How to Knit Socks Successfully By Avoiding These 3 Mistakes

how to knit socks

Learn how to knit socks first before attempting your first sock knitting pattern. Avoid making the mistakes I did.

how to knit socks

My first knitted sock is so big it can fit Big Foot. Sock knitting fail! I am the sort of person that will dive into a knitting pattern straight away instead of learning the basics first from books or tutorials.

I made a few fundamental mistakes. Learn how to knit socks successfully by avoiding the mistakes I made.

Mistake 1: Not knowing the anatomy of a sock

I do not know the names of the different parts of a sock. Many sock knitting patterns do not explain what the parts are. The designer assumes you know.

Heel flap may be easy to figure out, but gusset and instep are not. It used to annoy me quite a bit until I came across a diagram for the anatomy of a sock.

Now I know that a sock has a cuff, leg, heel flap, instep, gusset, sole and toe.

Image source: https://knitting.today/anatomy-knitted-socks/

Mistake 2: Not measuring my feet

I did not know that I need to measure my feet. I just went with the standard size.

Now I know that by measuring my feet, I can then match it to the most appropriate size.

Here is how to measure the foot.

  1. Wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of the foot snuggly but not tightly for the width of the foot
  2. Place the ruler on the floor, line the back of the heel with the 0 and note the length of the longest toe. This gives you the length of your foot
  3. Place the ruler along the wall with the 0 on the floor. Position the leg against the ruler and measure the height up to the ankle or the calf. You may need to measure the circumference of the calf

Or watch this video.

Mistake 3: Not checking my tension or gauge

The legs of my handknitted socks do not stay up. Some knitters I know said that this is quite common. It happened to them too.

When I read the book Custom Socks, author Kate mentioned the way to resolve loose cuffs is to knit with negative ease. This is approximately 10% of the actual foot size. It means that the knitted sock should be about 1 inch or 2.5cm smaller than leg or foot circumference. And 0.5 inch or 1.3cm shorter than the foot length.

This can only be calculated if I know my knitting tension. After measuring my feet and working out the sock circumference and length, I must check gauge. By checking gauge, I can calculate the number of stitches to cast on.

This video is a bit long but is very comprehensive about how to check gauge. I totally recommend it if you are not familiar with knitting gauge.

Top-down or Toe-up Socks?

There are basically 2 ways to knit socks.

Top-down which is to knit from the cuff down to the toe. Toe-up is to knit from the toe up to the cuff.

I believe the top-down method is more common and more popular. But it is good to know how to do both.

How to knit socks top-down

Start with a flexible cast-on to create the edge of the cuff. What is a flexible cast-on? Choose from one of 18 cast-on techniques here.

Join in the round to start knitting the cuff using 2-knit, 2-purl ribbing. The cuff is usually around 2 inches long.

The leg comes next. Knit to the desired length. Then split the stitches in half for the heel and instep. The heel is the bottom and the instep is the top of the sock.

Work the heel stitches first by knitting back and forth in rows to shape the heel flap.

Pick up stitches for the gussets along the heel flap. Rejoin with the other half of the stitches for the instep.

Knit the foot in the round.

I find picking stitches for the gussets challenging. Holes always form. Eventually, I learned how to avoid it. I wished I had read Kate Atherly’s Custom Socks. It has a very detailed section on how to pick up the gusset stitches and not create holes. I would have saved a lot of time and frustrations if I have learnt this first.

Finally, shape the toe by decreasing at each side of the foot. Decrease every other round until half of the original stitches. Then, decrease every round until 8 or 10 stitches remain. Close the toe by gathering the stitches up or using Kitchener graft. I prefer the graft.

How to knit socks toe-up

Cast-on for the top of the toe using either Judy’s Magic cast-on or the Turkish cast-on.

Increase stitches at each side of the toe until you have the desired number of stitches. Work the foot until the desired length.

