How to Knit the Icelandic Bind Off

Knitting Tip: How to Do the Icelandic Bind Off

Ok knitters - I am SO excited to share this bind off with you! I had to make sure I created a video tutorial for you so you SEE how to work it since I'm a very visual learner and find that the written instructions alone are generally not quite enough. 

This year the Hubbs and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary (woot woot!) and decided that our reward to ourselves would be a trip to Iceland. This darling man wanted me to get to see Icelandic hand knits up close and personal so he made sure we visited shops in town and bought yarn... I love that guy! He even... wait for it... decided he wanted to learn to knit so he could make a blanket. He bought more yarn than I did!!!

However, in the preparation time leading up to the trip, admittedly, I became a bit "Iceland" obsessed. I started searching online for different all things Iceland, most of it knitting related like stitch motifs, looking for regional skills and even tried to brush up on the local fibers.

To be honest, much of it has fallen out of my head since we returned from the trip because we had to jump back into life as soon as we got back, BUT! I did, in my mad searching for all things Iceland, find a great new bind off technique: The Icelandic Bind Off

I should say "new to me". I don't know where this bind off originated or why it's called the Icelandic bind off. I just know that as someone who LOVES garter stitch, this is my new go-to bind off for garter stitch projects. It's stretchy, easy to memorize, and mimics the double-sided nature of garter stitch so well. 

Without further ado - here's how to work the Icelandic Bind Off - both in written and video form: 

How To: Bind Off Using the Icelandic Bind Off Method

Stitch glossary:

  • BO - bind off / bound off

  • k - knit

  • LH - left hand

  • RH - right hand

  • st - stitch(es)

Written Instructions:

*K1, slip this st purlwise back to the LH needle, insert your RH needle into the st purlwise and knit the NEXT st on the needle, dropping both loops off the LH needle (1 st BO); rep from * until 1 st remains on the RH. Break yarn and pull through remaining loop to clinch closed.

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What do you think?

Is this a new bind off to you or have you used it before? What do you think of this method versus the traditional stretchy bind off?