Cast off

Choose a cast-off method that is appropriate for the structure of the fabric and the type of edge you require. Beware of constrictive cast-off edges, especially if you are knitting top down! 

Here are a selection of welts, hems and cast-offs that would be suitable for top-down knitting. Most of these cast-offs, and more, are described in The Handknitter's Handbook; page numbers refer to the instructions in this book. Links are given where instructions come from other sources.


Garter stitch







Roll-edge (stocking stitch)







If you are knitting a rib, you might want to try a stretchy cast-off, such as Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. (For these samples, I've used my own adaptation of Jeny's Bind-Off, working the yarn overs only for the purl stitches and the knit stitches as normal. I found it gave enough stretch for a hem and I preferred the finished result.)

2x2 rib with stretchy cast-off







1x1 rib with stretchy cast-off







Alternatively, you could try a picot point cast-off, frilled cast-off or hem, which are not restrictive at all.

Picot point cast-off (p86)







Frilled cast-off (p87)







Picot/plain hem (p214)







Another alternative is a sideways-knitted hem, such as an edging cast-off or i-cord cast-off. 

Edging cast-off (p86)







i-cord cast-off