Casting off is the method used to dispose of a number of stitches. It is used during shaping, on shoulder seams for example and often forms the last row of the work. Always cast off in pattern, i.e. when working on stocking stitch cast off knitwise on a knit row and purlwise on a purl row and when casting off ribbing, do so as if you were continuing to rib. Most pattern stitches can be followed when casting off.
Casting off knitwise
Knit the first two stitches. * Using the left hand needle, lift the first stitch over the second and drop it off the needle. Knit the next stitch and repeat from * (Fig.44).
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Casting off purlwise
Purl the first two stitches. *Using the left hand needle, lift the first stitch over the second and drop it off the needle. Purl the next stitch and repeat from * (Fig.45).
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Casting off with a crochet hook
It saves a lot of time if you use a crochet hook to cast off. Treat the crochet hook as if it were the right hand needle and knit or purl the first two stitches in the usual way. *Pull the second stitch through the first, knit or purl the next stitch and repeat from *.
This method is particularly useful when a loose, elastic cast off edge is required, as you can gently loosen the stitch still on the crochet hook to ensure that the elasticity is retained (Fig.46).
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