Knitting Cast On/Cast Off Tips

For all you beginner knitters out there who would like to progress to hats and shawls, I’m going to give you just a couple cast on/cast off tips for today.

If you’re thinking about making a hat or even going for socks, you may wish to try the German Twisted Cast-On.  It gives a good amount of stretch which is perfect for a hat or socks without being too stretchy and getting droopy.  It’s also good for projects with ribbing, which hats often have.  As you can see below, the cast-on molds perfectly to the ribbing that follows.  There will be many YouTube videos that will show you how to do this but here’s one for you.

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Next, for shawls, what you will use will depend on whether you working your shawl from the top or the bottom.  The pattern will tell you this right away.  There are two cast-on/cast-off pairs that I like to use.  The first is Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On.  This cast-on is just perfect for shawls where you want the stretch so that you can freely block it afterwards.

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This cast-on is related to Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.  The instructions in this particular are step by step with pictures but if you’re more of a video, YouTube person, here’s that option as well!  This is good if you start from the top of your shawl and end with the bottom – often having 200-400 stitches to bind off that you don’t want to be tight like a normal bind/cast-off would cause.

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The final cast-on/off pair that I would like to share with you is the Chinese Waitress Cast-on.  This cast-on creates a beautiful edge that also happens to be very stretchy!  You can do this with either two knitting needles or my preferred method is with a knitting needle and a crochet hook!

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Related to this cast-on is the Chinese Waitress Bind-Off which will give you a matching edge on the other side of your project!

I hope I’ve provided you with some tools/tips to get your started!  Let us know if you like them or if you have other suggestions that have worked for you!

– Lindsay


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