When it comes to casting on and binding off I have basically done it the same way since the day my grandmother taught me. Except for one of them. Grandma was a basic knitter. When she cast on to knit, she did the backward loop method. This is super easy to teach to people first learning to knit. I don't think she knew of any other way, but I assume--and I can't ask her if this is the case because she doesn't remember me anymore--that she didn't know any other type of cast on.
Anyway, I think I have told the story to you before, but I knit a bunch of swatches when I was little and that was pretty much it. Kind of like Girlfriend has done. And then I dropped knitting. Kind of like Girlfriend has done. And then in high school I knit a long striped scarf for a boyfriend and it rolled furiously and most passionately (I didn't yet know the part about adding a garter edge) and he loved it anyway. Then I never knit until I was pregnant with Girlfriend. But sitting there on a Friday afternoon a long time ago in the LYS, I showed off a sweater that I had altered to be a maternity tank. I was so proud. Then the owner walked over and tut-tutted about something. I asked what was wrong and she sneered, "What kind of cast on did you use? A backward loop? That is not good, not good at all!" And the rest of the group nodded in agreement.
Well, let's just say later I quietly checked out other options and settled on the long-tail cast on in secret. Since then, and it's been about nine years, that is the only way I have cast on except, of course, when I'm needing to do a provisional or cast on in the midst of a row and then either backward loop or cable cast on gets thrown in. What I'm getting at are actually two things.
Numero Uno: Never shame someone when they're doing something for pleasure. It's not fracking rocket science and who the heck cares if I used a dang backward loop?
Niban: If you have a no-nonsense guide to a multitude of cast ons and bind offs that will serve you well and it's not the likes of a huge encyclopedia that can double as a weapon should a burglar try to break in, then Leslie Ann Bestor's Cast On Bind Off will be a great book for you.
Although I'm perfectly happy doing the three or four in my personal repertoire, I really like the idea that instead of fiddling at the top of a top-down cap (I knit my caps and berets from the top down most of the time) that there are two in the book that will suit me well. There's a Circular Cast On that uses a crochet hook and then there's the Invisible Circular Cast On that does not. Both are pretty simple and from now on, I'll use them when I knit or design new caps. She also covers provisional cast ons, which are obviously on my radar with all the top-down stuff I do, as well as multi-color cast ons that look pretty easy. All techniques are shown side-by-side with step-by-step photography.
The only thing I didn't find--and to tell you the truth I don't know if they exist--are multi-color bind offs, which I would really like to try.
Her publisher will award a copy of this resource to randomly selected commenter on Knit and Tonic. All I ask is that you leave a comment with your favorite cast on or bind off method.
I'll leave this post open until Friday, July 13th (whoops!) and alert the winner via email. Thanks for playing!
Comments are now closed. Thanks everyone for joining in! Congratulations, Stacy D!