Cable Cast On
In this second video tutorial in the Beginners Guide to Knitting Series, I will show you one of the most popular methods for casting on, called the cable cast on. It’s called cable simply due to the neatly twisted cable appearance that is both sturdy and flexible.
You don’t need to leave a long tail for this method of casting on, but you do need to be little careful with your tension, since it is easy to make the stitch too tight and create an edge that is too rigid to get your hand or foot through! Whenever you start a new project, it is advisable to make a quick test piece. You don’t need to knit the ‘four by four’ square propounded by some knitters; just cast on about ten stitches and then knit four rows. This should be sufficient to determine if your edge tension is right. If you find that you are casting on too tightly, try casting on with a knitting needle one or two sizes larger than you will be using and then start using the smaller needle. This will give you enough stretch around the edge to compensate for your overzealous casting on. Creating the right tension in the yarn is possibly the most common challenge for beginners!
These twizzled wristlets, for example, needed a very elastic cast on method, so I settled on my own version of the knit-one-purl-one cast on (I’ll be making that video in the next few days)
Casting on, quite simply means looping the yarn on to your needles, so that you can start knitting and there are dozens, perhaps even hundreds of different styles to choose from. Some methods are more appropriate for certain types of projects than others. Some stitches are very stretchy for instance, but can remain baggy …not too good for keeping your socks up. Other casting on stitches are too rigid and would cut the circulation off from your legs. In other words, cable is not the best choice for casting on socks!
You don’t need to know lots of different casting on stitches and you will doubtless find one that you like above all others and may very well use that for virtually everything. You quickly learn to automatically correct the tension for different projects and patterns.
Here’s the second video tutorial in the Beginners Guide to Knitting series: