In the same size, the stretched pic has 8.
That’s A LOT of stretch!
Practice makes perfect
This is a great opportunity to practice on a small swatch to start. Make a small version of what you want to bind off and try it out on the swatch instead. Get a feel for the knitting and also make sure that it’s nice and stretchy for you.