Can we talk knitting???

I am missing discussions about knitting technique, stitches, gauge, etc. I thought maybe we could share our experiences with each other and “talk knitting” a bit?

I will start the conversation with this query…

What are your favorite cast-ons and cast-offs? How did they become your favorites?
​​​Do you care if they match? Why/why not?

I’ll go first!

I most often use the knitted cast-on because it is easy, it doesn’t require a tail that I might make too short, it’s reasonably stretchy and I have learned to do it well enough that I can make it very neat.

I often use the standard cast-off where you k2 then slip the first stitch over the 2nd (does this have a name?). But I also like Jeny’s super stretchy cast-off which is a variant of the standard cast-off. Both cast-offs can be completed “in pattern.” I use the first every time I want a firm edge that will be seen or have something attached. I use the latter technique when I want an edge that gives.

I really think it’s cool when a cast-on edge matches the cast-off on a scarf, but otherwise I don’t care …

Okay knitter’s, it’s your turn! What do you use? Why?

Hi, Ellen - I’m glad you started this thread, because I always learn a lot when I read what others do. I am a big sock knitter, so I will start there first. If I’m doing toe up, I use Judy’s Magic Cast on and a version of her stretchy bind off at the cuffs. If I’m working cuff down (NOT my preference, I use a stretchy cast on, and, of course grafting at the toes.

I use the same stretchy cast on (long tail) if necessary for other projects, but otherwise I use a normal long tail cast on and the same bind off you use (I don’t know if it has a name!)

I’ve done a three needle cast off, a cable cast off and don’t like them particularly.

I have a version of the German Twisted cast on I really like. It actually uses two needles, and one strand is wrapped around each needle in a twisted sort of way. Very stretchy.

I also like the super stretchy cast off when I need one (often I am using the Kitchener). :slight_smile:

I look forward to seeing what everyone else likes.

Cast-On, Bind-Off has been in my wish list for a long time. I think I will have to request it for Christmas. It would be nice to have all of that information at my fingertips. I have Increase, Decrease, which I’ve used a lot.

I like Long tail cast on two needles, super quick and easy. Sometimes I use Italian.
As for bind off I use “three needles bind off” for shoulders, and tubular or standart for the rest.
I’m trying to match cast on and bind off in the most of my knitting.

I used to always use the knitted cast-on, but I’ve learned to like the long-tail cast-on with 2 needles. For regular casting off, I do the same as @EllenDeKnitter – the standard bind-off unless the pattern calls for a specific bind-off. I think my sock preference is much like @knitter131 - I’m toe-up sock knitter and I like the Judy’s Magic-Cast-on for toe up and Jenny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off for casting off.

That Cast-On, Bind-Off book looks excellent! Thanks for the tip @PearlgirlButtons !

I always use long tail and three needle bind off. It’s all I ever knew.

Whenever possible I will not bind off but put the stitches on holders so that I can do the three needle bind off. I also convert patterns to in the round so that I don’t have seams to deal with.
Can you tell i dont like seaming? It saves a lot of time, and yarn, too.

so…I got this in the mail today. Used, bought on a used book website fairly cheap. What I love about it is that it has beautiful, colorful photos and illustrations.


That looks like a great resource!

I’ll let you know, maybe I’ll be brave and try something new!

I really like the one in the middle of the top row. I think that would look really nice on the bottom of a knit top.

Before I got my knitting reference books, I knew of only 4 ways to cast-on and had no idea there were over 10 ways to do so. With bind-offs, I only knew of 3 and, again, there are more than 10. Yikes!

For casting on, I use the long tail cast-on, knitted cast-on and cable cast-on. I have tried the provisional cat-on but am lost even after much video watching and reading. I think I need someone to show me this in-person because I can’t wrap my brain around it.

For binding off, I have done the standard knitwise bind-off, bind-off in pattern (not sure that counts) and a stretchy bind-off that requires 2 stitches on the right needle where you knit 2 together through the back loop (I don’t even know if this has a name).

Until I read this, I never thought you could match cast-on and bind-off. Who knew? :roll_eyes:

Thanks for this discussion as now I know! :sunglasses:

I’ve used a provisional cast on to begin a sweater in the middle. Even though I can manage it, I find it super fiddly. So now, when starting a sweater in the middle, I use waste yarn - I cut it away when I am ready to switch directions from knitting bottom up to knitting top down. There are other uses for the provisional cast on where this wouldn’t work, but for my purposes it works just fine.

Very Interesting @EllenDeKnitter

I’m working on my first sweater but it’s sounds nothing like that. I just have a bunch of pieces that I’ll need to put together somehow.

If a pattern calls for loosely bind-off stitches, is it implying a stretchy type bind-off or just an ease off of the tension when doing the BO?

I tend to see that enough in patterns that it has me questioning it here in light of this discussion. :thinking:

I’m terrible at trying to BO loosely, so I just go up a needle size or two, depending on how much stretch the piece needs. I would say they mean to use a regular BO for that pattern. BUT! You are the boss of your knitting. You have permission to modify to your liking (unless you are doing a test-knit, I suppose…,)

@K2-Tog I have always thought BO “loosely” was just a convention that reminds the knitter not to make the BO so firm it distorts the shape of the work. I don’t think it means to ease off the tension. The bind off should be in the same tension as the knitting, but there’s a natural tendency to BO with a tighter tension than we knit so “loosely” helps us remember the we want to achieve the same gauge as the rest of the work.

Mind you, that’s just my opinion. “The world according to Ellen” can be a very strange place and one must take my ideas with a grain of salt.

Thank you - this is very helpful!

@PurlgirlButtons I love “the boss of your knitting” and “go up a needle size” ideas.
@EllenDeKnitter I do think I BO tighter than the tension I use on the rest of the piece at times. Lol, I like the world according to Ellen!