Casting on with cotton

I’m making my mother some dishcloths using Lily Sugar’n Cream yarn. When I cast on, the stitches are all irregular, twisted looking and basically just not even. I’m using the long-tail cast on, because that’s all I know! Anyway, I’ve made several small projects with acrylic (Vanna’s Choice), Baby’s First from Lions Brand, and also some Bernat felting wool. I had no problems getting a nice-looking, easy to knit into cast on with any of these yarns. Is there a trick to using the cotton? Or do I need to learn a new cast on?

Thanks in advance! I’ve been at this knitting stuff for about a month now and just love it. I have learned so much from this site!


I find the same thing when I cast on with cotton. I think its the nature of the beast, but I’m no expert. One other thing to consider is whether there may be some drag on the needles, causing the cotton to twist. All the dishcloths I’ve made have always turned out great in spite of it, and once they’re washed, they look fine.

Thanks! Now I know it’s not me! I have completed about 10 rows of the current dishcloth, and I have noticed that the cast on seems to have evened out and looks fine. I am using metal needles, so there’s not much drag, but I will watch for that as well.

That happens with me as well. You’ll notice that certain fibers will drag on your needles more than others. That can happen with cotton. Especially if you are using aluminum needles.

One thing that is nice about it though is that typically with a cast on edge once you knit a few rows, it will even itself out a little. Plus if you wash it and dry it after you knit the washcloth those irregularities will work themselves out even more.

Cotton isn’t very elastic. And to get the threads to form yarn, most manufacturers use a tight twist.

On thing I’ve noticed is that if I work “with” the inbuilt twist vs “against” it, my stitches are smoother. With long tail cast on, you can have the yarn coming from the skein over either the thumb or forefinger. Most directions say to have the loose end over the thumb, because this becomes the locking part at the bottom. Easier to guesstimate the amount of tail needed worked this way. But with cotton yarn, I cast on which ever way will make the loops coming off the forefinger smoothest.

Since the dishcloth is coming along fine, I’d just stick with what you have. But you could try switching the skein/end positions next time & see if you like it better.