Casting On

Why are so many patterns specific about how you should cast on. What difference does it make if you choose one or another method, or simply the one you like?

I haven’t seen that many that specify certain COs. One reason some do is that they may feel that one works better than others in regards to that particular pattern. For instance, Lady Eleanor specifies a backward loop CO because you need a very very loose edge for it. I find that a loose knitted CO works better [B]for me[/B] when doing entrelac. And not all of us CO the same way even using the same CO method, so there again, it’s mostly a preference.

There may be instances where you need a provisional CO because the CO needs to be removed later. That wouldn’t be possible with other COs. If I want an elastic CO I’ll choose one that’s stretchy but wouldn’t use a stretchy one where I need a firm edge. Some COs are more decorative. A CO that’s snug wouldn’t work at the bottom edge of a sweater where you need the hem relaxed. Lace req a diff CO than what you’d use for socks.

Check out Montse Stanley’s ‘Knitter’s Handbook.’ Many diff COs with explanations/sugg on where to use them.


Thank you both for the explanation. :muah:

I have a project (fingerless mittens) that requires me to cast off six stitches, continue working the row and then cast on 6 new stitches above the ones I casted off in the previous row. How do you Cast On stitches in the middle of a project? See the directions below… Thanks!!

Loosely cast on 40 sts. Divide onto 3 needles, join, being careful not to twist the sts. Work in k2-p2 ribbing [*(k2-p2); repeat from * around] until total length is 6”, ending
at the beginning of the round.

Next round: Bind off the first 6 sts in ribbing, continue around as established.
Next round: Cast on 6 sts over the bound off sts. Continue in ribbing around.
Work in ribbing until total length is 9” or desired length. Bind off loosely in ribbing.

How do you Cast On stitches in the middle of a project?

This is a common question so there are existing threads on this topic if you want to Search. Otherwise, check the vids for [B]Cable or Knit CO[/B]. Either one is a good choice for adding/replacing sts.

ETA: Links to some of those existing threads:

cast on in middle of work?

how to cast on stitches in the middle of a row

How to cast-on in middle of a project?

Cast on in the middle of project


Thank you!

I am trying to knit my 1st hat on circular needles. The pattern I’m using is I am using size 8 with worsted yarn. Do I have to do a long tail CO to start a hat? The pattern doesn’t specify, but when I watch the video on how to knit in the round, it looks like she has used the long tail CO. I knit English style and have only learned use the Cable CO. Thanks for any advice.

Use whichever CO you like and are comfortable with. You don’t have to use the same one as another knitter, everyone uses what they prefer. I will say that backward loop CO doesn’t really work well on circulars, or for more than just a few sts anyway.

Thank you Sue for responding so quickly. I guess I have a 2nd part to my question. On the video the tail is on the left of the needles at the beginning. Do I need to knit at row after I CO to and then start the joining row? Or can I join with my tail on the end of the row? Or maybe I should just learn to do the long tail CO…

You can join the CO, it doesn’t matter where the tail is. Some people find it easier to make sure the sts aren’t twisted around the needle when joined by knitting one row, then joining. Whatever you prefer.