We use the bias bind-off when we want to achieve a sloped edge at the top of our knitting, often as an alternative to short-row shaping. The bias bind-off is perfect for the shoulders of garments as its smooth slope allows for easy and attractive mattress stitch seaming.
Binding Off for Sloped Edges
Note: Shoulder shaping uses regular bind-off on the first two rows for square corners. After your first set of bind-offs are done (creating those square corners at the outside edges), subsequent sets of bind-offs can be done in a variety of ways.
Working every stitch of subsequent sets of bind-offs creates a stair-step effect (Fig. 1). This makes seaming smoothly more difficult and adds bulk inside the seam.
SLIPPED FIRST STITCH
Slipping the first stitch of subsequent sets of bind-offs smooths out the stair-step effect somewhat (Fig. 2) making seaming or picking up edge stitches easier and seam allowances a little less bulky.
The bias bind-off technique, used in a few of our Churchmouse Classics, creates a very smoothly sloping edge (Fig. 3). Stitches are slipped on both right side (RS) and wrong side (WS) rows, creating a tighter edge.
How to Bias Bind-Off
By slipping the last stitch at the end of the row and slipping the first two stitches at the beginning of the next row, each subsequent bind-off is only one row taller than the prior bind-off, thus creating a gently sloped edge without any stair-step look. This example is for shoulder shaping where the shaping is done at both right and left edges.
Row 1 (RS): Bind off specified number of stitches. K to end.
Row 2 (WS): Bind off specified number of stitches. P to last stitch. WYIB Sl 1.
Row 3 (RS): Sl 2, lift first stitch over second stitch (1 st bound off). Continue to bind off normally (i.e. K1, lift 1 over, etc) until specified number of stitches are bound off. K to last stitch, WYIB Sl 1.
Row 4 (WS): Sl 2, lift first stitch over second stitch (1st bound off). Continue to bind off normally (i.e. P1, lift 1 over, etc) until specified number of stitches are bound off. P to last stitch, WYIF Sl 1.
Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all desired stitches are bound off.
K = knit; P = purl; RS = right side; Sl = slip next stitch from left needle to right needle, purlwise, without working it; WYIB = with yarn in back; WYIF = with yarn in front; WS = wrong side.
We use the bias bind-off in a few Churchmouse Classics . . .