Symmetrical 3 needle bind off

I have used a 3 needle bind off for these straps on a 2 colour top.
I used teal yarn on the teal section and green on the green section.
Both straps were bound off from the neck out to the armhole to make the Vs point in opposite directions and be symmetrical.
Both were bound off using knit into the stutch on the first needle and purl into the stitch on the second needle to make a flatter bind off.

My problem is one went perfectly well. The other did not.
The strap on the left of the photo has no green colour bumps because the teal purl bumps are disguised by the teal bind off.
The strap on the right of the photo has green purl bumps showing on the teal side which doesn’t look good.

Is there something I should have done differently on the right side. Is there a way to fix it?

Thank you for any suggestions.

Maybe on the one with purl bumps showing it would work better to purl front needle, knit back needle? Just a guess. I’ve not tried it myself. Can it be done? Do the bumps show on the other side of the one you’re happy with? Everything I know beyond the most basic 3 ndl bo I learned from the video I’m linking but my guess is you already watched this one.

ETA AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH! I couldn’t get the right link in the right place. I think I finally did it.


I don’t know. I don’t think so. I don’t think the needles and stitches are in the right place to do it that way.

The purl bumps are there on the other side but because the bumps are teal on teal they are totally hidden and it looks flawless.
Due to having fabric in 2 colours it’s worked on one side and not the other as I turned the work to work from the neck out on each.

Thank you for the link. Yes I have followed this.

I can only think of

  1. Live with it
  2. Try to disguise the green by sewing a strand of teal over the top (could still show and just get bulky as well as showing the wrong colour)
  3. Undo both sides, bind off regular way then seam up as I could do a neat job that way.

Maybe some one else has a magic trick to share?

What do the bind offs look like if you turn the knitting 180 degrees and take a photo? I’m wondering if you’ll see purl bumps on what is now the left bind off.

GG, great video from Rox Richardson but then that’s her usual.


No there are no contrasting colour bumps on the other side.
This is the piece turned 180 degrees as you said, so the nice strap is now on the right and the purl bumps cant be seen they are totally hidden as they are teal and the bind off is teal.
The ugly one is on the left, the green bumps can’t be seen in this photo as they are just behind that teal bind off.

When I bound off the nice side from neck edge to armhole the teal side was facing me and the teal bumps are made on the green side but so disguised as to be I visible.
The other side, I turned the work to bind off from neck to armhole so I had the green fabric facing me and the teal in the second needle behind. This produced green bumps on the teal side.
So, yes both sides have bumps due to the nature of the knit/purl 3nbo but only one of them is ugly whilst the other is nice.

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What about binding off one side in the beige yarn?

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Thank you.

I’ll look at it again tomorrow.
Perhaps I’ll just leave it as it is - who will notice it anyway? No one looks at me that closely :laughing:

I’ve learned a lot anyway! My first 3 needle bind off as well as several other firsts in this top. And next time I will know that working 2 colours has this outcome.

Just a few rows around the neckline to do, a few ends to weave in and a little tidying up to do. Then block!


@Creations think about it as the knit side versus the purl side.

The 3 ndl knit worked on the left from the knit side.

To reverse it for the other side working from the purl side of the seam means you should purl the sts from the front piece (back needle) and knit the sts from the back piece (front needle).

That is what I saw in the video linked by @GrumpyGramma in her first post.


I have not worked a 3 ndl bo so this is based on the video and my mental animation of the process (which I sometimes find overly simplified by my imagination.)

I hope it works for you.

Now I am looking for a couple scrap swatches to test it on. :+1:


Thank you for trying tonhelp. I appreciate it.

If I am reading correctly, what you have described is what I have done and produces Vs on the top of the shoulder one set point one way and the other the opposite way
Like >>>>>>>> neck hole <<<<<<<<<<
It is as you say one worked from the front and one from the back.

My problem is using 2 colours, front and back of the top are different. Leaving contrasting purl bumps on one side only.
The more I think about it the more I believe I have found an unsolvable “problem”. Not really “problem” it’s just how knitting is constructed. I got a result I hadn’t expected.
But also the more I think about the more I feel I should just leave as it is.

