Crab Stitch bind off

I am knitting a pattern by Jacquay Yaxley. It’s a doll dress pattern and the collar finishing is done in a knitting bind off she calls “Crab Stitch”. I did some research and found it for crocheting (backwards single crochet basically), but nowhere does it describe how to do it in knitting. The instructions are given in the pattern, but I keep trying and can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do. Whereas, crocheting this stitch is done by crocheting left to right (opposite of normal), I am binding off and must go right to left. It says to:

[I]“K 2nd st., K 1st st, cast off 1 st, K 2nd st, (st remains on ndl) cast off 1 st, K 1st st (both sts slip off ndl) cast off 1 st, to last st, cast off 1, fasten off.”[/I]

I’ve tried this several times and it comes out a big mess! I am wondering if I should just bind off in the regular way and then, starting at the left edge, working right, do it in crochet which makes a whole lot of sense. Any ideas out there?

Thanks Barb

knit the second stitch. knit the first stitch. slip both off the left needle.

pass the right hand stitch on the right needle over the other and off (binding off one)

You now have one stitch on the right needle and the remaining stitches on the left.

  • Knit the second stitch, without slipping it off the needle.

Pass the rightmost stitch over the newly created one on the right needle (binding it off)
knit the first stitch on the left needle and slip it plus the previously knit second stitch off the left needle.

Pass the rightmost stitch on right needle over the latest created and off (binding off another)

repeat from the *

Thanks Mario, but I am still a bit confused. How do you knit the second stitch, then the first, since once you knit a stitch, you slip it off the needle. You can’t slip it off because you have the first stitch “in the way”. That’s the part I don’t get.


I thought there was a videio on this, but I don’t find it.

INsert your needle into the second stitch , wrap and pull the yarn through; but do not slip the old stitch off the left needle. This is pretty easy, because as you said, the first stitch is in the way.
You now have the newly created stitch on the right needle.

knit into the first stitch as normal, and when you have pulled the yarn through, slip both the first and second (old) stitches off the left needle. The second will usually come off when you slip the first one because they are now crossed.

It is really a miniature cable; a 1 x 1 cable with the first stitch going behind the second.

Thanks Mario! You are super. I shall give it a try and let you know how it works out. I too, looked for a video but only found it for crocheting.


check you-tube for video on “right twist” (I’m pretty sure it is right twist)

Which doesn’t show you the bind off part but shows you how to do the first part.

okay - not a video; but


is a photo series that shows it.

Hey, this is a new one on me. Thanks Mario for the explanation. It is not much like a crab stitch in crochet and I don’t know that I like the looks of it, but it is nice to learn.

Barb, if you don’t like the outcome you might prefer to do what you said and bind off and crochet a crab st around it and see how that looks. That’s the nice thing about yarn, you get more than one try at things, and can change your mind. :wink:

Okay, I did it. Just the way Mario said (I think). But in any event, it came out looking like the picture on the pattern which is very hard to see, BTW. I ended up not liking it because it drew up too much even though I tried to do it loosley. I am redoing the whole collar because it also had some short rows which came out lousy. The collar is done in stockinette. Short rows are okay (and invisible) when doing garter or seed stitch, but when doing stockinette, the wrapped stitches show up on the knit side and doesn’t look smooth and pretty. Anyone have some suggestions on that problem?

Thanks for all the help. I think I will try the crochet crab stitch for the finishing of the collar and see how that comes out. It’s not a very big piece, so it’s no problem to knit it until it comes out to my satisfaction. If anyone is interested in the pattern I am referring to, you can find it on it is the Jacquay Yaxley pattern called “Posh Pink” (a doll dress).


If the wrap shows up on the RS, I’ve moved it so it’s in back. I found that if you slip first, then wrap the st, the wrap ends up in back.

You are supposed to pick up the wrap and knit it with the st next to it. For how to do that look in any good knitting book or search “picking up a wrapped stitch” or the like.