There are lots of lovely ways to cast on stitches – some of them are plain, others create a fancy edging. But sometimes we need to make the cast on edge absolutely invisible. It usually happens when we are about to start seamless projects worked in the round, like cushions, bags, toys and toe-up socks.
Judy’s magic cast on and Turkish cast on are just some of the ways to achieve that seamless look. But I usually use a cast on that I’ve learned a while ago from a tutorial about toe-up socks. I would have absolutely credited the author, but unfortunately, I haven’t saved the link to that tutorial. Over the years, I made a few minor adjustments to this cast on to make it even more straightforward.
I broke the whole process into a number of small steps to explain it as clearly as possible. Because there are so many steps, you might think this cast on is difficult. Don’t worry – it’s not 🙂 Once you follow the steps outlined below and understand the logic behind this cast on, you’ll be able to do it without any prompts any time you need to start a seamless project.
As usual, you can watch every step in a video tutorial. Click here to watch the video.
A small note about the needles – it’s best to do this cast on using circular needles because moving stitches to the cord in step 6 makes it so much easier to pick up stitches in steps 7 and 8.
1. Make a slip knot, place it on a needle, and hold that needle in your left hand.
2. Make a loop with the working yarn so that the yarn is at the back of the loop.
3. Place that loop on the left needle.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to cast on half of the stitches you need for the project. The slip knot is temporary and does not count as a stitch.
For example, if you plan to cast on 10 stitches, work steps 2 and 3 five times, until you have 5 loops + slip knot on the left needle.
5. Move the stitches around the needle so that the bottom of the cast on edge is at the top of the needle.
6. Hold the stitches with your left hand while you pull the needle to the right to move the stitches to the cord of the circular needle. Keep holding the needle with your right hand.
7. Insert the right needle from front to back under the strand between the first two stitches.
8. Pick the working yarn and pull it through the opening between the stitches. Watch how to do it.
9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to pick up one stitch from each space between stitches.
10. Now rotate the work so that the needle with picked up stitches is at the bottom
11. Pull the cord to move the original set of stitches to the tip of the needle so that the stitches are arranged in the same way as shown in the photo below – 5 stitches + slip knot at the top and 5 stitches at the bottom.
12. Take the slip knot off the top needle and unravel it. Place the yarn tail to the left to keep the first stitch on the bottom needle from unravelling.
Now we have 10 stitches on the needles, and we can say that the cast on is finished. But to make it truly invisible, it is important to untwist stitches in the first group as we work the first round. Here’s how to do it:
1. Pull the bottom needle to the right and hold it in your right hand.
2. Insert the tip of the right needle from left to right at the back of the stitch.
3. Slip this stitch to the right needle.
4. Now insert the tip of the left needle from left to right into this same stitch so that the right needle is at the back of the left needle.
5. Wrap the tip of the right needle with the working yarn and knit this stitch through the back loop.
Repeat steps 2 – 5 to knit the first half of the stitches.
Rearrange the needles to work on the second half of the stitches and knit each stitch of that group. This time we do it the usual way without any additional untwisting.
That’s it – the stitches are set up for working in the round. Follow your pattern to turn them into a toe-up sock, a tote bag, a pouch, a cushion or a cute toy.
The full PDF version of this tutorial is a part of the Knitting Collection #3. Once you order your copy of this collection, you will instantly receive a “big PDF” (315 pages!) with this and 50 other tutorials included in the collection.
You will also receive one e-book and six knitting patterns as a special bonus, so go ahead and get it all right now before you forget 😊
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.
Dealing with Unfinished Projects
Dictionary of Knitting Symbols and Abbreviations – E-Book
Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified
How to Shape Neckline Without Binding Off Stitches – E-Book
Knitting Collection #7