After posting my How to Cast On tutorial, a few people asked for a similar demonstration of binding off, another of those basic techniques that are sometimes hard to learn from books or remember from one project to the next once you've actually mastered them. I thought I'd wait until I had a project ready to bind off, rather than creating a swatch to work with, mainly because I don't have that kind of time. Anyway, I hope this little how-to helps clear things up.
So, without further ado, here's how to do it. (For anyone who really needs to see the details in action (as I usually do), here's a companion one-minute video.)
Step 1: Knit the First Stitch
Knit the first stitch on the row as you normally would. We'll call this Stitch 1.
Step 2: Knit the Second Stitch
Knit the second stitch as you normally would. We'll call this Stitch 2.
Step 3: Insert Needle Into Stitch 1
Insert your left needle through the front of Stitch 1 on the right needle.
Step 4: Drag Stitch 1 Over Stitch 2
Drag Stitch 1 over Stitch 2.
Step 5: Slide Stitch 1 Off Needle
Pull Stitch 1 completely off the needle, leaving Stitch 2 on the needle.
Step 6: Repeat Steps 2-5
Stitch 2 remains on the right needle, and you've just bound off your first stitch (Stitch 1). Rename the remaining stitch (Stitch 2) to Stitch 1 and repeat steps 2-5 until you reach the end of the row.
Step 7: Finish Up
When just one stitch remains on your right needle, simply snip off your yarn, leaving about 5 inches of tail to pull through the opening of that last stitch and draw it tight. You'll be left with a nice, finished edge that looks something like this.