Flat 3 Needle Bind Off

railroad earth safe camp hat

Banjo man was in town for a visit last week.  He loved his new banjo hat and wore it everywhere!  I’ve given him some goofy hats over the years, not intentionally goofy like a dead fish hat but accidentally goofy, like powder blue cables.  And he actually wore it.  Even brought it back once for a few adjustments.  So, I’m happy to have gotten the pattern perfect, the yarn perfect, the execution perfect this time around.

With that out of the way, I could think about his adorable 2 year old daughter!  She’s overdue for a new hat too and he was in town for several more days which meant I definitely (yeah right!) had time to bang out a kid’s hat.  This meant knitting on the go, much bus knitting was done and the requisite bar knitting, as well.


The point of this tangent?

I’m almost there!

Having the right supplies at the right time is of the utmost importance, especially when knitting on a deadline.  DPNs have no place on crowded public buses.  At least not in my hands!  I carefully packed myself a 40″ needle to magic loop the crown decreases.  By the time I was on the bus, I was pleased to have all the right supplies but not in the mood to count stitches and decide on decreases.  Lazy decision to the rescue…I’d just do a square top with a 3 needle bind off!  Totally cute on a little kid!

Again, completely pleased with myself for matching the right pieces at the right time, I realized I could take it even further with a flat 3 needle bind off!  Woot!

Except I couldn’t remember how to do it.  D’oh!

I could have phoned a friend but ‘hi, can you tell me how to do that thing for a fifteenth time while I juggle the phone and 3 knitting needles on the bus.’ isn’t really a great phone call (for either party).   Add in an old phone with spotty reception and I couldn’t even google it.

So, I missed my self-imposed deadline for getting this done but now I can share with you, gentle readers, the delights of the flat 3 needle bind off!  (…in a mostly text fashion, so it’s easy for my phone to load the next time I need to remind myself how to do it!)

flat 3 needle bind off knit hat

It really is flat!  Check that out!  Unlike a standard 3 needle bind off, the flat 3 needle bind off is worked on the right side of your fabric with wrong sides together.   And it’s got a lovely decorative edge.

flat 3 needle bind off

To execute the flat 3 needle bind off you’ll still work two stitches together but instead of the standard k2tog that knits both stitches, you’ll knit the front stitch and purl the back stitch.

The important thing to remember, this is the part I was forgetting, you start with the yarn BETWEEN your needles.   You insert your 3rd needle into the front stitch knitwise and into the back stitch purlwise.  You’ll purl the back stitch, you’ve prepped for this by making sure the yarn is between your needles and then, without dropping the back stitch off the needle, you’ll swing around to the front and knit the front stitch.  After completing the knit, you drop both your stitches off the left needle.  You’ll repeat the process of knitting the front stitch and purling the back stitch to result in a second stitch on the right needle.  Bind off as normal, passing the first stitch over the second one.   Now just lather, rinse, repeat and you’ve got yourself a decorative bind off minus all that weird bulk!



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