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Dear Patty,

I just learned Icelandic bind-off which got me to thinking there must be more. Since I use up yarn leftovers making lapghans for hospice it would be useful to know all the matching ones. I have a book on both but not the “matching” part. 


Dear Robbie,

LOVE matching cast-on and bind-off edges. In fact I teach two different cast-on and bind-off classes, and they both feature matching edges. Some are simple, like casting on in pattern and binding off in pattern as below,

or pairing the crochet cast-on with a knit one, pass over bind-off as you see here,

These are both simple but perfect.

But there were other cast-ons that didn’t have a corresponding bind-off that I knew of, so I looked for pairs that would work.

I love German Twisted cast-on and wanted the perfect bind-off to pair with it. Since German Twisted has an extra twist that makes it a bit taller, I found that the double crochet bind-off looks great with it:

Here’s how to work a double crochet bind-off:

Step 1: Insert the hook into the first stitch on the needle knitwise, wrap the yarn around the hook as if to knit, then pull the wrapped yarn through the first stitch, removing the stitch and letting it drop from the needle.

*Repeat this step with the next stitch on the needle. You now have two loops on the hook.

Step 2: Wrap yarn around hook and pull the wrapped yarn through both loops.  You now have one loop on the hook.

Repeat Step 1 from * and Step 2 until all stitches are bound off.

But you asked about the Icelandic bind-off. That creates a lovely braided edge. Problem is, I’ve never come across a cast-on that creates that look. But here in quaran-time, I’m going to roll up my sleeves, grab a snack, and figure it out.

Off to Iceland

The Icelandic bind-off is created by knitting one stitch, putting it back on the lefthand needle, pulling the next stitch through it, knitting it, and then removing them both. So at first I tried all sorts of variations of casting on two stitches and pulling the previous stitch through it to cast on the next, and what I got was a twisted tight mess. Approaching the problem systematically and logically, I felt it was best to eat a bag of Girl Scout cookies and a brick of cheddar cheese and try again.

Finally I realized the important element was the crisscross braided look that was made from a new stitch being made by crossing it over the previous one. So without further ado, I present to you, here for the first time ever, the first of two Quarantine cast-on/bind-off “unventions”—the Icelandic Cast-On:


The first of two, you ask? That’s right, since I have a bit of extra time on my hands now that I’ve gotten rid of pesky things like traveling for work, leaving my house, or sleeping, I decided to take on another matching issue that’s always bugged me.

I adore the delicate picot look of the Channel Island Cast-On, but I couldn’t find a Channel Island bind-off. There are some variations of picot bind-offs, but I’ve found them to be too picoty (that’s a word) or to take too many steps to remember. So I decided to lick the Cheetos dust off my fingers, finish that bottle of wine, and give it a try. Here’s my Channel Island Bind-Off:

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed obsessing over creating them. It just goes to show you that with perseverance, patience, and copious amounts of junk food, there is nothing we can’t tackle. And of course, with all this sheltering in place and working from home, it’s also helpful to remember, pants are optional.

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Dear Patty,

I am a pediatrician working at a local community health center in a poor area in our inner city, so I am not as busy as my hospital/Internist/emergency room colleagues during this pandemic. We’ve scaled down to essential well baby visits that require vaccinations and few face to face acute appointments.

So knitting has been one of the things that is keeping me sane these days. Even pre-COVID, I always have a project bag in my car where I have my lunch and relax and get out of the clinic for an hour (if I have the luxury of an hour). This past week we transitioned to telemedicine and there are more empty slots in the schedule and sitting waiting for walk-ins or sick appointments is just getting me restless.

My big dilemma: Is it appropriate/acceptable/OK to be knitting while in my office while just waiting for the patients to come? My inbox task is empty. I tried reading medical articles and my brain can’t even handle it right now. I have a quota of how much COVID literature/news outside our office protocols I’m allowing myself to be exposed each day as it is overwhelming. 

So there you go. I don’t want to look unprofessional if I pick up my sticks and string but the struggle is real …

Thanks for your wise words and warm regards. As you would say: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and knit on.

Restless in Baltimore

PS Movie Trivia: Meg Ryan’s character in Sleepless in Seattle was from Baltimore, just saying …

Dear Restless,

This is a time for doing all you can and doing what you need. We all must be kind to each other, and I doubt anyone would find your knitting unprofessional.

In an uncharacteristically non smart-alecky way, I say to you, knit on, yes, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, knit on.

Until we meet again,


Patty in your Pocket

Here’s how to save this article in your MDK account with one click.

About The Author

Patty Lyons is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert. In her pursuit of training the mindful knitter, Patty is known for teaching the “why” in addition to the “how.” She specializes in sweater design and sharing her love of the much-maligned subjects of gauge and blocking.

