Over the years I have shown my cast on to many different people, it's a cast on that I *unvented about 30 years ago when I first learned to knit. I was in a foreign country (Denmark) and trying to learn how to cast on by watching someone across the room from me. I think I was trying to do the long tail cast on, but I didn't have a long tail. What came out of that was this cast on that requires no long tail. I call it the slipknot cast on because essentially you are making a series of slipknots on your needle. This means you can count your original slipknot as a stitch because it is not different than the rest of the cast on stitches.
I love my cast on and use it for almost everything. The advantages of this cast on are:
- No long tail so you don't need to calculate how much yarn to use. You can also use it when you need to cast on in the middle of a pattern, for example if you are making buttonholes.
- Very flexible edge. The edge is the stretchiest I've found, yet it's also stable and snaps back to its original position very easily.
- Unobtrusive style. The edge looks like little purl bumps from all angles, front back and on the very edge. This means it's perfect for reversible fabrics as there is no "front" or "back" look to the cast on. It also doesn't really look like anything, no heavy row of cast on stitches that look different from the rest of the fabric.
- Unlike the tubular cast on, it works whether you are knitting, ribbing or starting right off with a pattern stitch.
- It pairs well with Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind off.
*unvented is a term that Elizabeth Zimmermann coined to explain those techniques we invent, but which have most likely been invented before us by other knitters over the years.