Knitting Nuances

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Woven Cast On Perfect for Hats, Socks, Everything


Resilient Cast On

I love the Resilient Cast On.

I was using it consistently until I started a few projects with a large number of cast on stitches. It starts with a third more stitches, which made it hard to fit all the stitches on the needle and meant I was casting on forever and ever.


Estrellita_BlanketThis is the project that broke me. It’s a take off on the Estrellita Hat Pattern.

A blanket this size has 1,200 working stitches, but the Resilient Cast On turned that into 1,600 cast on stitches. Too much, even for me. I’ve now knit a more reasonable size and  it will be added to the hat pattern after the holidays.

Start with the Alternating Long-Tail Cast On

We mentioned alternating long-tail cast on when we announced the Showy Rib. It’s something I’ve been doing for years and some others have too. The standard long-tail cast on mimics the knit stitch. By reversing the flow, you can create a purl stitch. This cast on alternates a knit cast on with a purl cast on. It’s great for leading into a rib and offers more flexibility. Take a look at how they differ.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 12.11.56 PM


The Woven Cast On

Many of our Nuances are small tweaks and this one is no exception.

The Woven Cast On simply adds an extra strand of yarn to the tail, but the impact is fabulous.


Free Tutorial Download:

Here’s a two-page photo tutorial for the Woven Cast On.

Where Will You Use This Cast On?

I use it pretty much everywhere, but stretchy edges are perfect like hat brims, of course, and what about socks?

Woven_Sock_CO“Socks? I haven’t seen you publish any sock patterns yet”

Not yet, soon. How could I not do socks when I’m so into knit edges and fabulous ribs? These socks use the Woven Cast On, Showy 1×1 Rib and  Manchester Scarf pattern.

Woven Cast On Set Up

Once you’ve tried the alternating long-tail cast on, the Woven version is just a matter of setting up your tail. The tail here is ultra short so I could photograph it.


Easier Set Up: If you have 2 balls of the same color (this cast on does not look good in 2 colors) you can use 1 strand from one ball and grab 2 strands (inside and out) from the other. Knitting a sweater?  Use 3 balls. Then there’s no need to measure and fold the tail (great benefit!).  Make a temporary slip knot and begin with a ‘normal’ cast on (1 strand on needle). Once you’re done casting on, cut the extra strands and keep knitting. You will have an extra tail or two to weave in later.

It’s easy to cast on and count the woven version since you can see the double strand and know what to do next. Each group of 3 strands counts as 2 stitches. Do not count the slip stitch, you will remove it later.


The Next Row

The Cast On is a right side row (RS). The first row (WS) is worked in an alternating knit/purl pattern to create the woven look. Note: If you are knitting in the round, the first two rows are knit before joining so the instructions are the same as flat.

  • A standard (knit) cast on results in 1 strand on the needle. – Purl this stitch on the next row.
  • The alternating (purl) cast on results in 2 strands on the needle. – Knit these 2 strands as 1 stitch on the next row

Looks pretty with St st, but it will roll.

The edge will want to fold over if you transition directly into stockinette. It blocks flat, but I would still recommend a few rows of seed or rib.

Bonus for Blog Followers  Update!We’ve added  video tutorial.

We now have a You Tube Channel with lot of bonus tips on techniques and patterns. You can find it here:

A Few More Pictures

Louisa Harding yarn cowl coming soon and Showy Broken Rib.

So there you go, a super easy cast on that’s more interesting and more flexible than your standard long tail cast on. And you do not have to ‘cast on loosely’ either. You’ll find it’s perfect for all of your edges. I hope you’ll give it a try and send me some photos.

Looking for a similar bind off? Take a look at our Knotted Bind Off. It’s not a perfect match but is pretty close.

16 comments on “Woven Cast On Perfect for Hats, Socks, Everything

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  3. sharon
    December 14, 2015

    is there a video for this showy cast on and ribbing

    • Laura Cunitz
      December 14, 2015

      Yes, there is! A video has been added to the Bonus Materials page!

  4. M Ricker
    January 7, 2016

    Great CO. Since I do not use continental style in knitting, I find the video a little confusing. Perhaps you could show both ssstyles.

    • Laura Cunitz
      January 7, 2016

      Good feedback. This cast on video only has a bit of rib stitch on the following row. I’ll make sure to try both ways with anything that uses more knitting, you may end up laughing at my throwing technique however!

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  6. Carla
    January 11, 2016

    Hi Laura,
    I appreciate the time you took out of your busy scheduele to make the video tutorials on the long tail /reverse and woven cast on, but unfortunately I was unable to understand how to perform these cast on tutorials because your camera didn’t show a clear consise view of what you were doing. (The camera was too far away). I am relatively new to knitting and require a better view of how to weave the knitting needles around the yarn. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Much thanks in advance.

    • Laura Cunitz
      January 11, 2016

      Did you watch the second part of the Woven Cast On video? I had my son really zoom in there so you can see better. It was our first one. I’ll try to set up something that holds the camera steady and closer.

      Also, it is meant to go with the photo tutorial. That is on the same page on the left and has detailed photos.

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  9. Quynh
    February 8, 2017

    Do you have a matching bind-off for the alternating longtail cast on? I have yet to find one elsewhere… I am wondering whether there is some way to adapt EZ’s outline stitch to match but haven’t yet figured it out.

    • Laura Cunitz
      February 9, 2017

      I’m afraid I don’t have a match for alternating long-tail either. I do have a decorative version that is closer to the “Woven” cast on (which is just alternating with 2 strands and good follow on row). The knotted bind off is pretty but distinctive, where the alternating long-tail is flexible and minimal. I’ll keep playing with the idea.

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  12. Sandra Youngman
    November 3, 2020

    Love it!

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2015 by in Edges, Hats, Nuances, Videos and tagged , , .

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