This knitting cast off method gathers all the stitches on your knitting needle together. I call this method “pull through” because you gather all the live knitting stitches together on a length of yarn, and pull together. This gives a neat bulk free finish to the tops of hats, the ends of fingers in gloves, and a neat finish on knitted toy pieces.
You can see the finished effect on the nose of this little toy that I am making. The “star-shaped” stitches at the middle of the nose are the cast off stitches that have been gathered together.
How to do a pull through cast off
Step 1. At the cast off edge, break the yarn leaving a long tail. Your tail should be as long as the knitting stitches, plus at least 30cm. Thread the tail onto a darning or tapestry needle.
Step 2. Take the darning needle through the first live stitch on the knitting needle
Step 3. Pull the darning needle all the way through the stitch, and let the stitch fall off the knitting needle. The stitch is now threaded on your yarn tail, so don’t worry, your knitting won’t unravel!
Step 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with all the stitches on your cast off edge, allowing them to fall off the needle one by one.
Step 5. When you have finished, all your live stitches will be threaded onto the yarn tail.
Step 6. Pull the yarn tail and gather these stitches together so they bunch up to close the end of the knitting. Pull tight, but don’t pull too much or you may break your yarn.
Step 7. On the wrong side of the knitting, secure the thread. You can do this by sewing over a couple of stitches a few times on the wrong side. I like to use the rest of the tail to start sewing the side seams together (if that is what the pattern requires), as this helps secure the end.
Step 8. And here is the finished bulk free cast off end.