The cast-ons in this section all help you start from the center of a project, whether it be circular or triangular. Circular cast-ons are for starting in the center of a project that is knit in the round. Of the two circular cast-ons, Emily Ocker’s is easier whereas the invisible circular’s hole disappears more completely.
The garter tab cast-on is for starting triangular shawls.
Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast-On
Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast-On, made popular by Elizabeth Zimmerman, is the easiest circular center-start cast on.
It uses a crochet hook to create the number of cast-on stitches needed, and the stitches are then slipped onto a long circular needle or double-points.
When you pull the tail tight, the cast-on zips up into a circle. A little hole is still visible – if you don’t like the hole, try the Invisible Circular Cast-On.
Here are two photos to remind you how to place your yarn and crochet hook.
Invisible Circular Cast-On
The invisible Circular Cast-On is used to start in the center of a project that is knit in the round.
Casting on into a ring of yarn places the stitches on your long circular needle. When you arrange your needle for knitting in the round, you pull the tail tight and the circle zips up and closes completely.
1. Be sure to end the cast-on with a stitch from under the yarn, not a yarnover. That way the last stitch will not fall off the needle. This results in an odd number of stitches.
2. If you need an even number of stitches, start the first working round with a yarn over.
Garter Tab Cast-On for Triangular Shawls
The Garter Tab Cast-On is an ingenious way to invisibly start a triangular shawl.
A provisional cast-on is used to cast on two or three stitches, then the working yarn is used to knit in garter stitch until you have a little strip of fabric – the “garter tab.”
Picking up stitches along the edge of the tab and in the provisional cast-on places the stitches in such a way that you are ready to start the triangular shawl and it is impossible to tell where you started.
The Garter-Tab Cast-On shown on my favorite beginner lace shawl: the Show Your Colors shawl.