Bias Bind-off

This simple trick will greatly improve the finished look of your knitted projects. Use bias bind-off whenever you have bind-offs over multiple rows e.g., necklines and shoulder shaping.

Look at the stair-step effect of a regular bind-off in the first photo, compared to the bias bind-off in the second photo.

Bias Bind-off: regular vs bias


Your first row of binding off is normal. From then on, slip the last unworked st p-wise in the row before your next bind-off.

Bias Bind-off: slip the last unworked st p-wise

Turn your work and begin to bind off as follows: slip the first TWO sts p-wise (2 sts on rt needle):

Bias Bind-off: slip the first 2 sts p-wise
For instance, if you are working st st and you have these directions in front of you: BO 5 sts at beg of next 3 RS rows (beginning with a RS row). It will look like this:Pull the first st over the second st and off the rt needle (the standard bind-off technique). That’s your first bind-off. Now continue binding off normally (k or p a st, then pull the 1st st on rt needle over 2nd and off needle) counting that first slipped st bind off as your first bound off st.
Row 1: Bind off 5 sts normally, knit across remaining sts.
Row 2: Purl across to last st and slip it unworked. Turn work.
Row 3: Slip the first two sts, pull the first st over the second st (one st bound off). Now bind off an additional 4 sts normally and k remaining sts.
Row 4: Purl to last st and slip it unworked. Turn work.
Row 5: Slip 2 sts, pull first st over second (one st bound off). Now bind off an additional 4 sts normally and k remaining sts.
Row 6: Purl.


  1. Suzy Crenshaw

    How do you do this bias bind off if you are binding off stitches at EACH end of the row like in your pattern Liesl?

    • Hi,

      You can only BO at the beg of a row so you’d be working bias BO at each end at beg of rows.

  2. mj

    Thanks for the tutorials and tips. Could you explain why, in the example, the pattern refers to BO in the next 3 rows, but then the example has 6 rows? And then, in the answer to Julie’s question, what is meant by, “BO at each end at beg of rows”? At each end AND beg? THANKS!!!

    • You can only BO at the beg of rows, so if your instructions say BO at NECK edge 3 X, it’s going to take 6 rows to accomplish. If you are BO at armhole edges you might be Binding Off at the beg of every row, not at each end AND beg, but rather, at each end (each armhole edge) but at the beg of each row.

  3. Kristen Pate

    I think the confusion is that the example given above says “BO at the beginning of the next 3 Right Side rows–thus it takes 6 rows. My understanding is that to BO on the next 3 rows (RS, WS, RS), it would only take 3 rows to accomplish this, binding off stitches at the beginning of each row.

  4. claudianna

    question: do you slip all stitches purlwise at end of rows preceding the BO, no matter if it’s a knit or purl row? ex: BO beginning of every row for 10 rows.

  5. barbara


    This is the second great tip I’ve learned from you today – the first was the new ssk method. Thanks so much for each!


  6. Dede

    So when binding off at the beginning of each row, I will have to bind off on the purl side on the left, is that correct?

  7. bj canerday

    Love your ssk method. I have always been annoyed at how the old way looked compared to the k2tog. bj

  8. Hi, if you look under “resources” you’ll find the glossary. All the abbreviations are explained there-

  9. Fran

    This is fantastic, thank you. I’m knitting a sweater from a pattern with bind-off shaping at the armholes and neckline, and I was feeling pretty disheartened by how untidy those diagonal edges were looking. Having read your article, I’m suddenly excited to continue knitting! Thanks again.

  10. Marny CA

    I can’t be the only person who must be working on something in order to ‘see’ the technique.

    Reading it and/or seeing it just doesn’t work for my brain.

    I am ambidextrous but not in my brain. LOL

  11. Linda

    Hi, I am ready to gradually bind off on both sides of the center front steek to shape the neckline. What/how do I carry (?) the last bind off stitch from the right side of the next row over the previous row of already boundoff steek, to the left side of the steek? Working in circular needles.

    • Hi, this is something else entirely. You cannot work bias BO in the round. You must work back and forth because you can only BO at the beginning of the round. So from this point on, you will work back and forth. You might want to find directions specifically for working the neckline of the steeked pattern you are working on to see how the designer wants you to work the neckline. Good luck!

  12. MJ, the SKEINdinavian

    Hello Julie,

    Besides being completely enamored by your work, I am now tantalized at the news of you doing a video for Knit Stars. How AWESOME is that?!?!?

    I went to the link to see how I can see the videos once they are complete. It appeared as though only those ‘in the business’ can get on the ‘wait list’. Being an avid knitter, but not ‘being in the trade’, I do not know how to see the videos once they are released.

    My schedule will be TIGHT for the release date, but come hail or high water, I would love to see the videos. Is it possible for you to tell me/us how to accomplish that?

    I would so appreciate any information you can share! Thank you in advance.

    Have a great day… KNITTING!
    MJ, the SKEINdinavian

  13. Dale

    Knitting Gretel. Back says: Row 1 Cont in St st and using bias BO, BO 2 st at beg next 4 rows etc., etc.

    Do I BO both sts in bias or just the first st Bias BO and the second stitch regular like it says in the tutorial?

    Am I over thinking this?

    • You can only work the first BO bias – the second BO would be a normal BO as the tutorial says- maybe over thinking;-)

  14. Debra Bailes

    I’m working on the “Maude” piece. Your explanations of a bias b/o has helped tremendously. Thankyou!

  15. Amy Capo

    I am also working Gretel-at back row 1 rs k, slip last p/w
    st st bias BO 2 at beg next 2 rows
    I think I understand the BIAS bo-the confusion is that the example refers to r/s rows. When working a w/s or purl row, do you still slip the last stitch purlwise, turn the work, slip two purlwise, pass 1st over second and then continue in bindoff?

    • Yes, it doesn’t matter if you are on WS or RS, it’s worked the same, working sts as they appear. So on the WS you’d slip with yarn in front (as if to purl) and on RS you’d slip wyib – always slip straight across as if to purl.

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