How to read knitting patterns: BO and knit across row

Written by kaitlyn yeager
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How to read knitting patterns: BO and knit across row
Knitting across a row and binding off are two separate instructions. (knitting image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Knitting across a row and binding off (BO) are common instructions found in knitting patterns. Most patterns assume that the knitter already knows what these instructions mean, but they can be confusing for new knitters. It is easy to confuse the two, as both require knitting a full row; however, there is an important difference in that one allows the knitter to continue knitting and the other removes all the stitches from the needles to finish the project.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn

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Instructions

    Knit across a row

  1. 1

    Hold the needles so that the needle with the stitches on it is in your left hand and the empty needle is in your right hand.

  2. 2

    Knit each stitch from the left needle onto the right needle. Do not purl or knit through the back loops of the stitches unless the directions specify to do so. If the directions simply say to "knit across," each stitch should be a regular knit stitch.

  3. 3

    Switch hands and repeat as many times as required. Knitting across a row keeps the stitches live and allows you to continue knitting on the project.

    Bind off

  1. 1

    Begin the same way as a normal row. Hold the needle full of stitches in your left hand and the empty needle in your right hand.

  2. 2

    Knit two stitches from the left needle onto the right needle.

  3. 3

    Insert the left needle into the first stitch that was knit; this should be the second stitch from the point of the right needle. Carefully, pull the stitch over the top of the stitch closest to the point and off the needle. There should be one stitch remaining on the right needle.

  4. 4

    Knit one stitch from the left needle onto the right needle. There should now be two stitches on the right needle. Insert the left needle into the previously knit stitch and bring it over the new stitch and off the needle, leaving one stitch on the right needle.

  5. 5

    Repeat Step 4 until the last stitch is knit off the left needle. Bring the second-to-last stitch over the last stitch and off the needle. Break the yarn and thread the loose end through the stitch that remains on the needle and pull taut. Weave in the ends, and the project is bound off.

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