The three-needle bind off is a handy way to get live stitches off of two needles at once, making an edge that's automatically stitched together. It's a great choice for the toes of socks, the tops of hats, the top of a doll's head, or anywhere else you have stitches on two needles and want to bind off and seam the edge at the same time.
In order for the three-needle bind off to work, you have to have the same number of stitches on each of two double-pointed or circular needles.
- Place the needles with the stitches on them one on top of the other with the needle you would work with next if you were still knitting in the round on the top. You can work this bind off with right sides out or right sides in; the side facing out is the side the bind off with show on.
- Slide your empty needle (that would be the third needle that gives 3-needle bind off its name) through the first stitch on the front needle, and the first stitch on the back needle, as if to knit.
- Knit the stitch through both of these stitches, so there is now one stitch on the third needle and one fewer stitch than you started with on each of the other two needles.
- Do the same thing again, knitting what's now the first stitch on both needles into one stitch.
- Lift the first stitch on the third needle over the second stitch and over the top of the needle, just as you do in a normal bind off method.
- Continue in this manner until you're down to one loop on the third needle and no loops on the other needles. Cut your yarn, slide the last loop off the needle and put the yarn through the loop. Pull tight and you're done!