If cast on and bound off edges are viewed close together when a project is worn, I like to make them match. After examining my long tail cast on edge carefully and picking it apart, this is what I came up with. At the time I hadn’t come across this bind off in some of the current basic reference books. I suppose you could say that I “unvented” it because since then, I’ve found it in June Hemmons Hiatt’s The Principles of Knitting: Methods and Techniques of Hand Knitting and Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting (sadly out of print, but easily found). Both of these books are excellent resources to have in your library.
I’m using contrasting coloured yarns for the purpose of illustration.
Begin by cutting your working yarn and leaving a long tail—about 4 times longer than the width of the bind off edge. Thread it onto a blunt-tipped tapestry needle.
Step 1. Insert the tapestry needle knitwise into the second stitch on your left-hand knitting needle and pull the yarn through.
Step 2. Insert the tapestry needle purlwise into the first stitch and pull the yarn through. Drop the first stitch off the knitting needle. Take care not to pull too tightly—this is how you control the tension of your bound-off edge.
Repeat the last two steps until you’ve bound off all your stitches.
These two photos compare both the cast-on (smaller swatch) and bound-off edges on both sides of the work. They look the same.
The sleeve for my cardigan is now finished, using this bind off method. Can you tell which sleeve has the cast on edge and which has the bind off edge? I would consider the surgery an unqualified success!