Loosening up

Over the weekend, we had a query in the shop about how to loosen up a cast on. While sometimes you want a nice tight edge, more often you want your cast on to stretch at least as much as the rest of the knitting, and we all have memories of the hat with the overtight brim or the blanket squares with rigid unhappy seams.

There’s many different ways to cast on, of course, and you may very well find that a different one may be just the ticket. But we’ve one surefire way of getting a relaxed supple edge which always works, regardless of method.

Very simply, you cast on over two needles held together – and here’s how. In this demonstration, we’re using the cable cast on, but if your favourite is different, then by all means use that.

Take two needles (here, we’re using two of the same size, but you could go smaller or larger for the second one if needed) and hold them together. Your initial loop goes around both:

Then work your cast on as normal, with your new stitches accumulating on your doubled needles. It’s always the destination needle that determines the size of the stitch, whether you’re casting on, working a row or casting off.

Continue until all your required stitches are cast on. We’re demonstrating with just eight here.

Then you simply slip the additional needle out of the stitches…

…and as the picture at the top of this post shows, you’re left with even, generous stitches which will stand up to any amount of stretching, and which you just knit as normal. And you didn’t even have to learn a new cast on method to get them!

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