While there are a multitude of publications that list many techniques for cast-on, I wanted to describe the different ones used in Kristin Omdahl patterns, and the differences between them.
Make a loop; pull another loop through it. Tighten gently and slide the loop created from the knot around the needle.
Backward-Loop Cast On:
*Loop working yarn and place it on needle backward so that it doesn’t unwind. Rep from *.
Long Tail Cast On (akaContinental Cast On):
If you are working from one piece of yarn, make sure to begin with 3x the length you need to cast on. Or, use yarn from two ends (either the center pull and the outer pull of a ball of yarn or 2 separate balls of yarn). Place thumb and index finger on your left hand between the yarn ends so that working yarn is around your index finger and tail end is around your thumb and secure the yarn ends with your other fingers. Hold your palm upward, making a V of yarn. *Bring needle up through loop on thumb, catch first strand around index finger, and go backdown through loop on thumb. Drop loop off thumb and placing thumb back in v-configuration, tighten resulting stitch on needle. Rep from * for desired number of stitches.
Provisional Cast On (aka Invisible Cast On):
knot working yarn to contrasting yarn. With needle in right hand, hold knot in right hand. Tension both strands in left hand; separate the strands with fingers of the left hand. Yarn over with working yarn in front of waste yarn.
Cable Cast On:
Make a slipknot and place on left needle. Knit into the stitch and place new stitch on left needle by inserting the left needle in to the stitch from the right side of the loop, without dropping stitch off left needle. *Insert right needle between two stitches on left needle, wrap yarn around the needle as if to knit, pull the new loop through to the front, place the new stitch on the left needle. Repeat from * for desired number of stitches.
Crochet Chain Edge Cast On Technique:
Place a slipknot on crochet hook. Hold knitting needle and yarn in your left hand and hook in your right hand, with yarn under needle. Place hook over needle, wrap yarn around hook and pull loop through loop on hook. *Bring yarn to back under needle, wrap yarn around hook, and pull it through loop on hook. If you are keeping the chain for decoration, repeat from * until there is one fewer than the desired number of stitches on needle. Slip loop from hook to needle for last stitch. For the provisional cast-on (removing the chain later), repeat from * until the desired number of stitches are on the needle and then chain a few more stitches without placing them on the needle to secure the chain before fastening off.
Cast On Picot Technique:
Cast on four stitches using cable cast on, *knit two stitches, bind off one, knit one stitch, bind off one (picot made), place remaining stitch on right needle back on left needle as if to purl. Cast on six stitches, repeat from * for desired number of stitches, end by placing remaining stitch on right needle back on left needle.
Knitted Cast On:
Start with a slip knot. *Knit 1, leaving stitch on left needle. Transfer new stitch onto left needle by slipping it knit-wise. Repeat from * for desired number of stitches.
Chained Cast On:
Make a slip knot in the cotton contrast color yarn and place it on the crochet hook. *Hold the needle and yarn in the left hand, and the crochet hook with the slip knot in the right hand as though to crochet. Place the needle on top of the yarn held in the left hand. Holding the hook over the needle, crochet a chain stitch over the top of the knitting needle. Move the yarn under the knitting needle and back toward the left. Repeat from * for required number of stitches. Cut the yarn and fasten off. Tie a knot in the end of this tail to remember from which end to remove the chain.
Tubular Cast On:
with cotton yarn in contrast color, work chained cast on for half the number of required stitches, plus one. With the main yarn, knit one row, purl one row, knit one row. With the purl side facing, *purl the first stitch on left hand needle, insert the right hand needle from top to bottom under purl bar of main color buried in the contrasting color yarn three rows below. Place this stitch on the left needle by inserting the needle from front to back into the stitch, and knit the stitch in the front of the loop. Repeat from *, end with the last purl stitch on left needle. Next row begins 1×1 ribbing and is considered Row 1. Unravel the chained cast on, starting from the tail with the knot. As you pull the chain out, a strand of the contrasting yarn will be in the middle of the tubular cast on. Gently pull it through after you unravel the chain. If the chain does not unravel, there is an error in the cast on and you will need to work the cast on again.
k1b: knit 1 stitch through the back loop.
p1b: purl 1 stitch through the back loop,
sl1: slip 1 stitch from the left needle to the right needle without knitting it.
psso: pass the slip stitch over
yo: yarn over aka yarn forward(bring the yarn forward between the needles and take it back over the right needle ready for the next stitch)
yo2: yarn over twice
RT right twist: k2tog, leaving stitches on the left-hand needle; insert right-hand needle from the front between the 2 sts just knitted together, and knit the first stitch again; then slip both stitches from needle together.