You can find Patty at her website and on Ravelry.

Do you have a problem you’d like Patty to tackle? Write to her at



  • Dear Patty: Thank you thank you thank you. I am pretty OCD and hate when the two ends don’t match, and now they can!

  • Love these. Thanks you for baring the agony of eating Girl Scout cookies, wine and Cheetos so you could bring this to us.

  • Brilliant, as always!

  • Hi Patty! Thanks so much for showing us this pretty finish! Love it, and so I will be watching your video several hundred times as I navigate my own Bind off! Thanks for everything you do! And your response to our Baltimore knitter was lovely. OF COURSE she should be knitting! It will help her and everyone she meets; what a stressful job she has. Thank you, Baltimore!

  • Great post. Interesting, broad-ranging, and informative. Thank you so much!

  • If I weren’t knitting in my lap underneath most every zoom call I’d have lost my mind in Week 2. #kniton

    • I’m embarrassed by the number of stress induced hats I’ve cranked out during Zoom calls. I knit them one after the other….

    • Amen. If anyone wonders why I glance down from time to time, they’ve been kind or distracted enough not to say anything.

  • Thank you so much for your article. I love the Icelandic bind off. It is very stretchy and looks like an icord bind off. I use it a lot. I love learning new techniques and your Icelandic cast on looks great.

  • Great unventions! Is the channel island bindoff stretchy? It would look awesome at the top of my toe up socks.

    • It looks a tho the end of your swatch is a purl row. Is that the best base for the channel island bind off?

  • But Patty, if you don’t wear pants, on what will you wipe the Cheetos dust?

    • Excellent point

  • To the knitter in Baltimore: I take my knitting to faculty meetings, I knit on Zoom meetings, committee meetings, while proctoring exams….it helps me focus and it takes the edge off. It’s one of the few distractions we can do that aren’t actually distracting us from being present in the moment (unless you’re doing charted lace knitting, that takes concentration!). My colleagues who don’t knit get so angry by having their time wasted in meetings. My time is never wasted and these days my ability to concentrate on the literature is nil. Knit on and feel good about it!

  • Patty, maybe my eyesight is going, but when I look at your two purple swatches, I see a half-V + straight line for each stitch — \l — instead of a balanced V. The result is obvious lines up and down the fabric. Is this perhaps the result of your style of knitting, a photography issue, or something normal?

    • Nancy, I agree with you. I’ve been told this before about yarn plies, but it also has something to do with how the yarn is wrapped around the needle. I do not care for this as a ‘design feature’ and it would drive me buggy.

      • Hit post too fast. If you look at the stitch closely, the structure of one leg, never mind the appearance of the plies, appears differently. This might be caused by slight ‘un-plying’ because of the twist of the yarn, but I still think it looks peculiar, and is a good reason to swatch an unfamiliar yarn before winding more than one skein into balls.

    • It’s not my style of knitting, it’s your eye seeing the direction of the plys. Different yarns are plied differently. Nearly all commercial yarns are S ply. That means the plys run in a diagonal from upper left to lower right (like an S). That means your eye is tuning into the fact that when those plys are in a leg that leans to the left, the plys lean more horizontal, and those legs blur into looking like a single rope. The legs that lean to the right has the plys standing straight up and down. Your eye is then able to tune into each leg. Take a look at this picture where I drew a red line on the plys –

      • I was wondering the same thing, thanks for the additional graphic. Very helpful!

  • Hi Patty— I always learn something when you post. Thank you for these brilliant co/bo ideas, and thank you for taking one for the team, snackwise. OF COURSE we should all be knitting while in the great waiting times in life.

    If we all did that, perhaps co-workers would not act like we are protesting being in another time-wasting meeting. Maybe we all would eventually end up knitting. If the workplace became more like the fellowship of the LYS, the world would be a better place indeed.

  • Thank you so much! I love this! Just one question, though, what kind of wine goes with Cheetoes? Asking for a friend.

    • Prosecco! Bubbly and Cheetos.

    • Isn’t it red wine with cheese? Or port I think.

      • Boxed wine with cheetoes.

        • We all have to have been sisters in a different lifetime!

        • Totally!!

        • Sweet! Thank you!

  • Thanks Patty. Another awesome post which I’ll be saving because I also love channel island cast on so I’m excited to try the matching cast off.

    Dear Restless, I also fully support your knitting while waiting for appointments. It’s what I do when I go to the hospital and a few times the healthcare workers have pulled out their knitting and we’ve had a great discussion about it. You may well find yourself giving lessons to colleagues and that will give everyone a pick-me-up.

  • These are great. Thank you!

