Old Norwegian vs Twisted German?

I’ve read several sock patterns lately that recommend CO using a twisted German CO. Ok, I found a video and learned how to do it.

In watching Amy’s video teaching the Old Norwegian CO I’m wondering if the two methods are actually the same with different names?
I see a slight difference at the end of the videos but that may be due to camera angles.

What I’ve read about the TG is that it makes a sturdy but elastic edge.

Hi Peg,

I’ve seen that video. The cast-on is identical to what Amy has on her site as “Norwegian”.

I believe that people who label it “German” are incorrectly confusing it with the normal German longtail cast-on:


That cast-on is not as stretchy as the Norwegian.

I have Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ book “Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy”, and in that book she refers to this cast-on as “the old Norwegian sock cast-on”, just as Amy does in her video. Since PGR is my sock guru, I tend to go with her labelling. :wink:

Bottom line: the Norwegian cast-on and the German cast-on are both long-tailed and are very similar, but the Norwegian cast-on (incorrectly labelled as the German cast on on the hypknitism site) is stretchier.

Yes, that’s the same cast-on. It looks different, because she doesn’t bend her left thumb, so the yarn appears more twisted as she’s pulling the loop through.

I’ve actually found the Norwegian Cast On to be very tight and innelastic! But now that you’re both saying you’ve read that it’s elastic, I’m wondering if it’s because of the fact that I really have to tighten it as I work it, in order to keep the cast-on even. Because the yarn is so twisted on itself in this stitch, it doesn’t glid naturally into a consistent knot, it has to be yanked and pulled into place, and because of this it’s hard to keep it even, unless you yank and pull it to the point where it won’t tighten any more! At least, that’s my own approach. I’m not super happy with the results though. If you find any tricks to working this cast on, let me know!

In my own experience, the standard long-tail cast-on is the stretchiest cast-on around. I’m very curious if it’s possible to work the Old Norwegian so it’s actually stretchier than long tail!


In my own experience, the standard long-tail cast-on is the stretchiest cast-on around. I’m very curious if it’s possible to work the Old Norwegian so it’s actually stretchier than long tail!

Amy I used to cast-on for socks with the German cast-on (on this website it’s called a standard longtail cast-on but I was taught by a Swiss lady who called it “the German cast-on”, so that’s how I know it). I too thought it was the stretchiest cast-on around. Then I read the PGR book in which she says:

[for ribbing]…I use a long-tail cast on often referred to as "the old Norwegian sock cast-on. This cast on adds an extra twist below each stitch on the needle, thus increasing elasticity over the standard long-tail cast-on.

PGR has pictures to show the cast-on, and it is the exact cast-on for which you have a video on this site.

I decided to try the Norwegian cast-on for my sock cuffs, and it definitely makes them stretchier. I am a convert. When doing your first row after a Norwegian cast on, you defintely can notice that “extra twist” that PGR is talking about.

Hmmm, now I’m going to have to put this on my “to do” experiment list. I have a list of techniques that I want to try on swatches. Can anyone show pics please?

Beldaraan, there are pics (and videos) in the Basic Techniques/ Cast-on section.


Oh right :roll: I forgot. Just when I thought that I didn’t “need” to look at the beginner stuff anymore… JK :lol:

Salsa and Amy, thank you both for the clarification. I was beginning to think this ol’ girl was imagining things! :lol:
Amy, I think in all my reading about this that somewhere it was suggested to cast on with a size larger needle. Maybe that would help you with the tightness issue. Of course I could have been reading about some other method…Hmmmmm, only the shadow knows! :roll: :lol:

Thanks again for the help!