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BO is the abbreviation for Bind Off.
When you want to finish a knitting project, you usually bind off. By binding off, you secure the stitches on the last row you have knitted and thereby ensure that they do not unravel.
Sometimes, you will also see Bind Off referred to as Cast Off.
There are many different ways of binding off a project. Which method you choose, depends on the project you are finishing off.
For instance, if you are knitting a pair of socks from the toe up, you would want to use an elastic bind-off method, as this will ensure that you can pull up the socks without too much hassle.
A Basic Bind Off is the most commonly used bind-off technique. Therefore, it is usually the first one you learn as a knitter.
If you would like to learn how to do a Basic Bind Off (BO), you can find a step-by-step tutorial here: Basic Bind-Off Knitting Tutorial.
Exploring Other Bind-Off Techniques
However, as you become more experienced as a knitter, you may want to explore different methods for finishing your knitted projects.
You have spent time and effort (as well as money) on your project so it important to invest some energy into determining which is the best bind off for your project.
Broadly speaking, bind-offs fall into 4 different categories:
- Basic, or all-purpose, bind-offs
- Stretchy, or elastic, bind-offs
- Decorative bind-offs
- Sewn bind-offs
You will find that some patterns will tell you which bind-off technique to use, whereas others just say bind off. If that is the case, try and read the characteristics of your project so you can find the best bind-off method for your project.
Or be creative and bring out the designer in you! If your edge is not going to be seamed, try out some of the more decorative bind-off methods.