The stretchiness of knit ribbing does not have to suffer the inflexibility of a taut bind off. This Long Tail Tubular Bind Off maintains the elasticity of ribbed fabric with a neat and pretty finish. It’s perfect for toe-up socks, cuffs, neckbands and anywhere else you end with a ribbed edge. Also, this bind off is the companion to the Long Tail Tubular Cast On, so be sure to check out that tutorial for those occasions when you start with a ribbed edge too!


  • You will need a spare circular or double pointed needle, equal or smaller than your working needle and long enough to accommodate half your stitches. In this tutorial, my spare needle is the wooden double pointed needle and my working needle is the metal circular needle.
  • You will also need a tapestry needle.


  • This technique works both for knitting in the round or flat.
  • The example shown below is for a 1 x 1 rib. This method can be easily modified for a 2 x 2 rib. Before the set-up rows simply rearrange the stitches on the needle so that their order is in a k1, p1 pattern.

Long Tail Tubular Bind Off | Purl Soho

Work to one row before the desired finished length.

Long Tail Tubular Bind Off | Purl Soho

Set-Up Row/Round 1: Work across the row/ round, knitting the knit stitches and slipping the purled stitches purlwise with the yarn in front.


Set-Up Row 2: Repeat Set-Up Row 1.


Set-Up Round 2: Work across the row/ round, purling the purl stitches and slipping the knit stitches purlwise with yarn in back.

Long Tail Tubular Bind Off | Purl Soho

Next Row/ Round: Slip each stitch purlwise, slipping the knit stitches onto the working needle and the purl stitches onto the spare needle.

Long Tail Tubular Bind Off | Purl Soho

At this point you have half (or approximately half, if you are working over an odd number) of the stitches on each of two parallel needles.

Cut the yarn, leaving a tail that is approximately 3 times the length of the edge.

Long Tail Tubular Bind Off | Purl Soho

NOTE: I used a contrasting yarn instead of the tail for demonstration purposes.

Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle and use the Kitchener Stitch to graft together the stitches on the front (working) needle and back (spare) needle.

Now you have a tidy and flexible bind off for your ribbed edge!