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The Cable Cast-on, The German Twisted and the Provisional Cast-on are all good loose, stretchy cast ons.
Italian is nice if you're going to begin ribbing.
Depending on what you'll be doing along the edge, the Provisional might be a great choice because it will give you open sts to work in the other direction to design a nice edging or band.
http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/cast-on
 

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Provisional cast on requires you are going to do something else with the edge later, so it may not be the correct one for the beginning of a shawl.

Just make sure you don't pull the cast on stitches up tight to the next one on the needle. You could use a bigger needle than you will be using for the body of the shawl.
 
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