Two Simple Ways to Make Double Chain (aka Chinese Waitress) Cast On

Two Ways to Make Chinese Waitress Cast On

They say this method was demonstrated by a Chinese waitress to a knitter who happened to dine at a Beijing restaurant where that waitress was working. Whether it is true or not, the name stuck, and now we know this technique as Chinese Waitress Cast On even though technically, this is a double chain cast on.

If the story is true, we should be grateful to that waitress for sharing this method with all of us, because it is a great way to form a beautiful fully reversible edge that looks like two chains of stitches placed side by side.

Since it was first described in the “Cast On, Bind Off” book by Cap Sease, this method was improved and simplified. We don’t need to untwist the chain after we cast on each stitch, and we use a crochet hook and a knitting needle to make the process of casting on stitches much easier.

The size of the chains formed at the bottom of the edge is determined by the size of the crochet hook that we use.

If you are after a loose stretchy edge, take a hook that is in the same size (in millimetres) as the size of the knitting needles that you plan to use to make your project.

If you need an edge with a moderate stretch, use a hook that is one or two sizes smaller than the needles. For a tight less elastic cast on, use a hook that is considerably smaller than the needles.

To make my little swatch I’ll use knitting needles in size 10 mm (US size 15) and an 8 mm (US size L11 ) crochet hook.

Now, that we’ve got our tools ready, let’s see how this cast on method works step by step.

Once you work a few rows or rounds, you will see that the edge formed by this method looks like two neat chains of stitches leading in the opposite directions.

Two Ways to Make Chinese Waitress Cast On

Thanks to those chains of stitches, the edge is identical on both sides of the fabric, making this cast on method perfect for scarves, shawls, blankets and other reversible projects. It also doesn’t hurt that this edge looks nice next to most stitch patterns – a great method to add to our knitting skill set.

Huge thanks to Laurie L. Day for introducing me to this amazing way to cast on stitches!

To download a 13-page PDF with the full step-by-step photo tutorial about this method, click here to join the Club 2024.

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If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Matching Cast Ons and Bind Offs” Book

Discover six pairs of cast on and bind off methods that form identical edges on projects worked flat and in the round.

“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.

Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko -

Two Simple Ways to Make Chinese Waitress Cast On | 10 rows a day
Two Simple Ways to Make Chinese Waitress Cast On | 10 rows a day
Two Simple Ways to Make Chinese Waitress Cast On | 10 rows a day