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View Full Version : BO: This might sound dumb, but...


pinktoque
05-11-2009, 02:35 PM
So this may seem like a dumb question, but I just have to clarify.

Let's say I'm knitting along in a pattern and it tells me to bind off (BO) 3 stitches.

To BO, you have to knit one first, then after you knit the second stitch, you pull the first over the second -- voila, BO made. So if it says to BO 3 stitches, does that first knitted stitch (that later pulls over the second) count as 1 of the 3? So are 3 or 4 total stitches (including the first stitch knitted to pull over) necessary to BO 3 stitches? If I count three times that I pull a stitch over another to create a BO, that's technically 4 stitches used. Unless I'm supposed to count that first knitted stitch as 1 of the 3. (And thus only pull a stitch over another twice.)

And is this universal across all patterns? Sometimes I feel like it's one way, sometimes I feel like it's the other way, and I never know for sure what to do when I come across a BO mid-way in a pattern like that. Do I really knit 4 stitches to BO 3 and pull over 3 times, or do I count that first one as my first stitch of the BO and technically only pull over twice?

:confused: Set me straight on this please!

suzeeq
05-11-2009, 02:48 PM
When you start the BO, knit 2 sts, then pull the first of those over the 2nd one. That's 1 st bound off. Knit another and pull the first over; that's 2 sts bound off. Knit 1 more and pull the first st over. Now you have 3 sts bound off; you count how many sts you pass over, not how many you knit. The 4th st you knit becomes the first stitch of the next set of stitches.

pinktoque
05-11-2009, 04:54 PM
you count how many sts you pass over, not how many you knit. The 4th st you knit becomes the first stitch of the next set of stitches.


Ah ha! That's just what I needed -- to determine whether that first knit stitch counted separate or as part of the first BO. I appreciate it! :)

kellyh57
05-13-2009, 11:17 AM
I always wonder about this too. Let's say you're to K2, BO 2, K to end. Do you knit 2 then pull the 2nd stitch over the 3rd, or knit 3 and pull the 3rd stitch over the 4th? I can usually figure it out based on the rest of the row (if it has a stitches left count), but I still end up doing it about 4 times before I figure it out!

imrachel
05-13-2009, 11:23 AM
Count how many times you pull a st over another, NOT how many sts you've knit. It can help to count from both ends-- if you're supposed to K2, then bind off 2, you should still have 2 sts before the bound off sts.

This is something that seems to confuse a lot of knitters-- because you end up with the last st from working the BOs on the right needle, as you should.

suzeeq
05-13-2009, 02:27 PM
What rachel said... count the sts pulled over, not what you knit.

Knit the first 2, then knit 2 more and pull the first of those over the 2nd one. Then k 1 more and pull the st over.

mathwizard
05-14-2009, 08:10 AM
I thought that but a pattern I am working said to bind off the first 15 sts and complete the row until 54 stitches remain. Frogging isn't one of my favorite things to do and I used what you said to do and was short a stitch when finishing the row. Rip, Rip.

imrachel
05-14-2009, 09:21 AM
Not sure what the problem was-- you were supposed to bind of 15 and then have 54 sts left? Did you start with 69 sts? That should have worked out, if you did. You would bind off 15. At that point, you would have 1 st on your right needle, left over from binding off, and then 53 sts on your left needle. When you finished knitting them, you would have all 54 on your right needle. No?. . .

suzeeq
05-14-2009, 09:26 AM
As rachel says, that works. When you BO at the beginning of the row, you end up with a stitch on the right needle from the last bound off one, which becomes the 1st stitch of the next set.

pinktoque
05-14-2009, 12:45 PM
As rachel says, that works. When you BO at the beginning of the row, you end up with a stitch on the right needle from the last bound off one, which becomes the 1st stitch of the next set.

I think I am going to print out this snippet and stick it in my knitting bag for future needs -- putting it so plainly (thanks rachel and suzeeq!) finally makes this all make sense to me. So instead of feeling one short, I need to keep in mind that the stitch on the right needle from the last bound off st becomes the first stitch of my next set.

It's like a lightbulb came on :) ty! :grphug: