Over the next few blog posts I will share some of my favourite knitting techniques. In Part one, I am starting with the very foundation of knitting, the cast-on.
There are many ways to cast-on and it can be difficult to match a technique to a project. What follows are some of the cast-ons I use regularly. This is not a complete list, as there are many other methods of casting on.
The Knitted Cast-on
The knit cast-on is perfect for beginners as they will learn how to form knit stitches as stitches are added to the needle.The knitted cast-on does have some stretch, although not as much as the long tail method. It can be used when casting on a large number of stitches without running the risk of the tail being too short. This Cast-on is also excellent for adding stitches to a partly knit item when increasing for shaping. It can take practice to achieve an even, neat cast-on with this method. Unlike the long tail methods the cast on stitches are constructed with one strand of yarn, whilst the long til methods use two strand of yarn to create.
The Cable Cast-on & Alternate Cable Cast on
The Cable Cast-on, like the knitted cast-on requires only one strand of yarn to make a stitch. There is no risk of running out of tail yarn with this method, as in the long tail methods.
The Cable Cast On makes a strong, durable edge. Each stitch is pulled through the previous stitch, creating a spiraling cable effect. This gives the cast on edge extra strength, perfect for projects that see lots of wear and tear.
The cable cast-on is also a great way of casting on additional stitches within a project.
The relative inelasticity of this cast-on means it is not a great choice for edges on projects that need a lot of stretch and care needs to be taken not to be tight with the cast-on.
A variation of this cast-on, occasionally called rib cast-on or ‘alternating cable cast-on’ is perfect for items that start with highly visible ribbing.
The Long Tail Cast-on
Long tail cast-on is my ‘go to cast on’. It’s the one I use for 90% of my knitting projects.
The long tail cast-on is one of the most common cast-on methods. It is extremely versatile. It creates an even, neat edge. The long tail cast-on’s elasticity makes it the perfect choice for items that need to stretch, such as headbands and sock cuffs.
The Old Norwegian Cast-on
The Old Norwegian cast-on, is also known as the twisted German and the elastic long tail cast-on. This cast-on is very elastic and adds additional yarn to the edge of an item to increase the wear, it resists curling and the edge created is attractive. It is great for the cuffs of sleeves, socks, mittens, gloves and hats.
The edge looks the same from front or back, making this cast-on ideal for the turn up brims of hats.
In Part 2, I will continue to explore and share some specialised cast-on techniques. To ensure you do not miss the next post subscribe to the blog and have it emailed to you.