Re-reading this part again… possibly you mean to work the second shoulder from the opposite side to which I did it. Which would eliminate the contrasting colour bumps but would also reverse the Vs so that they did not mirror one another
Like >>>>> neck >>>>>
So perhaps it’s choosing one or the other but not asking for both.

I tried working purl front needle, knit back needle and couldn’t get it to work. I thought about trying to knit one left handed. I’m not up for that tonight.

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This is exactly the thought I had late last night, to knit one side of needles held in the right hand rather than the left.

Some time ago there was a poster here who said they had always knit back and forth this way, from the left needle then from the right needle, rather than turning the work. Out of interest I tried it and it was quite fun but it would take me some practise to get even tension that way and as patterns are not written this way I believe it would add a further switching around in the head to be able to follow a pattern fully.

I do think this could be the solution.

Hmm…whether to try or leave it.
I didn’t much like tinking back the 3 needle bind off and don’t think my early efforts of knitting left to right would be neat, I’d risk stressing out the yarn and getting a split frizzy mess.

The time and thought is much appreciated.

I was afraid it would be hard to explain.

You see (well it is what I think I see.)
(RS) RF: >>>>>>> neck ======= LF
Because > is knit side to front,
and = is purl side to front.

When you turn for LF from neck it is a purl side row you should be working.

Try this? Purl from neck to shoulder.
(WS) LF: ====== neck.

Sorry so short. I have a meeting in 3.5 hrs. Ill try a sample after.


I often work the purl side of stockinette without turning especially sock heels. I have problems working stitches that are purl on the RS and avoid it. I knit Continental but when I don’t turn the work to do the purl side I end up knitting left handed English style-esque. One reason the one size fits all advice for left handed people to simply learn to knit right handed bothers me is knowing how it makes my head hurt to try to knit and purl left handed. We’re all different and what one knitter can do with ease can do another one in. I hope you figure this out. If it were mine it would drive me nuts until I did.

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I’m stumped.
I think what you may be saying is that the second side needs to be purl knit rather than knit purl, to acount for it being worked from the purl side, or back.
This isn’t possible as the working needle can’t enter the front stitch purlwise then the back stitch knit wise and be wrapped and withdrawn through those 2 stitches to create the new stitch. Or if it can I can’t work out how.
I think this is the same idea GG had and then we both figured it would need to be worked left handed.

Unless, hmm… move the 2 stitches to a 4th needle before working to put them together in some way that a purl knit maneuver is possible.

Scratching my head.

This is the knitter’s version of the rubix cube!

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I understand, and yes that is what I found too. Just couldn’t get it to work. My conundrum is what to change to make the stranded colorwork in a tube for the bag pattern I’m making work more to my satisfaction. I’d ask for help but don’t quite know what to ask and have problems understanding things when they’re explained for me.


How about this. Needle one should always be the teal sts.

Thus for the left shoulder then ndl 1 is above ndl 2. Enter ndl 1 sts purl wise then ndl 2 knit wise.

I find this easier using a crochet hook.

[Edit to add above image has two purl bumps. I did it wrong. :roll_eyes:]

Ndl 1 is front side of L Shoulder (Teal yarn).
Slip P wise from N1 to N3,
Slip K wise from N2 to N3,
Insert N2 into 3 sts on N3 and Ktog.

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Almost there. Your 3rd ndl on the right only holds one sts so “call it” a sl stitch.

(Sl 1as P from N1(teal), Sl 1 as K from N2, insert N2 into stitches on N3 and K2tog then pass the “sl st” over to bind off) repeat across.

What is this Rubik’s cube you speak of?:wink: :innocent:


I’ve never done it. I think it fits in with your cardi nicely. And I love your colors and your work on that. I can see how you’d want perfection on it!

I think the only way I would like that promenent bump is if it were part of an overall design. Perhaps like this one. It looks fairly invisible on the purl side tho so I would use it there.

Machine knit Forrester coat be Anne Lavene Sideways knit and strong lines were put in as you go, including the gored panels. I’ve yet to make this. Keep intending to. il_794xN.1388989435_kc8o