Favorite Cast-on / Bind-off ?

2manyhobbies's picture

I have been knitting up some samples of different cast ons and bind offs ... basically I'm just casting on enough stitches to work in the round on my smallest circular needles, knitting a bit of k1p1 ribbing, then a token bit of stockinette, and ending with k1p1 ribbing and a bind off.

I would like to have a representative variety of different ones so it's easy to compare them and see how certain ones might work better for different projects. So far I have the following (I've knit them all with Patton's Classic Wool, worsted weight):

Long-tail cast on, traditional bind-off in pattern
Tubular cast on, kitchner stitch bind off
Twisted German cast on, EZ sewn bind off

I'm thinking I will also do one with a cable cast on, but I haven't decided what bind of to pair with it.

Any other recommendations for other useful or intersting cast on's or bind off's to try?

I'm really doing this in the context of a workshop on tubular cast on and kitchener st bind off that I volunteered to do for the upcoming east coast MWK retreat. I thought it would be interesting to have several to show how they compare to other techniques, and I guess I'm just getting a little carried away :). But, thanks for any ideas.

Comments

TheKnittingMill's picture

If I'm starting out with

If I'm starting out with ribbing, my favorite cast on is the tubular cast on starting with Judy Becker's Magic Cast On. I've studied MANY tubular cast ons and I find the aforementioned is the fastest, easiest and the best for retaining recoil (with exception of the one Eunny Jang demonstrates on YouTube which I use for most kid's garments). If I'm not beginning with ribbing I use long tail for most anything else except for lace. For lace I pretty much follow Mario's genius.
For cast off's I most often use:

Toe up socks - Jeny Staimen's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off
Ribbing in general - tubular
Lace - Mario's
Blankets/afghans - EZ's sewn bind off
Most other stuff - basic cast off in pattern

The Knitting Mill

Bill's picture

I just watched several

I just watched several annoyingly done You tube/google versions of that cast on.
It seems to be best for toe up socks. How do you adapt it for a tubular cast on for ribbing? I love the one you suggest for your children's sweater...why do you vary it for an adult sweater?

TheKnittingMill's picture

After you have your stitches

After you have your stitches cast on using Becker's magic cast on (let's use 40 as an example--20 stitches on each needle), you would knit one round of stitches, then take another needle and *purl one stitch off of the front and knit one stitch off of the back alternatively. Repeat from *. At this point you can either join in the round for circular knitting or knit flat. It's easy, fast and looks great every time. Sometimes other versions of the tubular cast on (long-tail, provisional, YO method, etc) looks a little sloppy and easily loses it's recoil the first time it's stretched. You can also use this tubular cast on to give you a much neater 2x2 rib than any of the others. I'll try to make a video of it and post it for you.

I love the other method used in my Positive Chi pattern, but it can be a little to restraining or tight depending on which yarn weight/needle size you want and the look you are going for.

The Knitting Mill

TheKnittingMill's picture

Ummm...I meant "LOOK" a

Ummm...I meant "LOOK" a little sloppy" and "TOO restraining" . I should really read my posts before hitting send.

I just got home from gay church, so after I walk the chi-beast and feed us both I'll attempt to film a demonstration and post it. No promises about the quality, but I'll give it a go.

Bill, I realized I hadn't really answered your question very well. I usually oversize my baby and kid's knits so they have some room to grow. The snugness of the tubular cast on I alluded to isn't an issue. It actually helps, too, to keep articles of clothing in their place despite their activity. I also use that particular tubular cast on for Suki's sweaters for the same reason. When I knit a sweater for myself with ribbing, I will use the Magic CO tubular method for the hem and the other one for the sleeve, so when I scootch (technical term) up my sleeve it will stay.

WillyG's picture

Oh dear, I guess the blame

Oh dear, I guess the blame is to go equally all around. I think you misunderstood me...I only was referring to the glowing account you gave of the virtues of your cast-on. At least for this one instance, I really wasn't trying to be dirty.

