When we knit a project that has visible cast on and bind off edges, like a scarf or a blanket, it’s nice to make sure the edges look exactly the same. There are several pairs of matching cast ons and bind offs, and my favourite is the one that forms a beautiful chain of stitches at the edge.
We all know how to make a chain of stitches at the bind off edge (that’s what the regular bind off looks like), but it took me some time to find a cast on that would match that look.
First I found it in an old Russian book about knitting. It was more suitable for Russian knitting, so I had to make some adjustments to convert it to the classic knitting style. Once I did it, I realised that this cast on is very similar to the chain cast on, but it doesn’t require using a crochet hook.
So, now I can show you two ways of getting pretty much the same result – a cast on that matches the regular bind off and creates a lovely chain of stitches at the cast on edge.
If you prefer to watch every step described below in a video tutorial, click here. Or, simply scroll to the bottom of this page to watch the embedded version of the video.
We’ll start by looking at the old way of making this cast on, the way that does not require a crochet hook.
CHAIN CAST ON WITH TWO NEEDLES
1. Like many other cast ons, this one starts with a slip knot. Make a slip knot and place it on the right needle. This is our first stitch. Don’t pull it too tight. Let it be loose enough to easily slide on the needle.
2. Bring the working yarn to the back of the work. Then align both needles so that their tips are close to each other, and hold them along with the yarn tail in your left hand.
3. Take the working yarn in your right hand and move it counter clockwise around the needles to wrap the tips of both needles from back to front.
4. Now take the right needle in your right hand and hold it together with the working yarn. Hold the left needle and the yarn tail in your left hand.
5. Press the yarn wrap with your left thumb as you push the wrap through the stitch with the tip of the right needle.
6. Push the wrap through to create a new stitch. Here’s how to do it.
Repeat steps 2 through 6 until the number of stitches on the left needle equals the number of stitches you need for the project minus one stitch. The last stitch is the one sitting on the right needle.
As you see in the photo below, to cast on eight stitches, I stop when I have seven stitches on the left needle and one stitch on the right needle.
Now bring the yarn to the back of the work and insert the tip of the left needle from right to left into the stitch on the right needle to slip this stitch to the left needle.
Now all stitches we need for the project are on the left needle, and we are ready to make the first row.
You can make the same cast on by using a crochet hook instead of the right needle. If you like to use a crochet hook in general, this method will be slightly more comfortable for you, because the hook makes the process of pushing the yarn wrap through the stitch smoother.
CHAIN CAST ON WITH A CROCHET HOOK
This technique is shown in this part of the video.
Choose a crochet hook that is about the same size as the needles you are using. I’ll use a 10mm (N-15) crochet hook and a 10mm (US size 15) needle.
1. Make a slip knot and place it on the crochet hook.
2. Bring the working yarn to the back of the work and hold the needle, the yarn tail and the crochet hook in your left hand.
3. Take the working yarn in your right hand and move it counter clockwise around the top of the needle and the crochet hook to wrap them from back to front. Keep the yarn wrap above the stitch on the crochet hook.
4. Now take the crochet hook in your right hand and hold it together with the working yarn. Hold the left needle and the yarn tail in your left hand.
5. Twist the hook a bit so that its head is facing the needle and catches the yarn wrap. Then move the crochet hook down to push the wrap through the stitch creating a new stitch.
Repeat steps 2 through 5 until the number of stitches on the left needle equals the number of stitches you need for the project minus one stitch.
Then insert the tip of the left needle from right to left into the stitch on the hook and slip this stitch from the hook to the left needle.
No matter whether you choose to make this cast on with two needles or with a crochet hook, the cast on edge will look exactly like an edge created by the regular bind off.
If you decide to slip the first stitch and purl the last stitch of every row, all four edges of your project will be framed with a chain of stitches. Beautiful! 🙂
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.
Dealing with Unfinished Projects
Dictionary of Knitting Symbols and Abbreviations – E-Book
Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified
Knitting Collection #6
Simple Socks in Any Size with Any Yarn
Top-Down Hat in Any Size with Any Yarn