This tutorial explains how to carry out the three needle cast [bind] off for the Meander hat from Meander Pattern Collection #10. The principle is that the stitches are divided into four sections, which meet in the middle, like a cross roads, which gathers the knitting at the crown, without compromising the basket stitch pattern. It looks quite fiddly but once you have got the hang of it, it is quite simple, and can be used in place of casting off and sewing seams together, for example on shoulder seams of a garment, where you would just work straight across the rows, not dividing them into four sections as in this tutorial.
Work the hat up to and including the row 'Shape Crown'
STEP 1: Cut both yarns, leaving enough thread to sew them in later. *Slip first 6 (7) sts from the LH needle onto a spare needle. Fold outwards so that this needle is behind LH needle and lines up with LH needle, with tips pointing to the right and work RS tog.
STEP 2: Insert loose needle into both sts at once, as if knitting them together. Complete the stitch in the usual way.
STEP 3: Work the second pair of sts in the same way, so that you now have two completed sts on your RH needle.
STEP 4: Reach over the first st on the RH needle to grab the second stitch with your spare or LH needle and pass it over the first stitch, thus casting off the first pair of sts, one from each needle.
STEP 5: Repeat steps 2 - 4 for the rest of the sts isolated for this section. Don’t fasten off the last stitch....
STEP 6: ...but slip it back onto the LH needle. Cut your yarn, leaving a thread to sew in later.
STEP 7: Rejoining yarn, repeat from * in Step 1 to the end of Step 5 three times more, slipping 7 (8) sts onto spare needle instead of 6 (7) sts each time....
STEP 8: ....and casting off the last st from the spare needle on its own each time.
When you have finished casting off, you will have four cast off sections meeting in the centre. Pull the loose ends gently to close any gaps and sew the ends in on the wrong side. Turn the hat the right way round and sew up the side seam using mattress stitch.
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