if i am understanding correctly, you are referring to the cable cast-on, where instead of knitting INTO the stitch and placing it back on the needle, you are going in between stitches. it's a good stretchy cast-on and I believe there is a video about it here. It is just a more time-consuming cast-on since you are knitting the stitches on, so I can't help with that part, but I can give you a tip from Knitty Gritty regarding the long-tail cast-on, which is my favorite.
Before casting on, wrap your yarn around the intended needle 10 times, not too loose, not too tight. That is approximately how much yarn you will need for 10 stitches. Holding that length of your yarn in your hand, you can then approximate how much yarn you will need for the long-tail, "folding" that length over say 10 times for 100 stitches. Make sense? Also, another tip from KG for when you run out of yarn, the long-tail appears and functions the same way as a purled-on cast-on, so if you run out of yarn before you have enough stitches, you can purl on more stitches, the same way you would knit on, only with the yarn in front and purling.
Hope this helps!