View Full Version : long-tail vs knitted cast-on

12-02-2010, 05:38 PM
I am getting ready to cast on 300 and some odd stitches to make a cowl for a friend. Aesthetically as far as the finished look of the cowl is concerned is there a difference btwn doing a long-tail or knitted cast on? I was in the habit of doing long-tail cast on until someone at my LYS showed me a knitted cast on. Now my LYS is closed and I never thought to ask if there was a difference btwn the two.
thank you

Jan in CA
12-02-2010, 05:51 PM
I'm not sure, but I know the long tail is known as a stretchy cast on. I prefer it myself, but I don't know why..maybe because it's fast. If you are concerned about running out of tail you can either use two skeins or cast on with both ends of the skein. I've done both and either one works well for lots of stitches.

12-02-2010, 07:00 PM
The knitted CO is very stretchy too and while I use LT most of the time, for that many sts I do the knit CO. I could use another strand and LT with 2 different ones, but I don't want 2 extra ends to weave in.

12-03-2010, 03:16 AM
I believe that the knitted cast on leaves little holes/gaps between the cast on stitches. It's probably not too noticeable, but I remember that it does leave little holes since a pattern I did before suggested the knitted cast on. Since it left little gaps that you could use to pick up stitches (modular knitting squares).

12-03-2010, 04:52 AM
I would either do long tail with 2 skeins (but I too hate the extra weaving there! Even though it is just one piece of yarn more to take care of).

But I have also done a bunch of projects with that many stitches with the crochet cast on (crochet a chain over the knitting needle).

How thin is your yarn? Will you not make a pretty big tube? Some stretch you will get with the crochet cast on, too. You can increase that by the size of hook you use for that chain (larger hook = more slack). And I do love the edge. It looks just like the regular bind off.

Another version is you need super stretch would be a tubular cast on or round cast on, but with 300 stitches I would lose my mind over that. Something IS going to twist, I am sure.
you could also do a provisional cast on, open it later and sew off or bind off like on the top. Also an extra end to weave but then both sides REALLY match.

12-03-2010, 11:59 AM
With big number cast-ons I always go with the knitted. I just finished a scarf that had 638 for a cast on and I added a marker for every 100 I did. (just in case I need to stop or so not have to count them all over again...)

12-03-2010, 05:47 PM

If you need a nice, extra-stretchy cast on, Old Norwegian is terrific. I always had problems with a too-tight top when knitting top down socks until I discovered Old Norwegian Cast On, recommended in Ann Budd's excellent book, "Getting Started Knitting Socks".

There's a video on here that shows it but I needed the written instructions as well to get it to all come together. Now I use it on most things I knit, and I work it loosely for a little extra give.

Hope this helps!

Ruthie :o)

12-04-2010, 03:16 PM
I love the Old Norwegian (I call it Old German) cast on and once I got the hang of it I use it most all the time. But when I had to cast on over 300 stitches my LYS gal had me use two balls of yarn. It worked well.

Jan in CA
12-04-2010, 04:21 PM
I use the German Twisted (old norwegian) for socks knit from the top down or necks.

12-05-2010, 06:28 AM
300 stitches to cast on? YIKES!

12-05-2010, 10:30 AM
It's a version of LT cast on that's stretchier than the regular one; there's a video for it on the Cast ons page.

05-25-2014, 07:05 PM
been reading some newly picked-up library books on knitting and ljust learned a new trick with long-tail cast-on:

begin by having the appropriate tail amount for sewing in later hang loose (6-12" usually), then wrap the working yarn around two needles for the number of stitches you're supposed start with, (pattern says cast-on 30, then wrap 30 times). wherever you end, that's where you do your slip knot. unravel/slide off the yarn you wrapped, then begin adding back the stitches.

once you're more comfortable with the long-tail cast-on, you can choose to work this way using only one needle instead of two, to create a more subtle edge.

i've been bad about doing the cast-on a few times until i get it right. measuring/estimating accurately has been an issue.

so thanks, "knitting with balls: a hands-on guide to knitting for the modern man."