Cast Ons: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 71

The Ordinary Knitter Podcast
Cast Ons: The Ordinary Knitter - episode 71
cast ons
Lace Beret by Sara Kay Hartmann, modelled by my spare head

Welcome to Cast Ons, episode 71 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: losing needles and choosing a cast on.

Ft patterns:

Ft cast ons

Cast Ons

cast ons
That ropy cast on

No project starts without some sort of cast on, and I’ve come to the conclusion that choosing the right one is a cross between a dark art and an arcane science.

I could kiss the designers who have identified the best cast on for their project, even if it means spending half an hour with YouTube on  half speed, watching someone demonstrate the cast on and always missing that thing she does with her thumb. The bigger the project the more this matters, as for instance a beautifully made cardigan can be spoilt by a badly-cast on edge that makes the item hang awkwardly or with a wibble when it should sit straight.

I’m going to re-start the Chemo Cap now that I’ve got laddering happening too, and I’m hoping for quite astounding results with a different cast on. In a project the size of this hat it’s no more than a minor nuisance to re-do it, but it has taught me to think about it before I cast on. If nothing else, using the right cast on for this hat would have made the lace pattern much easier. The backwards loop cast on that I used is a bit of a pain to knit into as you start the pattern, and worse to do fiddly things with like SSK and so on.

Researching cast ons is a simple matter of googling, asking your resident knitting oracle, or looking in a book such as The Knitter’s Knowledge. Some are nice and clear: if you’re casting on and going into a cable pattern, use the cable cast on. If you need a lovely stretchy cast on for a cuff, use Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast On. You get the idea. In theory there’s a cast on for every occasion, and if there isn’t, I’m sure someone will develop one soon.

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