I'm another advocate of Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy bind off. What most new knitters don't know is that you need a stretchy bind off or cast on for things like socks, hats, mittens, and gloves. I made a beautiful pair of mittens for a little girl. Even casting on loosely with a long tail cast on, they wouldn't stretch enough to get them over her hands. The cast on I like is the German Twisted cast on. You'll find videos of it in KH's cast on videos listed in the free videos section at the top of this page.