Casting on...

I'm just wondering what everyone's prefered method of casting on is. The man who taught me how to knit taught me what he called the "e" cast on, but told me there were other ways to cast on depending on what you're doing, a woman that was in my knitting group told me that all I will ever need is just one type of casting on and they all look the same, but after looking at the long tail cast on and the "e" cast on, I can see there is a difference, how many types of casting on are there? *Yes I'm a knitting newb even after 2 years*


Celowin's picture

I'm not sure anyone has a firm number on how many ways there are to cast on. I seem to recall reading "at least 40," but I'm not near my knitting library and so can't check that.

I tend to use long-tail cast on for most things, as it doesn't clash against the knitting as much, and has a medium stretchiness.

I use the cable cast on when I want a very firm edge. I don't care much for the backwards-loop cast on, but I use it for steeks and sometimes for lace.

I am currently trying to master some form of provisional cast on, to allow knitting in both directions from the cast on edge. My experiments so far have been disappointing.... I can get the cast on done, but haven't been able to make even knitting from it.

gaynnyc's picture

For years I used nothing but a cable cast on, no matter what I was knitting. It was what I taught myself originally and I never varied! But, when I started knitting socks, I found that the long tail was much better, it's a bit more stretchy and that's a good thing when knitting socks top down. It took me a while to master it, especially when it came to figuring out how much yarn you actually needed for the tail. It's now become my cast on of choice, for everything except sweaters.

i use the slingshot method, i think it's the long tail. i know cable COs are cast on like that too, except there's an extra step.

Crafty Andy's picture

BuduR's picture

Well after spending most of my day working on learning the long tail cast on method, and seeing the result, I don't think I'll be using the "e" cast on anymore, I much prefer the neatness of the long tail. I've never seen the cable cast on, (look out youtube here I come!) but I'm definately going to take a look at it. I've seen a few different kinds of casting on methods in the books I own but I never was much for all that fancy book learnin' and just find myself frustrated. Easier for me to learn if I actually SEE it being done. When it comes to visuals, Andy, you're my hero!

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

murfpapa's picture

Put me down for long tail if I need stretchy, like for a stocking cap and cable cast on for afghans, scarves and the lot where you'd want a less stretchy edge.

I was pretty much self taught by looking at knit garments so in the very early days (back when knitting needles were made of sabre tooth tiger teeth and stone, roll eyes here!) I would just twist a loop so the new "leg" came from between the new stitch and the old one. It made a right mess of the edge. It wasn't until a long time after that I got my first knitting book and seen the long tail cast on.

I have short, stubby fingers so the long tail is cumbersome for me. I should check into those other 38 cast-ons.

MMario's picture

I tend to use either the knit-on or the cable cast-on (which is really jast a variation of the knit-on)

I was taught the 'backwards-loop' = the "e" cast on method - but was never able to produce a neat edge using it.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

rjcb3's picture

I'm not certain WHAT the actual name is called, but, it's a casting on backward loop with a twist presented by Elizabeth Zimmermann in "Knitting Without Tears" -- and she presents that "twist" in two ways -- clockwise and counterclockwise.

I don't know the proper name or the generally accepted terminology, but, I'll use that as reference.

MOST of the time, I'll actually use her technique of invisible casting on, by just wrapping the working wool around a spare wool, alternating sides of the spare -- and then transferring the stitches afterward and either sewing-casting off or what not.