Needle Bind Off
(This is from Julie on the Ample Knitters mailing list, reproduced here with her permission. Thanks again Julie!)
The needle bind off is stretchy and neat. Stretchier than any big needle bind off. It is much discussed on the [socknitters mailing list]?; it's great for toe-up socks.
Here's a short version: Leave a very, very long tail and cut the yarn (twice as much as a stitch takes). Example, if a row of knitting takes 20 inches of yarn, leave at least 40 before you cut. Thread it on a yarn needle.
Now work in the basic dance rhythm of two steps forward and one step back. First go to the second stitch ahead and run the needle through the st. Now one stitch back and go through in the other direction. Over the top of the work to the other side, two ahead, one back again. When a stitch has been threaded twice it is done and may be slipped off the needle. Adjust tension as you go so the top loops are even sized, you can also adjust at the end. If working in the round, at the end you will find the first stitch was only worked once, so when you go through it again you are done and can tie off. I find I work it best in a kind of rhythm, dancing with my knitting.
This is very good for the tops of toe-up socks made for someone whose feet swell, as it will never cut in and bind. Also the edge of hats made from the center out. The leg edge of baby shorts, etc.