Increase stitches at each side of the foot to form the gussets. Use short rows to turn the heel. Knit the heel flap while decreasing the gussets stitches.

Continue working the leg until 2 inches or 5 cm short of the desired length. Change to ribbing for the cuff. Bind off with a flexible bind off.

What Types of Knitting Needles are Good for Sock Knitting?

You can use double-pointed needles, sock circular needles ((8-inch/20 to 23cm) or long circular needles (60-inch/152cm) to knit socks. They have advantages and disadvantages.

The division of the stitches on the needles differ between circular needles and double-pointed needles. For circular needles, divide the stitches equally. For double-pointed needles, divide equally amongst the number of needles.

Double pointed needles can be fiddly and ladders may form in the knitting because of the transition from needle to needle. Two long circular needles can be floppy. Short circular needles need getting used to because the length of the needles is quite short.

My personal favourite is using long circular needles and the magic loop technique for knitting in-the-round projects.

Stitches are divided in half on the circular needles. The front of the sock on one needle and the back of the sock on the other needle. I find this easier to manage than 4 or 5 double-pointed needles.

Using long circular needles also allow both socks to be knitted at the same time. No worries about the second sock syndrome.

What Types of Yarns Are Good for Socks?

As I live in the tropics, I have always avoided wool. I find them itchy.

But according to Kate of Custom Socks, superwash wool is the best yarn material for socks. They are elastic, durable and licks up moisture beautifully.

What about the itchiness?

Her theory is that the skin of the foot is the least sensitive and should take to wool well even if the rest of my body does not. It seems to make sense. I am going to try her suggestion because I do have a few skeins of wool sock yarns that I do not know what to do with.

I hope you have found these tips useful. Let me know if you have tried them out.

Books for Sock Knitting

Custom Socks: knit to fit your feet by Kate Atherley ISBN: 9781620337776

I have mentioned this book a couple of times in the post. It is really useful. I got it from my public library. It has an electronic version too.

Not only does it cover tips on how to knit socks successfully, but it also has about 15+ patterns.

Packed full of information on how to design and custom hand-knitted socks. I highly recommend it.

Sock Knitting master class: innovative techniques + patterns from top designers by Ann Budd ISBN: 9781620333143

This book features a wide variety of innovative styles for various parts of the socks with good descriptions and explanations.

When Knitting A Tension Square is a Good Idea

Knitting a tension square is quite a hassle so I want to find out why it is a good idea and how to do it easily.

knitting a tension square
Image source: Garnstudio at https://vimeo.com/7068822

A tension square is also known as a gauge swatch. It is supposed to be a square piece of knitting that contains the gauge.

What is Gauge?

In a typical knitting pattern, you will see something like this:

Gauge: 16 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches / 10 cm

A specific number of rows and stitches that makes up 4 inches or 10 cm.

This means that your knitting should produce 4 inches of knitted fabric consisting of 24 rows and 16 stitches using the recommended yarn and knitting needles.

Why is gauge important?

If I am knitting dishcloths, blankets, or bags, I am not going to knit tension squares to check gauge. It is not a big deal. But I will do so for socks, hats, gloves, and garments.

Why? Because I want my knitted items to fit me and the people I knit them for.

Personal experience taught me that the type of yarns I used, the type of needles I use, and the stitches or textures I am knitting affect how tight or loose my knitting is. So, if I want my finished project to have the same measurement as that of the pattern I am using, I must check my tension against the given gauge.

The recommended way of doing this is by knitting a tension square. The general instructions are to make it, wash it, and dry it before measuring.

How To Knit a Tension Square?

The simplest way is to cast on the desired number of stitches and knit the desired number of rows. The most common complaints of this method are uneven edges and curling. Another complaint is the likelihood of the swatch or square being too small.

The video tutorial below recommends adding a garter stitch border around the square and adding additional stitches and rows. I find this video quite comprehensive for a beginner knitter. At the 15 min mark, she demonstrates how to count the stitches and rows.