LT: left twist: with right-hand needle behind left-hand needle, skip one stitch, and knit the second stitch through the back loop; then insert right-hand needle into the backs of bothstitches, and k2tog through the back loop.
Looped stitch: usually worked with the yarn doubled for fluffier texture, insert the needle as to knit and knit one stitch, but leave the the stitch on the right-hand needle (do not slip the stitch off the left hand needle). Pass the yarn through the needles to the front (as to purl) and hook the yarn around your thumb), then back between the needles. Knit into the same stitch and slip it off the right hand needle. Pass the first stitch over the second stitch on the right hand needle. One stitch made. This is a right side row. You could work purl rows or knit rows on the wrong side, depending on the texture you desire.
CB4: Slip next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in back of work, K2 from left needle, K2
from cable needle.
CF4: Slip next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in front of work, K2 from left needle, K2
from cable needle.
Wrap and Turn (w&t): slip next stitch to right hand needle; bring working yarn to other side of work, then slip the same stitch back to the left-hand needle; return working yarn to first side of work by wrapping the next stitch with the working yarn; turn the piece to work back along all the stitches just worked (excluding the slipped stitch). On the next row, make sure to knit the slipped stitch and the wrap together.
Wrap-3: Bring yarn to the front, slip 3 stitches purl wise, bring the yarn to the back, slip he same three stitches back onto the left hand needle, then knit the same three stitches.
Along CO or BO Edge:
With right side facing and working from right to left, insert the tip of the needle into he center of the stitch below the bind off or cast on edge, wrap the yarn around needle and pull through a loop. Pick up one stitch for every existing stitch, unless otherwise specified.
Along Shaped Edge:
With right side facing and working from high to left, insert tip of needle between last and second to last stitches, wrap yarn around needle, and pull through a loop. Pick up and knit about 3 stitches for every 4 rows, adjusting as necessary so that picked up edge lays flat.
1. Yarn Over (yo):
- a) before a knit stitch, with yarn in front of needle, knit next stitch.
- b) before a purl stitch, with yarn in from of needle, bring yarn over needle and to front again, purl next stitch.
Kfb: knit into front loop and back loop of same stitch (1 increase)
Bar Increase Knitwise (K1F&B): Knit into a stitch but leave the stitch on the left needle, then knit though the back loop of the same stitch and slip the original stitch off the needle. (2 stitches made)
Bar Increase Purlwise (P1F&B): purl into a stitch but leave the stitch on the left needle, then purl through the back loop of the same stitch and slip the original stitch off the needle. (2 stitches made)
Raised Make-One (M1) Increase: NOTE: use the left slant if no direction of slant is specified.
Left Slant (M1L): With left needle tip, lift the strand between he last knitted stitch and the fist stitch on the left needle from front to back, then knit he lifted loop through the back.
Right Slant (M1R): With left needle tip, lift the strand between the needles from back to front. Knit the lifted lop through the front.
Purl wise (M1P): With left needle tip, lift the strand between the needles from front to back, then purl the lifted loop through the back.
k2tog: knit 2 stitches together
k3tog: knit 3 stitches together (2 stitches decrease)
p2tog: purl 2 stitches together (1 stitch decreased)
p3tog: purl 3 stitches together (2 stitches decreased
Slip, Slip Knit (ssk): slip two stitches individually knit wise, insert left needle tip into the front of these two slipped stitches, and use the right needle to knit them together through their back loops. (1 stitch decreased)
Slip, Slip, Slip, Knit (sssk): Slip three stitches individually knit wise, insert left needle tip into the front of these three slipped stitches, and use the right needle to knit hem together thorough their back loops. (2 stitches decreased)
Slip, Slip, Purl (ssp): Holding yarn in front, slip two stitches individually knit wise, then slip these two stitches back onto left needle (they will be twisted on the needle), and purl them together through their back loops. (1 stitch decreased)
Slip Knit Pass (skp): slip 1 stitch knit wise, knit 1 stitch, and pass the slipped stitch over (1 stitch decreased)
Slip 1, Knit2tog, Pass (sk2p): slip 1 stitch knitwise, k2tog, and pass the slipped stitch over (2 stitches decreased)
Slip 2, Knit 1, Pass (s2kp): slip 2 stitches knitwise, knit 1 stitch, and pass the 2 slipped stitches over (2 stitches decreased)
Slip 2, Knit2tog, Pass (s2k2p): slip 2 stitches, k2tog, and pass the 2 slipped stitches over (3 stitches decreased)
Standard Bind Off: knit two stitches, then slip first stitch over second stitch and off of the right hand needle. (1 stitch bound off) Depending on how loosely, or with what size needle you use, this technique can be either tight, straight or very loosely used.
