This is a tutorial for Jeny Staiman’s surprisingly stretchy cast on. She also has a surprisingly stretchy bind off, which I will hopefully write a tutorial for someday soon.
This cast on is my go to cast on whenever I want something to be stretchy! It’s great for socks, hats, sweater necks…everything! Because this cast on is essentially a series of slip knots, you’ll need a smooth yarn, as a bumpy yarn will catch as you go along.
- Make a slip knot and place it on your knitting needle.
- Take the working yarn, and from the inside of your left hand toward the outside, bring it between your middle and index finger.
- Loop the yarn around your left thumb by laying it over the top and bringing it around the other side.
- Lay the yarn back on top of your left index finger.
- With your needle in your right hand, bring the tip of the needle around the back of the strand of yarn farthest from you from the top.
- Reach under the further strand and grab the strand of yarn closest to you with the tip of the needle.
- As you bring the near strand back under the far strand, twist your thumb away from you so that the yarn forms a loop over the needle and your thumb.
- With the needle tip, reach up over the back of strand on top of your index finger and bring it through the loop that is around your thumb.
- Keeping your yarn snug, release the loop that is around your thumb and pull it tight. The loop will form a slip knot at the base of your needle, and you will have a stitch cast onto your needle.
- Repeat steps 1-9 until you have the desired number of stitches cast on.
Sometimes even with the best of tensions, the loop doesn’t want to close nicely. You can try to pull it down a little bit and loosen it again with your right hand and then try to pull it snug again, or you can simply take it off the needle and try again. This cast on feels very fiddly at first, but with practice, it’s a very fast cast on!