When you are looking for an easy, slightly stretchy method to cast on that looks neat and polished, try the cable cast on.
Why Use the Cable Cast On?
This method of casting on is a great one even for a beginner because it creates a sturdy yet elastic edge that has a neat finish. It’s very similar to the knitted cast on, where you are using one strand of yarn to “knit” stitches and slide them onto the left needle. It gives just a bit neater edge but is not any more difficult to master than the knitted cast on.
For this method, you do not need waste yarn or a long yarn tail like the long tail cast on.
When Should You Use the Cable Cast On?
This edging is extremely useful for ribbing edges, as it will stretch slightly without stretching out of shape. It does not flare and gives the first row or round good stability.
Use this cast on for any area that is ribbed – a bottom-up hat, for example, or the hem and sleeves of a sweater. I usually will not use this cast on for sock knitting, as that requires a bit more stretch than this knitting technique allows. So, even if it may be a ribbed cuff and I’m working cuff-down, I don’t use the cable cast on method for socks.
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Cable Cast On Photo Tutorial and Written Instructions
Step One: Begin with a slip knot on your needle.
Step Two: Work the knitted cast on for one stitch. Insert right hand needle into stitch as if to knit, pull up a loop from the working yarn, loosen it and transfer it to the left hand needle.
Step Three: Insert the right needle between the two stitches on the left needle.
Step Four: Wrap the yarn around the right needle as if to knit (either Continental or English) and pull the yarn through to make a new loop.
Step Five: Transfer the new stitch onto the left needle.
Repeat steps 3-5 for each stitch, always making sure to insert the needle between the stitches to work this cast on method.
Cable Cast On for Buttonhole (or in Middle of a Row)
This method of casting on is wonderful for buttonholes because it gives a nice clean edge that will not stretch out of shape.
To work the cable cast on for a buttonhole, you would work to the last stitch before the bind off, then work the instructions given above, starting by inserting your needle into the middle of the last two stitches on the left hand needle.
Then, cast on as many stitches as needed and continue working across the live stitches from the previous row or round.
Cable Cast On in the Round
It’s also easy to use this method of casting on when working in the round. There is no different technique for working the cable cast on in the round, just cast on the way you would on straight needles and use a joining method to join your work.
You can use this method with double pointed needles or a circular needle.
Common Questions about the Cable Cast On
The cable cast on is a knitting technique that uses the working yarn to pull up stitches and place them on the needles. It is similar to the knitted cast on, only you are inserting your needle between the stitches instead of into the last stitch.
It does have a slight stretch to it. This is also a sturdy edge that is great for ribbed edges to give them stability and keep them from stretching out of shape. If you are looking for a very elastic cast on method, this isn’t it.
No, casting on with this technique will not count as a row. After you have all of your stitches on the needles, you will begin with row one of your pattern, whether garter stitch, stockinette stitch, or ribbing.
This cast on method is wonderful for hats! It gives the edge a slight bit of stretch but also makes it snug enough to stay on your head. In my opinion it’s one of the best cast on methods for hats out there.
To cast on in the middle of a row using this method, you would work to the area you need to add stitches, then insert the right needle into the middle of the last two stitches worked and complete the cable cast on as indicated above.
I hope you will try this technique for your next knitting project!