Hello all! I think I may have a useful addition to those with double knit cast on issues. I've been scouring the forum, and haven't seen one particular way of casting on mentioned (outlined below)--please let me know if it has! In any case, here's the story behind it:
I had been struggling for about a month with designing a double knit hat with snow flake fair aisle for my DD (for his skiing convenience). My main issue: intensely disliking the look of the long tail cast on when both colors are used at once. I didn't want to do a fake double knit either, especially since I'm incorporating stranding colorwork, and want both sides to be perfectly reversible (ixnay on adding in the second color on the row after cast on). So last night, in a fit of procrastination, I sat down to do some knitting experimentation (I'm a biochemist by training, I almost can't help it ).
I am exceedingly pleased to say that I came up with a solution! Now, I've read many threads on this topic, but haven't seen this yet, so here goes.
My method is just a simple long tail cast on, alternating colors instead of using them simultaneously. The best part is that you can control which color is visible on each side of the cast on! For mine, I have my MC (black) and CC (grey) solid on opposite sides. But you could have the colors alternate on one or both sides, or in a pattern that corresponds to your chart, or have both sides be the same color!
How to do this is pretty intuitive once you're looking at it on the needles, but simply put, the colors are controlled by just consistently keeping the order of the two strands (out of four total) constant per cast on stitch. E.g. I want a black side facing me, and a grey side facing away. To accomplish this I keep the four strands (one of each color for the tail, one of each attached to the skeins) in the order black-grey-black-grey, from facing me (front, black) to facing away (back, grey). Then when I pick up the two black strands in my left hand to cast on a stitch, I can just ignore the grey ones, and vice versa. I just make sure that the black tail strand always stays facing me (in front) and the grey skein-bound strand stays in the back.
I counted about 7 threads with double knit cast on issues, so I help this method helps people out! I prefer it to the others because it is so very professional looking (which of immense importance to me). It does, however, take ages. Being a robust cast on, though, it doesn't have to be completed in one sitting.
I can try to post pictures if anyone is interested--I'll just have to borrow a digital camera. And again, please let me know where else this method might be outlined!