There are many techniques to casting on stitches in knitting. “Cast on” refers to the first row of stitches. Some cast ons are good for a finished edge while others are loose and allow for picking up stitches latter (when forming a hem). Most knitters only use 2, maybe 3 different cast ons. If your pattern doesn’t recommend one over the other look at the overall edge of the pattern and take into consideration the type of yarn, the stitch and the amount of wear the edge will receive. Then choose the cast on that will work and you feel most comfortable doing. Some of the hand maneuvers require a bit of dexterity.

There are cast ons that use one needle, Simple  and Twisted thumb. Double cast on uses two ends of yarn per stitch on the one needle.  A two needle cast on example is the Knit -on. The Provisional or Invisible uses a scrap piece of yarn that is removed after the stitches are cast on. Alternate cable uses two needles and is a good cast on method for a K1P1 rib.

The Continental is the same yarn maneuver as the Double cast on, the difference is the needle moves to form the stitch, also called Long tail stitch. This is a nice beginner cast on that has a stretchy edge.

Single is also called Twisted thumb…good for non-elastic yarns ie: cotton and bamboo. There are more to choose from.

It does sound a bit confusing, part of the problem is that the each cast on may have several different names. If you have always used one cast on, do you know what it is called? “You Tube” has great videos to help you master the cast on and find out the name of the one you have been using. 

  •  cast-on too loose and the edge will ripple
  •  cast-on too tightly and it will be difficult to knit the first row – try casting on, on a needle one size larger and then knit your project onto the correct size

 Homework…. start a project try a new cast on.  You may find you like the results.


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