Cast On For Sock Knitting

Sock Knitters - What is the best cast on for socks? I have not knit socks yet, but I’ve knit baby booties and I’m currently working on Christmas stockings.

The pattern does not specify a cast on to use, so for my first stocking I used the long tail cast on (I think I read somewhere that it is the most stretchy cast on). It looks okay, but a little sloppy, so I thought I’d try a different cast on for my next stocking.

I decided to use the cable cast on for my second stocking. It looks great (much neater) but it is a little stiff and doesn’t stretch much. Also, it looks like the top pulls in slightly even though I went up on the needle size for the cast on (I used 10.5-needle for cast on and 8-needle for the stocking).

Since this is a Christmas stocking, I’m most concerned about how the cast on edge looks since it will be so visible. However, it still needs to be stretchy enough to be able to actually put something in the stocking!

I still have several more of these stockings to knit, so I would really appreciate your advice.

Silver Belle - are you out there?

I asked one of the owners of my LYS this same question not too long ago and she told me to use long tail. I need to learn long tail :help: .
on the Monkeys I just finished, I used the backward loop cast on.

Twisted german cast on!!! It is a really wonderful stretchy cast on, sort of like the long tail cast on but stretchier.

I’d use a tubular cast on. This removes the visibility of the cast on edge by folding it. It’s very stretchy. I think it pulls in a little, but it looks clean. This is my favorite edge ever. It is a little frustrating to get started and the first time I did it, I folded the knitting purl side out, but it looks so nice when you get it right that it’s totally worth it. Marnie MacLean has instructions for the tubular cast on in the Lake Park Gloves pattern. Someone else might know a better place for instructions. I don’t recall seeing a video for it here.

My other choice still involves a provisional cast on. Just do a provisional CO, knit the stocking, then pick up the CO stitches and knit upwards for the cuff.

I’ve always used long tail (for everything…I’m so ashamed). I’m interested to hear what others have to say. I think it also depends on whether you’re doing toe up or cuff down. I think I saw something somewhere about a cuff down using a ribbing type cast on.

I use a loose long tail cast-on. For a Christmas stocking I would use a tight long tail for a good edge.

:oo: I’m prolly not going to be in the norm… and I’ve been told I’m doing it wrong by a local knitter… but it works for me and I use it basically on everything… The Knittg on Cast on:teehee: … I think it looks pretty and lays better…plus I don’t have to CO over 2 needles like I do for long tail (I CO that way to tight)…

I have always used the knitted cast on because it is the only one I learned, but it looks nice and is pretty stretchy I think.

I’m doing a cuff down stocking and the first 1-1/2 inches is in ribbing. Does that make a difference on the cast on?

Also, I forgot to mention that it is knit in the round on circular needles from the cast on until you get to the heel.

Thanks everyone!

I have this book called “Big Book of Knitting” that has a ton of different cast on methods. They suggest the Kitchener Rib cast on for ribbing. It looks a little complicated to me though.

Also, on KnitPicks, they have an explanation of a tubular cast on that is really good for a 1x1 ribbing. The link is here, and the explanation is at the bottom of the page.

I also like the twisted German. Stretchy, but I think a little neater looking than the traditional long-tail (plus I just like the name!!!)

While I love cable cast on for lots of stuff due to it’s very neat edge, it doesn’t stretch well at all. For socks, hats, etc. I’ll usually go for the twisted German (or a simple long-tail at times)

Another vote for the German twisted cast-on for socks!

Thanks all of you who responded about the twisted German cast on. I can’t wait to try it. I’ve only used the long-tail cast on for socks in the past because it is so stretchy. Can’t wait to try this one.

Lots of times I use the long tail CO and then purl the first row (as per Nancie Wiseman’s advice) for a neat looking edge.

Tubular is really specifically for ribbing and looks fantastic. Check out Eunny’s Endpaper Mitts pattern on her blog, it has a link to tubular caston and castoff for 1x1 ribbing, and the 1x1 is a much easier way than is normally done for tubular castons.
Or a copy of the Vogue Knitting book also has lots of castons and castoffs.
Or use a provisional caston if you have a castoff you like for socks/ribbing, then you can pick it back up later and cast off as you prefer (leave a good length so you don’t have to attach a new strand)
If you like the look of the longtail caston, but found it too tight, try doing it on much bigger needles (or two needles held together). Looped castons are very stretchy (but ugly and very difficult to knit from IMO) and knitted caston is quite stretchy… but for socks you want REALLY stretchy hey…

I’ve used the figure 8 cast on and the short row toe, but I’m knitting socks from the toe up.

Not to change the subject, but I couldn’t help but notice on the You Tube page that they listed as a “related video” Twisted Sister Oh Come All Ye Faithful. :roflhard:

I found a video on You Tube for the twisted German cast on and it looks very interesting. It is similar to long tail cast on, so I think it would be easy to learn.

The ‘instructor’ in the video says she casts on with two needles to make sure it isn’t too tight when she starts the first row, but that wasn’t demonstrated in the video. How do you do that with circs? Would you use a dpn with the circs? And, what size would the needles need to be? I mean, if you are knitting the stocking in size 8, does that mean you need to cast on with two size 8 needles?

You could use a dpn with the circs, but I’ve always just folded the circs in half, and held both ends of the circs together to cast on with two needles. Just pretend like you’re only holding one end of the needle, but you’re really holding both ends, if that makes any sense. When you’re done casting on, you pull one side of the circs out, and you’ve got a nice loose cast on.
I use two of the same needle size for casting on with two needles, so if you’re makeing something with size 8 needles, use two size 8’s. But really it just depends on how loose you want it to be, you could use any size needle you wanted to.
That’s what I do, anyway, it works for me!:slight_smile: