Kitchener stitch vs. three-needle bind off

I’m just getting ready to finish another sock and, as usual, am planning to seal the toes using the tried-and-true kitchener stitch.

But I started thinking…(going round and round the needles in stockinette while waiting for the foot to ‘grow’ to the proper length gives one LOTS of time to think!!!)

I recently learned the three-needle bind off for another project and was wondering if it can be used to finish the toe of a sock.

Both start with equal numbers of stitches on two parallel needles. Both create a row of ‘faux’ knit stitches. What’s the diff? What’s the advantage of kitchener over the three-needle? I assume there is an advantage since almost all patterns for socks seem to call for the kitchener to finish.

Just wondering.

Now back to going round and round (and round and round and round and…)


3 needle bind off will leave a seam at the toe, whereas kitchener won’t. I’m partial to kitchener b/c it is seamless, but a lot of pepple do the 3 needle bind off and like it just fine. It’s up to you, really.

Yeah, you’ll get a tiny ridge (well, tiny depending on the thickness of the yarn) if you use 3 needle bind off. I like them both, but kitchener winds up smooth and seamless, and looks and feels like any other row of knitting. This makes it better for socks, IMO. 3 needle bind off is good for shoulders because it gives extra support to the seams.

I can’t really give much of an opinion, because I knit my socks toe-up, but I would most definately do the kitchener, because of the seamless factor.

You could do 3 needle BO with the ridge on the inside of the sock and it wouldn’t look too bad :shrug:

It’s not the look… if so I’d always use it to join from the inside (did this with baby bootees, ridge on the outside of course). It’s the wear: inside shoes it will either wear quickly, or rub against your toes. I say suck it up and seam the 8 or 6 stitches… plenty of step by step instructions online… not too bad.

I just did a pair with three needle bind off and actually I dont care for it. Won’t do it again. Will either do the german round toe/starfish toe or kitchener for my next pair.

If you were doing a short-row toe, where the seam would lie on top of the toes instead of at the tips, you might be able to get away with a 3-needle bind off. Maybe. But there’s nothing more uncomfortable than a seam poking under your toenails, so if you can graft, I’d say don’t try to cheat. :wink: