Stretchy Knitted Icelandic Bind Off

December 19, 2016

Icelandic Bind Off.jpg


For most projects, doing a basic bind off is fine, but some projects require a special bind off.  I will never forget a scarf I made many years ago where I did a basic bind off.  To my horror, after the thing was off my needles, I realized that the bind off side had curved.  It also had no give whatsoever and the bind off really ruined the finished piece.  Ever since then, I’ve learned to do stretchy bind offs when needed.

My favorite stretchy bind off is this simple one that uses a tapestry needle from Elizabeth Zimmerman.  But this bind off would not work with my Capella Shawl project, because the bind off edge was just too lengthy and it would not have been practical to use a tapestry needle and such an enormous length of yarn.  So it was the Icelandic Bind Off to the rescue.  This is a stretchy bind off that is perfect for a garter stitch edge and it is done right on the needles.  It’s simple once you do a few of the stitches.  I have step by step photos, followed by a video if that helps you more.

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for the video).





  1. Thank you! I will definitely give this a try on my next project.


  2. […] Another stretchy bind-off. […]

  3. I’ve tried this and it works great! Thank you!

  4. Hi. Is this bind off suitable also for socks? Thanks.

  5. How do you undo it when you’ve messed it up?

  6. I can’t thank you enough! I had cast on a project using a new-to-me method someone called her “grandmother’s cast-on and I had to frog the bind-off I used because it didn’t even come close to looking the same. Yours matched almost exactly!! Thank you again and again, every time I will use it in the future!!!

  7. Would this be good on a garter stitch triangular shawl for the top edge that lays around the neck?

  8. […] Looking to try out a new stretchy bind off? This tutorial for an icelandic bind off gives a nice stretchy edge and is easy to work, once you get the rhythm. Pinterest link is here, and the full tutorial can be found here. […]

  9. Thanks for the tutorial. I like this method a lot for garter. I used it on the Hitchhiker pattern and it looks very nice and stretches along with the main fabric of the scarf.
    Could I make a small correction – it is Elizabeth Zimmermann (with a double n).

  10. Thank you so much for this 🙂 you really get the hang of it after a few stitches. I’ve used it to bind off a mistake rib scarf, it looks beautiful!

  11. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

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