Binding off in an open work lace pattern

Hi, everyone! I recently knit a shawl for a friend using a stitch known as “fagotting”, which is a very simple, open-work stitch. The pattern is: *yarn over, ssk, all the way across each row. It seems related to (or perhaps identical with?) a stitch known as “purse stitch.”

Anyway, I’ve knit up the whole thing to the desired length; it’s a more or less semi-circular pattern, and I’ve ended on the side that would be the diameter of the circle (so I’ve got lots and lots of stitches on my needle). Now it’s time to bind off.

However, I know if I bind off in pattern, the stitches are going to gather into a much tighter gauge and I’ll lose the width of the shawl’s top row. I thought perhaps I should first knit a row by inserting additional stitches, and then bind off on the following row, but with this kind of open work pattern, I don’t know where or how I should pick up the extra stitches.

Any help for binding off an open work, lace pattern like this without messing up the gauge?

Many thanks!

Do you think it would work to knit (or purl) a row across and then bind that off, possibly with a larger needle?

Try binding off in knit st and use a larger needle to do it; that way, the BO row would be the knit row.

Some people also use a suspended castoff or do a yo every 3 stitches, treating it like all the others (do a yo on the right needle, pass over the previous k stitch, do a couple of normal castoff stitches, etc.).

After delaying and delaying for weeks and weeks, I finally decided I was going to bind off this work whether it came out right or not. Fortunately, I picked the perfect method, and it turned out to be super simple.

First I simply doubled all the stitches by knitting into the front and back of every stitch for one row. Then I bound off the regular way. The number of stitches seemed to work perfectly-- the finished edge is no shorter or longer than it should be.