Also known as: three-needle bind-off
The joinery cast-off (or three needle bind-off), as its name suggests, is a cast-off that can be used to join two pieces of fabric.
This cast-off method produces a join in which the stitches of one of the fabrics align exactly with those of the other fabric. On the private side there is a chain that is formed by the cast-off row. Some designers use this chain as a decorative element by placing it on the public side of the finished item.
How to do it
Often used for joining the back to front of sweaters at the shoulders, the method needs each of the two pieces of fabric to have the same number of stitches. Any shaping has to be completed before the cast-off row(s).
As suggested by the alternate name for this cast-off (three needle bind-off), three needles are used (or two needles and a crochet hook).
As with any other bind-off technique that produces a chain of stitches, the elasticity of the cast-off is determined by the size of the needle (or crochet hook) used to form the cast-off chain. Using a larger size needle (crochet hook) for the cast-off than the original fabrics gives a more elastic join, while using a smaller size gives a tighter one.
Both of the fabrics to be joined must have the live stitches of their final rows on needles. Usually, these will be the needles on which they were knit. You need a third needle (or crochet hook) to make the join, and most often this is the same size as the needles used to create the fabrics to be joined. If you do not have a third needle of the same size, you can transfer one of the pieces onto a smaller needle.
When the public sides of the fabrics are facing you, one should have the tip of the needle on your left, and the other have the tip on the right. If you left the pieces on your needles when you finished knitting, you may need to transfer one of the pieces onto a second needle to make sure it is the right way round (if, though, you are using circular needles, all you need to do is slide the piece to the other end of the cable).
Joining with the chain on the private side of the fabric. Hold the two fabrics together with their public sides touching. Hold them with the tips of the needles pointing to the right.
Joining with the chain on the public side of the fabric. Hold the two fabrics together with their private sides touching. Hold them with the tips of the needles pointing to the right.
With the third needle, knit the first stitch on the front needle with the first stitch on the back needle. You do this by putting the right needle through the first stitch on the front needle as if you were doing a k2tog, and then doing the same on the first stitch on the back needle. You are actually doing a k2tog, but the two stitches are on different needles). Wrap the yarn and pull it through to form a new stitch on the right hand needle, pulling the two old stitches off their needles.
Do the same with the next stitches.
Pass the right-most stitch on the right hand needle over the one nearer the tip. You have now cast off one stitch, and are left with one stitch on the right needle.
Continue until you have joined all the stitches from the left hand needles.
Cut the yarn, leaving a generous end for weaving in, and pull the tail free with the right hand needle.
Alternatively you could purl the two stitches together. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the back needle (so that it goes through the stitch in the opposite way to the left hand needle) from right to left, then do the same for the stitch on the front needle. Wrap the right hand needle purl-wise, and then pull the loop through. Make the chain by passing right-most stitch on the right needle over the stitch to its left.
Using a crochet hook. Use a crochet hook instead of a third needle. Read “crochet hook” for “right hand needle” in the instructions above.