TheKnittingMill's picture

Oh, not at all Willy! I

Oh, not at all Willy! I knew what you meant. That first bit had nothing to do with your reply. I was just thinking out loud about my bad typing and poor diction in my original post when I was re-reading it to answer Bill's questions. I was making corrections to prove I'm not a complete illiterate.

Your comment was very sweet. I did laugh, however, at your response when you thought I was referencing something you said. I felt like we fell into a "Three's Company" episode with Mr. Roper standing on the other side of the kitchen door...LOL! (",)

WillyG's picture

You certainly have put in a

You certainly have put in a winsome description of this cast-on. I look forward to seeing the video.

Ooh, speaking of making videos, wouldn't it be fun if a few of the guys at the retreats got their heads together and produced a few such videos?

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I can see how we can

I can see how we can misconstrue your comments. However, after a second reading, the true intent became clear. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Besides my reply under

Besides my reply under Willy's post, I just happened to remember that Montse's book on knitting has two very comprehensive sections on casting on and casting off, respectively. You may want to check it out. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

2manyhobbies's picture

Thanks for the tip - I just

Thanks for the tip - I just ordered it :)

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

You're welcome. I also

You're welcome. I also remembered that the Crochet cast on [around the needle] mirrors regular cast off quite well...I use it on some projects when I want the pattern to be truly whichever way up. [Mainly afghans and scarves.] -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

WillyG's picture

the k2tog tbl bindoff mmario

the k2tog tbl bindoff mmario mentioned is a fave of mine for shawls, mostly because it's probably the easiest and least binding as it is worked, making it quick. For a shortcut, I don't actually return the stitch to the left needle; rather, I insert the right needle tip in the back of the next stitch, while inserting the left needle tip in the front of the previous stitch, putting me in position to knit the two stitches together through the back loop. I could be wrong, but I think it does exactly the same thing as returning it to the left needle, but with fewer movements.

2manyhobbies's picture

Thanks for the tip on doing

Thanks for the tip on doing the k2tog bind off, Will! I'll give that a try...

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I often work this bind off

I often work this bind off the same way. Speeds it up and is less fidgety. I've also paired over the thumb cast on with EZ's sewn cast off to make similar looking edges. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

2manyhobbies's picture

All great ideas - thank you!

All great ideas - thank you!

MMario's picture

I use a cabled cast on for

I use a cabled cast on for virtually everything; or a simple knit on cast on.

Since I do mostly lace - the bind off(s) I use are mostly a variation on:

k1; * return stitch to left needle, k2tog tbl; repeat from *

depending on your pattern you may use a different decrease, k2tog, p2tog, etc.

For stretchier bind off (iimportant in lace)

k1;* return stitch to left needle, k1; return stitch to left needle, k2tog tbl; repeat from *
This effectively doubles the number of stitches in your bind off.

For the ultimate in stretch I return the stitch to the left needle and knit it again twice or even 3 times before doing the decrease. This allows blockingg to points with much less distortion of the lace patterning.

2manyhobbies's picture

Thanks for the ideas! I

Thanks for the ideas! I checked out the k2tog bindoff, and I see someplaces calling it a "Russian" bind off. That looks interesting, and I think I might try that one out. One blog post I found described doing that in pattern - have you ever tried that?

MMario's picture

I've done it on a 1 x 1 rib

I've done it on a 1 x 1 rib

2manyhobbies's picture

Cool, thanks ... I was also

Cool, thanks ... I was also trying to match up bind-offs and cast-ons that might go well together. Any suggestion on which cast-on might most appear like this bind-off?

MMario's picture

Probably alternating knit

Probably alternating knit one, purl one knit on cast on.

smalltownknitguy's picture

3 needle bind off, Knitted

3 needle bind off, Knitted cast on, Knit 2 tog bind off, crochet bind off. Just some ideas.