I find measuring and counting stitches and rows in a gauge swatch a real pain. Fortunately, there are tools to help. One of them is a tension square ruler. I like this one.

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What happens when your gauge is different?

I think I can say for all knitters that when we start a tension square, we want to achieve the gauge. Because if we don’t, it means doing it all over again. Ugh!

But missing gauge happens more often than we want it to. So what do we do when we do not get gauge?

Firstly, we can ignore the gauge. A knitter wrote that just being aware is enough. This works for items that may not need the perfect fit. I would ignore gauge for mittens, scarfs, cowls, shawls especially if it is off by a little.

If we cannot ignore, then we need to interpret the gauge difference.

If you have more rows than recommended, your project will be too long. If you have fewer rows, your project will be too short.

It is unlikely that your mismatched gauge will only be in the rows. But if it is, there is no need to change anything, just knit more or fewer rows to get the measurement.

Changing needles

Too many stitches meant that the tension is tight. The project is going to be smaller than expected. The remedy is to use larger needles. Too few stitches meant that the tension is loose, the project is going to be larger than expected. The remedy is to use smaller needles.

Changing yarns

Another way to get gauge is to substitute the yarns. So far, most instructions assume you are using the recommended yarns. So the suggestion is to change the needles. But changing yarns is also an option.

Changing the way you knit

I knit using the English style most of the time. But I do know how to do Continental too. I noticed my tension is looser when I knit using the Continental style. If you are a super tight knitter, you might want to consider practising loosening up a bit.

Shortcuts to Knitting the Tension Square

I still do not like knitting tension squares. I am not an A+ student in knitting. So, are there shortcuts?

Question: Why 4 inches or 10 centimetres?

I came across this gauge ruler that only has measurement for 2 inches.

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Does this mean I do not necessarily need to knit 4 inches worth of stitches and rows? 2 inches would do? A thought to consider. It would literally halve the time needed.

I can understand why 4 inches was recommended. Without a measuring tool, 2-inch squares would be too small to measure properly.

Techknitter of https://techknitting.blogspot.com suggested replacing knitting tension squares with gauge-less objects. For example, scarves, potholders, pillow tops, and quilt squares. It is not a shortcut, per se and it definitely appeals to the practical knitter. More details at https://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/02/gauge-less-gauge-swatches-or-dating.html.

She also suggests thinking of knitting a tension square as yarn dating.

Uncovering The SSK Knitting Technique

The SSK knitting technique can be confusing. Find out why.

ssk knitting

You see this knitting abbreviation frequently in knitting patterns and instructions. It is a technique to make a left-slanting decrease. It reduces two stitches to one. And it is commonly used for shaping, binding off or to create lace patterns.

Why Bother with the SSK Knitting Technique?

When I first started knitting, I did not really care which technique I use to do decreases. I learnt k2tog first and it was easy to remember, so I use K2tog for all my decreases. It was alright for a while until I started working on lace projects. The lace patterns did not turn up as nice when I replace the SKPO or SSK with K2tog.

I want my lace projects to look good so I know it is time to learn more techniques if I really want my knitting to improve.

When I was researching the SSK knitting technique on the Internet, I discovered that the description and instructions differ slightly with different knitters.

The common things that knitters say about SSK are:

  1. It is a one-stitch decrease
  2. It produces a left-slanting decrease
  3. It is the mirror image of knit 2 stitches together (abbreviated as k2tog), which makes a right-slanting decrease.

From here, variations start to pop up.

I think I finally figured out why after some additional research work.

How to Slip Slip Knit (Original)

SSK knitting instruction is written as follows:

  1. Slip the first stitch as if to knit
  2. Slip the second stitch as if to knit
  3. Knit these two stitches together through the back loop  

Problem with the SSK Knitting Technique

Although SSK and K2tog are supposed to be mirror stitches, k2tog always seems neater and tidier than the SSK. Apparently, many knitters are unhappy with the way it looks.

