Become a Knitting Superstar™
Become a Knitting Superstar™
Become a Knitting Superstar™
Become a Knitting Superstar™
Become a Knitting Superstar™

Decorative Cast-Ons

My Classes » Guide to Cast-Ons » Decorative Cast-Ons

Decorative Cast-Ons

The four cast-ons in this section can be used to start any kind of project and add a pretty or interesting edge.

All but the hemmed edge cast-ons are short-tail cast-ons, so they can be done at any point in your knitting.

Lace Cast-On

The Lace Cast-On is a decorative short-tail cast-on that looks good with garter stitch, seed stitch, and ribbing.

Wrapping the yarn around your left-hand needle before doing a knitted cast-on stitch creates an extra loop of yarn on the edge of your project.

More Info:

Be warned that if you use this edge on stockinette stitch, it will tend to curl – that’s why I’ve shown it to you here in seed stitch. You could also use ribbing or garter stitch.

Picot Cast-On

The Picot Cast-On uses a combination of the knitted cast-on and binding off to create a picot edge.

You can use this cast-on to start top-down socks or any project where you’d like a scalloped edge. This cast-on is special in that it has a matching bind-off: the Picot Point Bind-Off #1.


1. Use a smaller needle than what the pattern calls for. This will prevent the picot edge from being to big and fluffy.

2. You can add distance between the picots by casting on and then binding off more stitches after you create each picot.

Hemmed Edge Cast-On – Purl or Picot

The Hemmed Edge Cast-On creates a smooth, folded edge. The purl variation adds a row of purl bumps at the fold, and the picot hemmed edge has tiny picot bumps at the fold.

Hemmed edge cast-ons are created by folding a length of stockinette-stitch fabric in half and tacking the cast-on edge down on the wrong side of the work.

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To Do the Hemmed Edge Cast-On – Purl or Picot:

For a regular hemmed edge, knit 11 rows of Stockinette stitch and then fold.

For a purl-ridge edge, knit 5 rows of Stockinette, then 1 purl row, and then 5 more rows of stockinette before folding.

For the picot hemmed edge, knit 5 rows of Stockinette, then a row of (yo, k2tog) lace, and then 5 more rows of Stockinette before folding. This is the technique shown in the video below.


1. The key to a straight, even hemmed edge is finding the right purl pump on the inside of your work to pick up into. Once you’ve identified the row the purl bump is in, move horizontally, picking up bumps in the same row.

2. Make sure you do at least 5 rows of stockinette stitch before and after the lace/purl round. If you cut corners and don’t do enough rows, your hemmed edge will flare out and look funny.

More Info:

Closeup of a knitted hemmed edge
Hemmed Edge – Purl Variation

This cast-on is best used on projects knit in the round so that the wrong side doesn’t show.

It works well on top-down socks if you don’t pull the tack-down row too tight.

The matching bind-off for this cast-on is the Hemmed Edge Bind-Off.

I-Cord Cast-On

The I-Cord Cast-On creates an I-cord along the edge of your knitting.

Passing stitches back and forth between the needle-tips as you work a knitted cast-on causes the edge to form an I-cord.

Use sharp lace needles for this cast-on to make manipulating the stitches easier.

More Info:

The matching bind-off for this cast-on is the I-Cord Bind-Off.

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