Skill Builder: Two Cast-ons

July 21, 2021

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  • For a long time now I’ve avoided starting with a slip knot, whichever type of cast on I use. For a cabled cast on, I just make a loop over the needle for the first stitch. I do make a slip knot when starting a long tail cast on for a firm beginning, but I slip this off the needle before I start knitting. I just don’t like that inevitable little hard lump that a slip knot leaves.

    Also, when making a long tail cast on for a large number of stitches, I use two balls of yarn as I’m hopeless at estimating the required amount of yarn. I either run short or waste a long length. It does result in an extra couple of ends to weave in, but I don’t mind that.

    • These are great tips!

    • Another knotless wonder method is to grab the yarn stretched between the thumb and forefinger with the righthand needle, doesn’t matter which way, then proceed with the CO. Two stitches achieved. Happy knitting.

    • If using a cable cast on just cast on an extra two or three stitches more than you need and when you get to the end of the first row just drop them off and they will unravel leaving no starter slip knot. It does need to be more than just the actual slip knot that gets dropped as it won’t unravel if dropped on its own.

  • Love that extra twist idea! Kate is such a gem, thank you for this!

  • I’m logged in but the bookmark symbol doesn’t appear

    • Spoke too soon! It appeared as soon as I posted the first comment

  • I used to have to re-read and re-memorize the steps for provisional caston every time I had to do it, and for some reason could never get the crochet caston to unravel. Fifteen years ago all that changed when Kay wrote about using backward loop to enable the No-Sew Mitered Blanket:

    That was my salvation, enabling an addiction to log cabin and mitered squares. (I do have to try to make the loops a bit tighter than my normal tension, or ktbl when picking up to firm them up.) But only 2? steps even a moron could recall – thank you Kate and Kay!

  • Thank you! I have never seen cast on instructions made so clear! I have used the long tail cast on for over 50 years now because I can do it in my sleep, and I have never been able to figure out any of the other types. I will definitely be using these two examples in my next projects.

  • For the cable cast on, is there a way to cast on this way for 1×1 rib?

  • I will try the cable cast on with next project I start. Could you do this with top down socks?

    • It might not be so good for the top of socks. You need a lot so stretch to get the socks over your heel. Maybe if you cast on very loosely? Mind you, I haven’t tried this…. Maybe someone else can speak from experience.

  • Great tips!