Suzanne Bryan, in the video below, discussed why it is so. According to her, the yarn unravels slightly or untwist slightly when it is slipped from left to right needle knitwise. This creates an “untidy” decrease compared to the K2tog.

She then offers a few tips on how to knit tidier SSK.

One of the suggestions is to slip the second stitch purlwise rather than knitwise. So an SSK knitting technique can be written like this:

  1. Slip the first stitch as if to knit
  2. Slip the second stitch as if to purl
  3. Knit these two stitches together through the back loop

Susanne said that if you are going to be slipping the second stitch purlwise, you might as well not slip it. So the instructions would be:

  1. Slip the first stitch as if to knit
  2. Slip the first stitch back to the left needle
  3. Knit two stitches together through the back loop

What do you think? Confusing right?

I have a tight tension, so I think I stick with the original instruction.

Is SSK the same as SKPO?

SKPO stands for Slip Knit Pass Over. Some knitters (including Suzanne Bryan) say that SKPO is the same as SSK and that it produces a neater and slimmer left-slanting decrease.

I have always knit my left-slanting decreases using SKPO, I did not know that the SSK knitting technique is not the same as SKPO until I saw the video by Hands on Knitting Center.

She shows the difference between the two quite clearly. Fast forward to 5.05m where she starts discussing them. The first part of the video is more on demonstrating how to do K2tog and SSK using both the Continental and English styles.

Although both reduces two stitches to one, they do look different.

I am really happy with my discovery of the SSK knitting technique. I am not going to mix SSK and SKPO up anymore.

Clear Knitting Instructions for Beginners Are Important

Clear knitting instructions for beginners are so important. I know because I learn to knit on my own.

A beginner knitter must first understand some knitting terms that are going to appear in any knitting pattern or instructions. I have included some video tutorials as well as written instructions with illustrations.

I suggest viewing the videos for an overall idea of how knitting is like and then use the written instructions to practise at your own pace.

Term 1: Cast On or Casting On

This is the process of making a row of stitches on your knitting needle. Cast on is usually written in abbreviation as CO in patterns.

There are many ways to cast on. Visit my post for 18 ways to cast on.

Term 2: Knit Stitch

After casting on, there are basically two stitches to use to continue making new rows.

The first one is the knit stitch. The knit stitch is usually written in abbreviation as K in patterns. Video tutorial:


Here are some written instructions: Step by step instructions with diagrams for the Knit stitch.

Term 3: Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is basically the reverse side of the knit stitch. The purl stitch is usually written in abbreviation as P in patterns. Video tutorial:


Here are some written instructions: Step by step instructions with diagrams for the Purl stitch or Step by step instructions with colour illustrations for the Purl Stitch.

Term 4: Bind off or Cast off

This is the last row in your knitting. It can be called casting off or binding off although in most patterns it is written in abbreviation as BO.

Binding off should be done loosely and you will see the reason why once you start trying to bind off. You need the little bit of extra space to move the loops. Visit my post for 9 ways to cast off.

The 4 knitting terms above should get you through some simple beginner projects like my garter stitch dishcloth. A practical project.

Knitting Instructions for Beginners: Garter Stitch Dishcloth

Garter stitch is produced when every row is made up of knit stitches.

Here is a picture of a garter stitch done in two colours. The alternate colours show off the ridges created by knitting every row. You will also notice that the knitting is very flat and stable.

knitting instructions for beginners

Abbreviations
CO – cast on
BO – bind off

Materials:
Size 7 (US) needles
1 ball worsted weight cotton yarn, any colour you fancy

Instructions
CO 39 stitches
Knit 76 rows
BO.

You can practise all four techniques above with this pattern until you are quite comfortable with them or when you get bored.

Other Knitting Instructions for Beginners Using Garter Stitch

Easy Beginner Garter Stitch Scarf Knitting Pattern designed by Susan Druding
Rockstar scarf by Jillian Moreno
Dishcloth by Lion Brand
Colourful dishcloths by Star Athena

9 Cast Off Knitting Methods To Learn and Master

How may cast off knitting methods are there? I found nine.

cast off knitting
Caption: Knitted cast off

Cast off and bind off means the same thing, although I suspect bind off is more commonly known. According to Wikipedia, “binding off, or casting off, is a family of techniques for ending a column of stitches“.

It creates the final edge of a knitted fabric. Beginners need to know this too if they ever want to complete their project.

There are several methods to bind off and I have compiled them. There is no better way to learn knitting than to watch someone demonstrate it so I have included as many how-to videos as I can, selecting those I think are really clear.  

Method 1: Knitted Cast Off 

The Purl Soho demonstrator calls this the basic bind off but it is, to be exact, the knitted cast on or knitted bind off.

There is written instructions and pictures on their website. I am a fairly tight knitter so I almost always find the knitted bind off edge is a little shorter and less elastic than my cast-on edge.

Some knitters have suggested using a larger knitting needle when doing the bind off. That is a good idea.

Method 2: Stretchy Cast Off

As the name suggests, this cast off edge is really stretchy. You will need to know how to knit 2 together through the back. It is a good match with the German Twisted cast on method.

Method 3: Jeny’s Stretchy Bind Off

This is another way to create an ultra-stretchy cast off edge. Instead of using knit 2 together like the Stretchy cast off before this, it uses yarn overs.

Method 4: Picot Bind Off

A picot bind off creates a nice decorative edge. Picots can be small or big or elaborate. So, there are different instructions for each type of picot bind off.

I don’t like complicated decorations. I prefer something simple, which is why I choose to show this method by Ambah O’Brien. Love her shawls. 

It is basically casting on 2 stitches and then binding off 5 stitches. 

Method 5: I-Cord Bind Off 

I-cord is a small tube of knitting. Can you imagine it as the edge of a project? It is like having a very stable rolled stockinette. I think it solves edge curling in the most fabulous way. 

Method 6: Icelandic Bind Off

This bind off method is great for garter stitch projects. It produces a garter edge that matches the garter stitch project. If you knit English style, it should be easier. 

Method 7: Russian Bind Off

Great for tight knitters. My bind off tends to be tighter than my cast on. So, I think this technique will definitely help me. 

Method 8: Tubular Bind Off

This is an amazing bind off for ribbing but you must be familiar with the Kitchener graft technique. Some people call this the invisible rib bind off. 

Used together with the Italian cast on method, I am seeing handsome wrist warmers here. 

Method 9: Sloped Bind off

A sloped bind off is for shaping necklines and underarms. If you have done any sort of stepped bind offs, you will notice that it leaves little steps which are painfully obvious, especially for necklines. The sloped bind off technique produced a smooth edge. 

Final Notes on Cast Off Knitting

After researching both cast on and cast off knitting methods, I realised that there are fewer ways to cast off than to cast on. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

I mentioned in my cast on compilation that some of the methods are more about personal preferences than necessity.

With cast off knitting techniques, I felt that the methods are all quite practical. They are designed to solve problems.  

18 Knitting Cast On Methods To Learn and Master

knitting cast on methods

How many knitting cast on methods are there? I found 18.   

knitting cast on methods
Caption: A cast-on row

According to Wikipedia, “casting on is a family of techniques for adding new stitches that do not depend on earlier stitches“. Therefore, the first thing a beginner learns is how to cast on.

When I first learned to knit, I only know one way to cast on stitches. Now I know more. Different cast on methods offers different effects. I tried to be as comprehensive as possible with this compilation. If I missed any, do let me know.

There is no better way to learn knitting than to watch someone demonstrates it, so I have included as many how-to videos as I can, selecting those I think are really clear.

Method 1: Wrap Cast On

Wrap Cast On is also called the E-wrap or Loop or Thumb Cast On. Essentially it is like making an E with the yarn and looping it onto the knitting needle. 

This should be the easiest casting on method although it is not popular among knitters. There are a few reasons for it.

  1. Knitting the first row from the wrap cast on might be a tad challenging for new knitters who may find handling the knitting needles and yarn fiddly.
  2. Maintaining tension is also challenging.
  3. The edge is also not very pretty.

Method 2: Long Tail Cast On

The Long Tail Cast On is a more stable method then the Wrap Cast On. It produces a very nice and firm edge too.

There are 2 ways to do the Long Tail Cast On method:

  • Sling Shot Long Tail
  • Thumb Long Tail

I remember I have a lot of trouble figuring out the Slingshot Long Tail because of the positioning of the thumb and forefinger, all the twisting, and picking up the yarn.

If you are like me, then you may want to try the Thumb Long Tail first. This thumb method is great for knitters who like to hold their working yarn in their right hand (like me). 

Although I like the Thumb Long Tail method, it is still worthwhile to learn the Slingshot because it is quicker. 

Long tail Cast On, I believe, is by far the most popular casting on method because the edge is beautiful and it is really quick once you get the hang of it. 

The drawback of the Long Tail Cast On is you need to leave a long enough tail. If you are casting on a few hundred stitches, you will need to either take time to calculate the yarn you need or be willing to waste some yarn (I would not do this with my premium yarns).

There are ways to calculate how much yarn you need to leave for your long tail. Basically 3.5 times the length of your cast-on edge (the problem is, most times, we don’t know what is the length of the cast on edge).

Method 3: German Twisted Cast On

The German Twisted Cast On is also known as the Old Norwegian Cast On. This is a variation of the Long Tail Cast On that give the edge an elastic and flexible edge. It is great for edges of socks, mittens and any project that has a cuff.

It is important that you are comfortable with the Long Tail Cast On before attempting this one. 

Beginners might feel frustrated with this but if you are planning to make lots of socks, mittens, hats, and gloves, I feel this is an important technique to master. 

Method 4: Latvian / Estonian / Bulgarian Cast On

Another variation of the Long Tail Cast On. Like the German Twisted Cast On, it seems to be designed to cater for stretch. The right and wrong sides look similar so it is great for ribbing or reversible projects. 

I personally think this is easier than the German Twisted Cast on. What do you think? 

Method 5: Knit Cast On

If you already know how to do a knit stitch, then you can do this knit cast on. I was told that the beautiful Estonian lace shawls use this cast on. 

It is not my personal favourite because it leaves little holes in the cast on edge and a little channel on the wrong side. To me, that is not a very pretty or neat edge. 

I discovered that if you knit the first row of a Knit Cast On using the Knit Through the Back method, the little holes disappear. Knowing how to do a knit through the back stitch means this cast on method is not for beginners. 
Many knitters will say that the Knit Cast On is necessary for casting on in the middle of the project. It is true although the Wrap Cast On and the Cable Cast On can do the same thing too.

 Find written and illustrated instructions at quinceandco’s blog.

Method 6: Cable Cast On

The name Cable Cast On is a little misleading because this cast on has nothing to do with cables. It is sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably with the knitted cast on but they are two different methods. The cast on edge is really neat and sturdy. 

This is my go-to cast on for the longest time because it gives me a sturdy neat edge without excessive curling. And unlike the Long Tail Cast On, it does not require a long tail. Save me some yarn especially the expensive ones. 

Method 7: Chinese Waitress Cast On

The Chinese Waitress Cast-On produces a thinner and looser edge but still neat. There are 2 ways to do the Chinese Waitress Cast On. One requires two knitting needles and the other a crochet hook.

The video below demonstrates this cast on using two knitting needles.

Caption: English style
Caption: Continental style

I find the crochet hook method more fluid. If you can crochet, this is a better way to do this cast-on method. Watch the video below to compare.

Method 8: Picot Cast On

This knitting cast on method creates a sweet picot edge. I have seen this done on a little girl’s cardigan. 

This is not the only way to do a picot cast on but I find it makes a much nicer picot than some of the other methods. 

Method 9: Rib Cable Cast On

The Rib Cable Cast On is a method for ribbing. It is a little clumsy in my opinion but the effect is quite good. It is basically a variation of the Cable Cast On. Also known as the Alternating Cable Cast On or Invisible Cast On. 

The video explains how to identify which cast-on stitch is the knit and which is the purl stitch. This is cool because when I tried the method myself, I couldn’t tell. 

Method 10: Italian Cast On

The Italian Cast On is also for ribbing. This is by far the prettiest rib edge I have come across. It is the best cast on for a ribbed beanie. It assumes you are proficient at the Slingshot Long Tail Cast On. Of all the long tail cast on variations, this is one of the more complicated ones. 

Method 11: Jeny’s Slip Knot Cast On

The Jeny’s Slip Knot Cast On method is designed by Jeny Staiman for a super-stretchy edge.

It is apparently good for projects using cotton or linen yarns. Since these yarns have less elasticity than wool, a super-stretchy cast on compensates for that.  

Method 12: Two-Colour Cast On

The Two-Colour Cast On method is based on the Long Tail Cast On. You must be very comfortable with Long Tail Cast On before attempting this one.

It is great for double knitting and brioche knitting, although most brioche knitting instructions include a normal cast on and a set-up row to introduce the second colour.

Method 13: Provisional Cast On – Crochet Method

A provisional cast on method creates live stitches.

Some patterns call for it so it is good to learn how to do it. There are a few different ways to do this. One of the most popular is using a crochet chain.

I tried to follow written instructions before and failed miserably.

The video below explains this method quite well, especially highlighting that you need to pick up stitches from the purl bumps of the crochet chain, which I didn’t know about.

 Verypinkknits offers another way to use the crochet hook to make the Provisional Cast On and I’m liking this method more. See it for yourself

Method 14: Provisional Cast On – Long Tail

If you don’t have a crochet hook or you don’t like it, you can learn how to do the Provisional Cast On without it. 

The Long Tail method for Provisional Cast On uses waste or scrap yarn. It takes a little practice but I think it is a much better provisional cast-on than the crochet chain version.

Method 15: Judy’s Magic Cast On 

Judy’s Magic Cast On is really popular. It creates a stable and invisible cast on that is hard to beat. Sock knitters rave about it. If you intend to learn to knit toe-up socks, this technique is indispensable. 


Method 16: Turkish Cast On

When I first came across the Turkish Cast On, I realized that I may never need to seam or graft the bottom of any bag or pouch I make. It is really so simple although you will need to have circular needles. 

Method 17: Circular Cast On

The Circular Cast On method is also known as the Pinhole Cast On. It is a good way to start a piece of knitting from the centre. It looks like stitches grow evenly out from the centre of the cast on.

This type of cast on is easily achieved in crochet but is rare in knitting.

The method invented by Emily Ocker needed the crochet hook. I am left-handed and hold my crochet hook in my left hand. I just cannot use this method.

So, I am pretty stoked when I came across written instructions and illustrations of the Pinhole Cast On at tincanknits using only knitting needles. And a video tutorial by Suzanne Bryan.

Method 18: I-Cord Cast On 

The I-cord Cast On method, in my opinion, is an advanced technique. You will need to know how to do i-cord as well as a provisional cast on. 
However, it makes a super neat edge that is reversible. 

In this video, the knitter was setting up to knit a project with i-cord row edges all around.

Final Notes on Knitting Cast on Methods

Was I too ambitious when I decided that I wanted to compile a comprehensive list of knitting cast on methods?

I think so. 

This is a mega list and I learnt a lot about the nuances and differences between different knitting cast-on methods. Some are really about personal preferences, but some methods do add polish and pretty effects on our projects.