  • Is there a video that goes with the double crochet bind off? I know how to do a double crochet, but the first step in the instructions are difficult for me to visualize.

    • Don’t try to visualize it. Just pick up your needles and do it. You’ll find that if you simply do each step, it’s super simple.

  • How do you handle the dog ears on sock toes, i knit top down. Tried a lot of thing but i always seem to have them!

    • on your toe graft??

  • Hi Patty, what a great unvention. I love your columns and you are making me a better knitter after more than 30 years of practice. Thanks to MDK, I ‘”discovered” you and just took your Bionic Knitting workshop at VK Online. You are my new Elizabeth Zimmerman!

    • WOW!! That’s the nicest thing anyone’s every said to me! I’m insanely honored!

  • I am a pediatric intensivist and I have been knitting in meetings and conferences and in the break room for my entire career and I won’t stop now. I have even knit at a patient’s bedside when I couldn’t do anything to make baby better but so sick I couldn’t leave the room. The mom said she appreciated the presence and the fact that I was in it for the long haul.

    Knit on!

  • Dear Restless,
    I’ve found that charity knitting heads a lot of critics off at the pass. And once they’re used to you doing charity knitting they assume everything you knit is charity knitting, so you can do your personal knitting without a problem.

  • Hi, I am unable to save any of these articles any more. Even after I log in, I do not see the ‘Save’ icon.
    Thanks, Karen

  • At this point in my life I’ve had a few careers and I have knit, crocheted, and spun through all of them: Teaching (high school and college), scientist, engineer, analyst.

    My students used to find me knitting during their work time calming (so did I). I certainly have had people comment that it was “unprofessional”, but I have nearly always been the person in the room who paid the most attention, and those comments quickly went away. Also, despite having narcolepsy I haven’t fallen asleep in a meeting in over a decade, unlike my more neurotypical colleagues and managers. I also knit or spin while reading at work. And I absolutely do it as I wait on people to show up for meetings.

    So, knit away! You are also demonstrating self-care to anyone who happens to see you.

  • Patty, yeah Cheetos, Girl Scout Cookies etc. and a master knitter like yourself shares frustration busters and leads us on !! I love it that you are so talented and can show us your coping skills as well.

  • Hi Patty, I always learn something new from your articles and find your instructions easy to follow. I’ve tried all day to get the rhythm of the Channel Island bind off….and it just eludes me. I’ve tried knitting and stopping the video every few seconds, and transcribing your directions. If I had another knitter here with me it would be easier with another pair of eyes, ears and hands. Did you by any chance write out the directions? It would save me a lot of frustration. Thanks

    • They are written out on YouTube. Click on the little settings wheel in the lower right hand corner and turn on subtitles. It’s only a few steps, so it’s a pretty simple bind off.

  • Hi Patty, me again. I picked up my knitting today and could do the Channel Island bind-off, without even watching the video. I could hear your voice in my head…….don’t know what my problem was yesterday. Your instructions are perfect. Thanks.

    • oh I’m so glad. Sometimes we just have to put out knitting in “time out” and then it behaves!

  • Hi Patty,
    Wonderful article – I have just used the Channel Island bind off for my toe-up socks – so pretty, and bonus: without the bulk of traditional picot hem. While I was binding off, I kept thinking of the work you must have put into working out this bind-off – just wanted to say how grateful I am.

    • THANK YOU!! What a lovely thing to say. I’m so glad you liked it.

  • Hello Patty,

    Thank you so much for this article/tutorial – it’s exactly what I was looking for!

    I watched another knitter show the double crochet bind off, but they wrapped the yarn the opposite way. Do you know if it makes a difference to how the bind off looks if you wrap the other way?

    Regards, Angela

  • Hi Patty, Love your articles and taking your courses at VogueKnitting and online. I was unfamiliar with the Channel Island Cast On. It must be a “thing” now because Beth Brown Reinsel just referred to it in her newsletter today. Also she posted a video of the traditional Channel Island Bind Off. Great minds think alike!

  • Patty you are my kind of knitter/woman! Can’t wait to read your columns when they pop up. I save them all and remind myself we don’t have to be perfect, just creative.

  • Every 10 seconds or so, yoyr web site ask for my email addy. I put it in & subscribe. I then try to read your site, and it ask for my email addy, again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again!!!

  • This is fantastic! Now to decide on a place for this, so I will find it when I need it!
    Do you have a purchasable pattern for these matching cast ons/bind offs? Or a book? I need something I can physically put on my shelf, or I will lose it.

    When (not if) I lose this, I’ll have to open a carton of ice cream and salt it with my tears.

    I assure you that my junk food binge will not be as inspirational as yours. No further yarn revelations will come from this. Rather, there will only be more sadness when my knitted is complete and the edges do not match!!!

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