Cable Cast on

The cable cast on is another one of my favorite ways to begin a piece of knitting. It produces an attractive rope-like edge, so it’s nice for hats, socks, mittens, collars, and other projects that put the cast-on edge in a potentially prominent position.

This cast on involves both needles. The steps are almost identical to the knit-on cast on. The only difference is that, instead of inserting the right needle into the first stitch, you insert it between the first and second stitches.

Here’s how it’s done:

Notes:
• the first stitch is the one closest to the tip of the needle.
• These instructions assume you’re right handed.

Casting on Knit Stitches

1. Cast on 2 stitches using any cast on you like.
2. Hold the needle with the stitches in your left hand if it isn’t there already. The left needle points to the right or possibly up.
3. Insert the tip of the right needle between the first and second stitches on the left hand. The right needle goes in from front to back. It slides under the left, and the needles are roughly perpendicular to each other, forming a cross or an X.
4. Wrap the working yarn around the right needle. For English knitters, the yarn is wrapped counterclockwise. For continental knitters, the right needle tip starts behind the working yarn and scoops it as the needle moves toward you in the next step. In both cases, the yarn is in the back of the work.
5. Slide the right needle toward you and out of the loop. to keep the working yarn from falling off the needle, place the tip of the right needle on the shaft of the left, and smoothly slide the right needle tip down the length toward the thick base or cable. (Is anyone else getting warm?)
6. Once the new stitch is on the right needle and once the right needle is in front of the left, hold the needles perpendicular to each other, forming a cross or an X. Both needles are pointing up, and they intersect at the stitch.
7. Move your right hand to the right, stopping when the tips of the two needles are touching each other. To be clear, the needles form a bridge or inverted V. The left one is on the left, and the right one is on the right. The new stitch is still on the right needle, stretching from between the first two stitches on the left.
8. Slip the new stitch from the right needle to the left, and tug on the working yarn to tighten.
9. Repeat Steps 3-8 for each additional stitch.

This version of the cast on makes a knit row because everything except Step 3 is what you normally do for a knit stitch.

If you want to cast on purl stitches,, like for ribbing, the process is the same except that you insert the right needle from behind the work and wrap as for a purl stitch.

Casting on Purl Stitches

1. Cast on 2 stitches using any cast on you like.
2. Hold the needle with the stitches in your left hand if it isn’t there already. The left needle points to the right or possibly up.
3. Insert the tip of the right needle between the first and second stitches on the left hand. The right needle goes in from back to front. It slides under the left, and the needles are roughly perpendicular to each other, forming a cross or an X.
4. Wrap the working yarn around the right needle. For English knitters, the yarn is wrapped counterclockwise. For continental knitters, the working yarn is in front of the right needle and goes over the top and down behind the needle. In both cases, the yarn is in the back of the work.
5. Slide the right needle away from you and out of the loop. to keep the working yarn from falling off the needle, place the tip of the right needle on the shaft of the left, and smoothly slide the right needle tip up the length toward the tip of the left. (Is anyone else getting warm?)
6. Once the new stitch is on the right needle and once the right needle is behind the left, hold the needles perpendicular to each other, forming a cross or an X. Both needles are pointing up, and they intersect at the stitch.
7. Move your right hand to the right, stopping when the tips of the two needles are touching each other. To be clear, the needles form a bridge or inverted V. The left one is on the left, and the right one is on the right. The new stitch is still on the right needle, stretching from between the first two stitches on the left.
8. Slip the new stitch from the right needle to the left, and tug on the working yarn to tighten.
9. Repeat Steps 3-8 for each additional stitch.

There you have it: a decorative cast on that is easy to learn. Try it on your next project, especially if the cast-on edge is something other people might notice.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Picot Cast on « Working out Kinks and Fingering Yarn

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