The tubular bind off is my absolute favorite for 1/1 (knit/purl) ribbing. This sewn bind off is very similar to working a kitchener stitch, as though the knits were on one side and purls on the other. It creates a stretchy edge that looks like the ribbing has just flowed right over it. When working this bind off in the round, I do it a little bit differently than most tutorials I have seen. I find this way gives me a more seamless join at the end of the round.
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Tubular Bind Off in the Round Photo Tutorial
(scroll down for video tutorial)
Start by cutting the tail to about 3 or 4 times the circumference of your edge and thread it onto a tapestry or yarn needle. If you’re working on something big, like a sweater hem, this can become way too long to work with easily. In that case, cut a smaller tail that you can work with, but you may need to weave in another piece of yarn later to finish your bind off.
Make sure the first stitch on your knitting needle is a knit. If it’s not, move that stitch over to the end of the round and start with the first knit stitch. Insert your tapestry needle into the first knit stitch as if to knit, and then pull it through. For the first stitch of the round ONLY, move this knit stitch onto the right hand needle so it becomes the last stitch of the round.
Go back to that purl stitch you skipped, and insert the needle purlwise into that stitch. For the first purl stitch of the round ONLY, move that stitch over to the right knitting needle so that it becomes the last stitch of the round. You can now move the right knitting needle out of your way, as you won’t need it again.
Now this is the really fun step. Bring your needle up from the back of your work, between the first two stitches. Twist it around, and insert it into the next purl stitch as if to knit. If this twisting motion is too difficult or the stitch too tight, you can break this up into 2 parts. First bring the needle all the way up between the two stitches, then insert it into the next stitch as if to knit.
We’re going to repeat those 4 steps from the set up, but instead of moving stitches to the right knitting needle, we’re going to drop them instead.
Step 1: Insert needle knitwise into next (knit) stitch, and drop that stitch from the knitting needle.
Step 2: Skip next purl st, insert needle purlwise into next knit stitch and pull through.
Step 3: Insert needle purlwise into skipped purl stitch and pull through. Drop this stitch from the knitting needle.
Step 4: Bringing needle up from behind, insert it knitwise into next purl stitch and pull through
Repeat steps 1-4 until you are left with only 2 stitches on the knitting needle. These will be the first 2 stitches of the round, which you already partially worked through at the beginning. So now, you can just drop them off the knitting needle and your bind off is done!
Tubular Bind Off in the Round Video Tutorial: