I like my cast-ons and bind-offs to be as non-intrusive (read almost invisible) as possible, so I learned a few different methods to do both. My reasoning is that you don’t see sewn garments that are finished with just a zig-zag st, then why should my knitting have edges that don’t match? Now, when knitting swatches or something where the top and/or bottom edge won’t make a difference, I do my “default” bind-off: k2tog, slip the st just made back to the left hand needle, knit it together with the next st, repeat until you run out of sts.
This bind-off is fast and a no-brainer. Since I found out that my cast-on was kind of unorthodox, I decided to check my bind-off also, because, chances are, it wouldn’t be what the examining board calls “basic bind-off”.
Not only the bind-off I described above isn’t the “basic”, I couldn’t find any references to it anywhere…I’m going to get some more books from the library to check them out, since I don’t think something this simple wouldn’t be described somewhere. I know, for a fact, that I’m not the only one who binds-off this way, but the fact that it isn’t described in the books I have at hand right now makes me scratch my head and wonder what else I do differently from people in the Northern hemisphere…
The most common bind-off I could find tells me to k2, pass first st over the second,knit one more, pass first over second, so on and so forth. It makes for a smaller chain at the top edge which I like and takes as little time as the one I’m used to. It is also stretchier(? more stretchy?) than my default one. There is only one little caveat: the last stitch comes out too long.
I’ve tried to knit that one stitch tighter to no avail and then, last night while doing yet another pre-swatch, I decided to pass the stitch over without knitting the last stitch. Voilà! Problem solved.