To Finish as You Started

Have you ever wondered about cast-offs that matches your cast-on? Well, my Curiosity Cabinet of Knitting Stitches contains not one, not two, but three such matches. The Curiosity Cabinet opens to the public on 15 February at Prick Your Finger, so come along for a wee drink from 6 to 9pm.


long-tail cast-on matched with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “casting on casting off”

Matching your cast-off technique to look like your cast-on won’t take you any extra effort, yet it is one of those details that really gives a finishing touch to your knitted item. One of my favourites in these matching looks is the tubular cast-on and tubular cast-off for 1X1 ribbing:


tubular cast-on paired with tubular cast-off

I just love how the stitches just roll over the edge to the other side, and as this cast-on is tubular, you have also knitted a neat little channel in which to hide your yarn tails. A winner all round. Indeed, these are the techniques I used for Susan Crawford’s Kasha cardigan, to match the ribbed edges throughout the garment.


Kasha cardigan, with matching ribbed edges

As you probably know, the most common used cast-off is the chain cast-off: knit 1, [knit 1, pass second stitch on right needle over the first stitch and off the needle], repeat to end. This is a nice, firm cast-off that gets used very often, and wouldn’t it be great if you could have a matching cast-on? Well, you can. May I present to you the crochet cast-on!


crochet cast-on complements the chain cast-off

This would be a good match for a scarf, for instance, as they give a firm edge and thus prevent the ends flaring out. If you would like to see these curious stitches in person, then come along on 15 February to the private view at Prick Your Finger, or pop in over the following few weeks.

Or, if you want to add these little gems to your knitting repertoire, then you can join my Curious Stitches workshop on 16 February 1-3pm; sign up here! I will teach you all six techniques shown in the green swatches above. This class is aimed at intermediate knitters.

3 Replies to “To Finish as You Started”

  1. There are more matching cast on bind off….besides the ones you mentioned.

    You can also use an I cord cast on (and matching I cord selvage), and I cord bind off.

    There is also a double chain cast on (2 ways to work way and other called the Chinese Waitress)–and a double chain selvage stitch, and a double chain bind off.

    If you work a standard long tail–EXCEPT
    1–make the tail a bit longer
    2–make one cast on, then rotate the yarns (thumb yarn UP to index finger (with the movement in front) and index finger yarn to thumb (in back)
    then repeat for every stitch,

    the result is a long tail cast on edge that looks more like a chain stitch–NOT exactly, but close. (this can be done in 2 colors, or more–or in a single color.) in multi colors it looks sort of braided, but in a single color it looks like a chain.

    Like wise a knit cast on with picots (the cast on 4, *bind off 2, cast on 4 again, (repeat across work) when paired with a picot bind off, (bind off 2, *cast on 2 bind off 4,) (and there is a selvage that matches this, too)

    I love learning cast ons, (and know a few bind offs too!)

  2. Hi Tom,

    I really looking forward to seeing the curiosity cabinet and have even signed up for the class on Saturday. It will be my first knitting class ever! It was such a nice idea that I couldn’t resist. I really enjoy the blog- thanks for taking the time to do it. Kind regards, renee

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