Cast On and Bind Off

How to Work the Chained Cast On

The chained cast on is a great method for casting on when you need to match the traditional bind off or need a firm, tight edge. This method provides a clean, simple finish to the knitted garment. To perform the chained cast on:

1. Make a slip knot around your crochet hook. Leave a long enough tail to weave in later.
2. Hold the needle parallel to the crochet hook. Move the working yarn behind the needle.
3. Grab a loop of yarn with the crochet hook and pull it through. Then, move the working yarn behind the needle.
4. Repeat these steps until there is 1 less stitch than required on the needle.
5. Slip the last stitch onto the needle.

Cast On and Bind Off, Uncategorized

How to Long Tail Cast-On Purlwise

Some knitting patterns require you to perform the long-tail cast-on purlwise. This is usually done to change the visual appearance of the garment edge on the RS. For example, Alana Dakos’ Autumn Vines Beret requires you to cast-on both knitwise and purlwise so that the cast-on edge lines up perfectly with the stitch pattern.

First, let’s look at the long-tail cast-on. If you use this method to cast-on, you have probably noticed that there is a smooth, braided edge that is more suitable for Stockinette stitch and a bumpy (purl) edge that is more suitable for the purl stitch. So, if you are knitting something in reverse Stockinette stitch, it may be useful for the purl edge to be showing on the RS of the garment vs. the smooth edge. It’s completely up to the knitter which side of the cast-on is showing but it’s important to know how to work the cast-on knitwise and purlwise to meet the intended aesthetic of the designer or knitter.

To work the long-tail cast-on purlwise, do the following:

  1. Hold the yarn as if you are working the regular (knitwise) long-tail cast-on.
  2. Wrap the needle around the outer strand on the index finger and pull it through the middle of the loop from bottom to top.
  3. Next, bring the needle over the top of the inner strand on the thumb (the strand closest to the index finger). Swoop the needle under this strand and grab it from below (the strand of yarn will be over the top of the needle).
  4. Pull this strand through the loop on the index finger and tighten. This creates the purl stitch.

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Cast On and Bind Off

The Secret to the Long Tail Cast-On

I’m a fan of the long-tail cast on method – it’s the workhorse of the knitting world and can be used for just about any project. However, I don’t love running out of yarn tail. I’ve tried so many different methods to get around this: wrapping the yarn around the needle, using approximately 1” for every stitch, making the yarn tail the length of my project times four. It goes on and on.

The bane of every knitter’s existence is running out of yarn tail before you have all your stiches on the needle. It’s especially fun when you’re casting on 500 plus stitches (ARG!).
Well, I’ve found a fool-proof trick that guarantees you will NEVER run out of yarn tail. Next time you cast on (especially with a lot of stitches), try this:
1. Use 2 balls of yarn.
a. If you are working on a 1 skein project: wind down a small ball of yarn from your 1 skein.
b. If you are working on a multiple skein project: take 2 skeins of yarn.

2. Place the tails of both skeins together and make a slip knot on the knitting needle.

3. Separate the two strands of yarn and cast on all stitches as usual. The beauty of this method is that it makes one skein of the yarn the working yarn and the other the tail.

4. The slip knot does not count as a working stitch. After you cast on all stitches, work the first row back to the slip knot. Drop the slip knot and turn your work.

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Bestor, Leslie Ann. Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods. North Adams: Storey Publishing 2012.