K2tog Bind Off: knit 2 stitches, then knit those 2 stitches together. Knit the next stitch on the left needle. Knit the 2 stitches together that are on the right hand needle. This technique creates an extremely loose edge. This is a wonderful technique for lace edging.
Three-Needle Bind Off: Place the stitches to be joined onto two separate needles and hold the needles parallel so that the right sides of knitting face together. Insert a third needle into the fist stitch on each of two needles and knit hem together as one stitch. *Knit the next stitch on each needle the same way, then use the left tip to lift the fist stitch over the second stitch and off the needle. Rep from * until no stitches remain on first two needles. Cut yarn and pull tail through last stitch to secure.
Picot bind off: bind off two sts; put remaining stitch on right needle back on left needle as if to purl; *cast on one stitch using cable cast on; bind off three stitches; place remaining stitch on right needle back on left needle as if to purl*. Repeat from * to * until all stitches are bound off.
Chain-2 Bind Off: *Bind off one stitch, yarn over, pull the first stitch over the yarn over as if to bind off), three times (or number of times called for in pattern) to form a chain. One stitch bound off; rep from * for desired number of stitches.
Yarn-Over Bind Off: Knit one stitch, *yarn over, knit one stitch, then lift the yarn over and the first stitch over the second stitch and off the needle to bind off one stitch; rep from * for desired number of stitches.
Mobius Cast-On: Starting with a long circular needle (40″), tie a slip knot and place it on your right hand needle. Loop the cable around, and place it in front of the knotted working yarn, holding the yarn behind the needle and cable. With your left (working hand) in front of the cable, pull the ball of yarn through the cabled loop and bring up and over the needle and back behind the needle. The yarn is wrapped around the needle and the cable (this is the first Mobius stitch). When counting stitches, count this wrap as one stitch. Continue to wrap the yarn through he cable, up and over the needle and back behind it for your specific stitch count, sliding the accumulated stitches off the right needle and onto ehe cables. Keep your tension loose as you slide the stitches onto the cable. When your stitches wrap around your cable and onto the left hand needle, you are ready to begin knitting. Place a stitch marker on the right hand needle to make the beginning and end of your rounds. NOTE: one revolution in a mobius is actually a figure eight, or a top round and bottom round of your twisted tube.
Twisted Fringe Bind Off:
*Elongate your stitch to 2.5 times the length you desire for your finished fringe. For a 4″ fringe, elongate your loop 10″. Twist the loop with your finger 25 times (it can be toward you or away from you, but be consistent with all your twisted fringe loops). (Place the top of the loop back on the LH needle. Knit it together with the next st)x2. Repeat from * for desired length.
Garter Stitch (worked over any number of stitches):
Row 1 (RS): knit across
Rep row 1 for pattern
Stockinette Stitch (worked over any number of stitches):
Row 1 (RS): knit across
Row 2 (WS): purl across
Rep rows 1 – 2 for pattern
Reverse Stockinette Stitch (worked over any number of stitches):
Row 1 (RS): purl across
Row 2 (WS): knit across
Rep rows 1 – 2 for pattern
Seed Stitch (worked over an even number of stitches):
Row 1: *k1, p1. Rep from * across.
Rep row 1 for pattern.
Mistake Rib Stitch:
Row 1 (RS): knit across.
Row 2 (WS): *k1, p1. Rep from * across.
Rep rows 1 – 2 for pattern
1×1 Rib Stitch (worked over an even number of stitches):
Row 1: *k1, p1. Rep from * across
Rep row 1 for pattern
Elongated Slip Stitch Mesh (worked on a multiple of 4 + 1):
Row 1: k1, *BO2, sl1, pass 2nd st up and over slst. Rep from * across.
Row 2: k1, *yo, k1. Rep from * across.
Row 3: knit across.
Row 4: k1, *pick up and knit in the yarn over 2 rows below, k2. Rep from * across.
Row 5: k1, *pick up an knit in the yarn over 3 rows below, k3. Rep from * across.
Repeat rows 1 – 5 for pattern