Here are the results of a quasi-scientific investigation into answering the question: "Which bind off is the stretchiest of all for Stockinette stitch?"
Above you can see 4 small swatches. Each swatch is pinned to a blocking board, with the cast on edge to the bottom and the bind-off edge at top.
Each swatch was created by the same person, using the same yarn, with the same amount of stitches, with the same size needles used throughout.
From top to the bottom, the bind-offs used were:
- Lacey Bind Off
- Suspended Bind Off
- Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Bind Off
- Jeny's Super Stretchy Bind Off
Here's the results listed from the most to the least stretchy as worked by our sample knitter, with instructions and comments listed next to each bind off below. It is important to note - if YOU do this test, YOUR results may be different! It seems every knitter works the required bind off stitches just a bit differently, and this leads to different elasticites:
- Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Bind Off (3rd down, Instructions: Video Link / Photo Link) Because this bind off is performed with a tapestry needle, our thought is that different knitters will work it to varying elasticity since there is no needle circumference to ensure consistency. At the gauge this knitter naturally worked this bind-off, it was the break out winner of the bunch, but another knitter may not naturally work it so loosely.
- Jeny's Super Stretchy Bind Off (JSSBO) (4th down, Instructions: Video Link/Photo Link) Fun to do, with just one little extra step to bind off each stitch.
- Lacey Bind Off(Top, Instructions below) - very close in a stretch contest with JSSBO: K2, * Transfer the 2 worked sts to the LH needle, and k2tog tbl, k1* repeat from *.
- Suspended Bind Off (2nd Down, Instructions: Video Link ) A distant fourth.