Stretchy Short-Tail Cast-Ons
Use the cast-ons in this section to add stitches in the middle of ribbed projects or any project where you need a very elastic edge.
Alternating Cable Cast-On
The Alternating Cable Cast-On is a very stretchy and almost invisible cast-on for any combination of knit and purl stitches.
As with the alternating long-tail cast-on, the “knit version” of the alternating cable cast-on is the regular cable cast-on you’ve learned, and the “purl version” is the opposite movement.
You can alternate 1 knit and 1 purl to prepare for 1×1 rib, or you can alternate 2 knits and 3 purls to prepare for 2×3 rib, etc.
1. To make the last cast-on stitch look just as good as the rest of them, bring your yarn between your needle tips to the other side of your work after creating the last stitch but before placing it on the left-hand needle.
2. Because you don’t have to turn your work after doing this cast-on, take care to start with a purl stitch and end with a knit stitch so that when you start working into the cast-on, your first stitch will be a knit stitch, and you’ll start the row off in the expected way of “knit 1, purl 1…”
Slipknot (Buttonhole/Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot) Cast-On
The Slipknot Cast-On is a reversible and very elastic short-tail cast-on that can be used to add stitches to stockinette or ribbing.
This cast-on is simply a series of slipknots done with the working yarn.
The key to success for this cast-on is to keep all the slipknot stitches very close together, and pull each stitch tightly to secure it. The cast-on is so elastic that you can’t afford to leave any slack in the yarn.
Tillybuddy’s Cast-On (invented by Tillybuddy on Ravelry) is a very sturdy and stretchy short-tail cast-on that can be used for 1×1 or 2×2 rib.
The cast-on uses loops and twists to create pairs of stitches on the needle.
1. Work the first row close to the needle-tips so the cast-on doesn’t get stretched-out.
2. The cast-on creates pairs of stitches so, combined with the initial slipknot, it results in an odd number of stitches. If you need an even number of stitches, remove the slipknot once you get to it at the end of the first row.
Chinese Waitress Cast-On
The Chinese Waitress Cast-On is a beautiful, reversible, and stretchy short-tail cast-on.
It was taught to knitting author Cap Sease’s friend by a waitress in a Beijing restaurant, hence the great name.
Not only is this cast-on very stretchy, it also doesn’t curl on stockinette, and it creates a reversible double-chain effect along the bottom edge that is very pretty.
I recommend this cast-on for Garter stitch as well. Use a needle one to two sizes smaller than on your project to make the cast-on blend into Garter stitch.
For those of you who are just bored by other cast-ons, this one is for you. It’s different and interesting, but not hard.
1. Try using a crochet hook instead of your right needle as an alternate way to do this cast-on.
2. When you go to bind off the stitch, hold the working yarn tight in order to tighten the last stitch on the needle. This makes it easier to bring the other stitch over it and off the needle.
3. Don’t forget to bring the yarn over the front of the left-hand needle before you wrap it around the right-hand needle.
4. Remember to remove the right-hand needle and replace it in the stitch facing the other direction before you start each new stitch.
5. To make the last cast-on stitch look just as good as the rest of them, bring your yarn between your needle tips to the front of your work after creating the last stitch but before placing it on the left-hand needle.