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Knitting Tip- Casting off - Italian Fashion

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Elastic Edges
If you use the Italian method of casting off, the finishing edge will be particularly elastic and it is therefore especially suitable for necklines, polo-necks and any other collars or borders attached afterwards. What's more the result looks extremely professional because there is a lovely round stitch on the upper edge which replaces that otherwise cast-off edge typical for hand-knitting.

Sewing Finish
The interesting thing about this kind of finishing off is that it is done with a thick, blunt darning needle. It is as such a kind of sewn finish. Here you work on the right side. Cut the yarn you have been knitting with, making sure that it is at least three times as long as the work you want to finish off. However, before you start, the stitches have to be properly prepared.

And this is how it goes
1. In the last two rows (right side and wrong side) knit all plain stitches and slip all purl stitches, keeping the yarn at back of the work. Work these two rows with needles a half number smaller, or in the case of thick yarns, one size smaller. Now the actual casting off begins.
2. Run the darning needle from right to left through the edge stitch , and if the next one is a knit stitch, through this one too. Let 1 or 2 stitches slip from the needle and pull the yarn firmly.

3. Now cast off in pairs, beginning with a purl stitch. Pull the thread from left to right through the first purl stitch on the needle and pull firmly. Leave the stitch on the left needle. 4. From right to left through the middle of previous Knit stitch (it is no longer on the needle) and at the same time run the darning needle through the second stitch on the needle (also a Knit stitch) and pull firmly. Leave the stitches still on the left needle. 5. Then run the thread from right to left through the first purl stitch, pull firmly and slip two stitches (one purl and one knit stitch) from the needle.

Repeat 3rd - 5th steps until all stitches are cast off.

Casting Off in Rounds - Italian Fashion
Again here the last two rows must also be prepared.
In the first round, knit plain stitches and slip purl stitches , with the thread in front of the work. In the second row purl the purl stitches and slip the knit stitches with the yarn behind the work. Repeat 3rd - 5th steps until all stitches are cast off. Before final finish, combine the yarn with the first stitch.

Another Tip
This "Italian" method is also good as a decorative element.
If you carry out the steps 1. - 5 . in a contrasting colour your garment will gain an additional eye-catcher effect.
You can even use the Italian finish in stocking stitch. First work the last two rows as described above: slip 1 stitch working into the back of the stitch, knit 1 and repeat the steps 3. - 5. until all stitches are cast off.