New Member Stockinette and bind off questions

Hello Every body

I am new to knitting,well not very new,when I was carrying 2 years back,I did knit.I knit a sweater,a hat and a pair of socks for my girl baby.now after 2 years again I have started knitting.now I am knitting a sweater for my husband.Fortunately I found this wonderful website.I have a couple of doubts regarding the pattern I am knitting.It would be great if some one could help me.

1.first of all I would like to know if stockinette stitch starts with a knit or purl?
2.my pattern says,“knit stockinette for 17 inches ending with W.S row” what does this mean?do I need to end with the knit side facing me or purl side facing me?
3.is cast off same as bind off?

thankyou
laxmi.

Yes casting off is called binding off also by most Americans.
Stocking stitch is k one row p one row repeat… the right side is the knit (flat) side. Start with whichever row you prefer, k or p. If you cast on with longtail you might prefer the look of first row being a purl, because that puts the ‘ugly’ side of the caston on the wrong side
Knit stocking stitch for 17 inches: do just that. ‘End with a WS row’ usually means that your last row is a purl row, then you go on to do the rest of the pattern, starting with a RS row. (However, some patternwriters mean the opposite: you might want to check they have got it right by reading through the rest of the pattern to see wich side you are doing things on).