Cast-on Comparisons?

I have directions for several different cast-ons and am now looking for info on which cast-on works best for different patterns. In other words, when a pattern doesn’t specify which cast-on to use, and it seems that most don’t, how do you know which one will work best? Is there an article somewhere on this subject?


I don’t know of one. I think when it doesn’t specify it’s personal preference. I use long tail for the majority of things.

With most things it really doesn’t matter. For a shawl which is knit loose and needs to stretch, a Knit CO will be better than cable CO, though I’ve used a loose cable for them and it works okay.

In most cases, it’s a matter of personal preference. Most patterns don’t specify a cast on so you might try different ones out yourself. I like the long tsil cast on in general because it gives a neat, finished edge. There are cases where you may want a very stretchy cast on (tops of socks or openings of mittens or gloves) and thisis one that works well…

That’s what I thought but figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I’ve probably said it before but I’m not a big fan of trial and error as I’m a perfectionist and can waste far too much precious time trying to get it “right”! It reminds me of the time DH wanted to learn to piece a quilt top a few years ago, triangles no less. All I could tell him was: good news is there are a million ways to piece triangles. Bad news is there are a million ways to piece triangles and you basically have to keep trying until you find the method you prefer!

I’ve been using the long-tail cast on simply because it’s the one I’m most comfortable with. I can do the knit cast pretty well when needed but can’t seem to get the hang of the cable cast on. So! I’ll just keep on keeping on. So long as I’m making progress both in learning and projects, right? :slight_smile:

[U][I]I’ve probably said it before but I’m not a big fan of trial and error as I’m a perfectionist and can waste far too much precious time trying to get it “right”![/I][/U]

I also am a perfectionist and understand your above statement.
The fact that we are perfectionist is why we learn to tolerate having to work through trial an error moments to find that certain method. Once we find the one though that works best for us we can then take the most direct path from A to B. That makes me happy. :woot:

BTW- I use long tail CO for most things.

(Attempting to recover) perfectionist checking in here.

I’ve found most of the discussions regarding the “best” application of a given cast-on in…BOOKS. Not online. My first suggestion is to visit your local library and simply make yourself comfortable with some reference books in the 746 section (includes knitting, crochet, and other needle arts). Look at the “cast-on” section and see what’s recommended.

Second, if your local library doesn’t have a good selection, ASK the librarian how to borrow books from neighboring libraries. ASK her/him the best way to find, via the (probably online) card catalogue, good knitting reference books. Then proceed as with Step One.

Have fun! :slight_smile:


Thanks, everyone, for the input.

DCM, you’ve hit on my favorite resource, the library! I’m quite familiar with section 746 and will keep haunting it for new-to-me resources.


I’ve worn a path in that section of the library.
The library is where I went for books when teaching myself to knit.
We did not have DSL at that time.
Although, online tutorials and videos are good, at times I just want a book to use while knitting in bed at night.

I use long tail cast on for the majority of my knitting. For mittens, gloves, and hats I like to use the German Twisted cast on that I learned right here from KH videos. I made a beautiful pair of mittens for a little girl using a loose long tail cast on. They wouldn’t stretch enough to go over her hands. The German Twisted cast on stretches as far as the limits of the knitting, but snaps back to original shaping without stretching out or bagging.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that it works great for socks knit top down.

I had missed the video of the German twisted cast on. Thanks for pointing it out!

I like that one for things that need some give, too. :wink: