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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hat pattern that begins with a long tail cast on. I haven't done one before, though I am sure I can muddle my way through with youtube videos.

I'm just curious...does the hat have to be done this way? What is the advantage of this type of cast on?

It's a simple hat, I'm sure I will have no problem. I'm just curious about this type of cast on. I always like to know the "why" behind the "do it."
 

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In most cases, you can use what you like best, as long as it has the edge you want. I think a majority of people nowadays seem to use longtail (it's fast, for one thing), so it may be the default a lot of designers go for, too. You could do some swatching of different castons and see if one works better than another for you. But then you'd have to learn longtail, so maybe not!! :sm02:
 

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Long tail is a very easy and basic cast on. It provides a pretty stretchy base and is really an excellent cast on for a hat, in addition to most anything else. Take the plunge and learn it. It will be a valuable addition to your knitting 'toolbox'.
 

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I use long-tail cast on for almost everything. I know, we're not supposed to. If I do it on needles a size or two larger, the stretch is wonderful for beginning my ribbing. I do keep forgetting though that I've also knit my first row so the next row is on the wrong side. Oh well!

Anyone wanting a really good reference book? Check out Cast On, Bind Off. They have Kindle versions on Amazon, and it is the most comprehensive book I've seen yet on starting and stopping your knit projects. I've only had it a short time, but have used it several times so far!
 

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Long tail cast ons - plural - are great to know. I almost always use one version or another of the basic long tail cast on. Since you say you've not used it before, take the time to learn how to do it loosely without needing to do it over two needles is my suggestion. This video explains some things about the ltco that you might like to know sooner rather than later including two ways to do the same thing. One might work better for you.


ETA I see someone suggested to use a larger needle. That's cool, I don't mean nobody should do it. Personally I find it a pita and sometimes I want to cast on and only have one set of needles with me. I tried a few times casting on over two needles - before I saw videos like this one - and gave it up because the yarn kept getting caught between the tips. Thankfully I've never needed to do it. I always use the needle I'll be working with. Happy knitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hmm, this is proving to be interesting. it might not be a bad thing for this project to NOT be overly flexible. it is a hat that is optionally a slouchy hat (the non-flexible cast on would help it stay in place) or it can be turned up, which would be better if it were flexible.

janesflute....i might have to try your book! i am a kindle freak, so that's a plus right there. and a reference book would be good for me. i love knitting, but i am rather new to it. i've been a crocheter for years and years, but have found that i prefer knitting. funny thing, that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GrumpyGramma said:
Long tail cast ons - plural - are great to know. I almost always use one version or another of the basic long tail cast on. Since you say you've not used it before, take the time to learn how to do it loosely without needing to do it over two needles is my suggestion. This video explains some things about the ltco that you might like to know sooner rather than later including two ways to do the same thing. One might work better for you.


thanks for the video. i know i need to learn the method. i've seen it in several patterns. i'm always nervous when i try new things. when i have taken the plunge, i tend to goof stuff up! maybe it will just take me a few tries....
 

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starryblu said:
hmm, this is proving to be interesting. it might not be a bad thing for this project to NOT be overly flexible. it is a hat that is optionally a slouchy hat (the non-flexible cast on would help it stay in place) or it can be turned up, which would be better if it were flexible.

janesflute....i might have to try your book! i am a kindle freak, so that's a plus right there. and a reference book would be good for me. i love knitting, but i am rather new to it. i've been a crocheter for years and years, but have found that i prefer knitting. funny thing, that.
Just my dumb opinion, but I think a flexible caston but followed by ribbing or seed stitch or some-such that can stretch bigger & snap back to smaller will give you the "grab" you want on the head. Does your pattern have ribbing at the beginning?
 

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As others have said.... it's another tool in your tool box. There is the german twisted long-tail cast on that is a bit stretchier. It depends on the project, of course.
I don't particularly care for the look of it... that is a personal opinion.

It depends on what you want the edge to look like. For a nice finished-looking edge that shows I do one of these: They both take more work and time than most other cast-ons.
1) Chinese waitress cast on .... it's a bit tedious to do and is best done with a crochet hook as well as knitting needle. very attractive edge.
2) provisional cast on and then i-cord bind-off.... okay, there is an i-cord cast on but I do not like it, nor do I like to do a length of i-cord and pick up stitches.
for this I do a provisional cast on using the long-tail cast on and a piece of waste yarn. After a bit of knitting, I go back and remove the waste yarn, load the stitches on needle and do a two or three stitch i-cord bind-off.... gives a nice braided looking edge

An advantage to both of these is that there is an easily matching bind-off so both ends of an afghan or blanket match.... not pertinent for a hat, obviously.
 

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starryblu said:
thanks for the video. i know i need to learn the method. i've seen it in several patterns. i'm always nervous when i try new things. when i have taken the plunge, i tend to goof stuff up! maybe it will just take me a few tries....
I had a tricky time learning it. I edited my previous post, I was concerned someone would think I meant they were doing it wrong. There is no right or wrong, there is what works and what doesn't for each of us. What's best for me today may be replaced tomorrow with a different way of doing it. I just tried casting on the way Cheryl says she does it and it worked for me, for the first time - I had tried several times before. I might decide that way is best now. lol Which hat are you doing, can you share a link?
 

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knit4ES said:
1) Chinese waitress cast on .... it's a bit tedious to do and is best done with a crochet hook as well as knitting needle. very attractive edge.
-- I second this opinion.
knit4ES said:
2) provisional cast on and then i-cord bind-off.... okay, there is an i-cord cast on but I do not like it, nor do I like to do a length of i-cord and pick up stitches.
-- There's a tubular caston that, if followed by a couple rows/rounds of (one color) double knitting, makes an edge I like better than Icord. It's like a hem.
 

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Think about this in regards to the long tail cast on--- making sure you have the correct amount of yarn to do this-- either use two balls orrrrrrrr pull from both ends of the same ball. After you have cast on the correct number of stitches, just cut the one stand off and away you go. It is very frustrating to not have enough yarn measured out when beginning and,therefore, running out of yarn to be able to cast on enough stitches. Maybe one of the better knitters on kp can explain this to you better
 

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If your hat has 1 x 1 ribbing, Channel Islands caston is great looking, It is a bit more fiddly than others, but it's one of my favorites.
Another type of caston is Alternating caston. You make one stitch with the yarn going one way around your thumb, and one stitch with the yarn going in the opposite direction. After you have cast on 8 or 10 stitches, you will notice that your stitches have arranged themselves in pairs, perfect for 2 x 2 ribbing.
 

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starryblu said:
I have a hat pattern that begins with a long tail cast on. I haven't done one before, though I am sure I can muddle my way through with youtube videos.

I'm just curious...does the hat have to be done this way? What is the advantage of this type of cast on?

It's a simple hat, I'm sure I will have no problem. I'm just curious about this type of cast on. I always like to know the "why" behind the "do it."
Learned when I was very young, I find that the long tail cast on consistently gives me the neatest edge and is certainly flexible enough for the vast majority of my projects. Once in a while if I need a very stretchy edge I will do the cast on row onto a larger size needle.
Recently I finished a little jacket which wanted me to bind off the button bands with the stretchy Russian bind off. I gave it a try and it was tighter than my usual bind off so I tinked back and did it my way. Just do whatever works for you.
 

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Vwjoan said:
Think about this in regards to the long tail cast on--- making sure you have the correct amount of yarn to do this-- either use two balls orrrrrrrr pull from both ends of the same ball. After you have cast on the correct number of stitches, just cut the one stand off and away you go. It is very frustrating to not have enough yarn measured out when beginning and,therefore, running out of yarn to be able to cast on enough stitches. Maybe one of the better knitters on kp can explain this to you better
I think you explained it quite nicely, actually. And it's a very good idea.
 

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Here's my version of determining the amount of yarn I need for the tail of the long tail cast on: I loosely wrap (starting from the end of the yarn) around the needle the number of stitches I'll need to cast on -- plus 5 or 6 to give some play. I always seem to have enough yarn this way. I've tried doing multiples too, but this way always seems to work. Good luck!!
 

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janesflute said:
Here's my version of determining the amount of yarn I need for the tail of the long tail cast on: I loosely wrap (starting from the end of the yarn) around the needle the number of stitches I'll need to cast on -- plus 5 or 6 to give some play. I always seem to have enough yarn this way. I've tried doing multiples too, but this way always seems to work. Good luck!!
I do the same.
 

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When I learned to knit as a child, my aunt taught me the long tail cast on and that is the only cast on I have ever used except in the middle of a project and you have to cast on additional stitches using the backwards loop cast on. In my opinion, the long tail cast on gives a nicer edge because you are not only casting on, you are also knitting a row at the same time. If you are not comfortable with the long tail cast on, then use whatever cast on is most comfortable for you.
 

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There are two different books called Cast On, Bind Off.

This one has 54 of them: https://smile.amazon.com/Cast-Bind-Off-Step---Step-ebook/dp/B008B8A9V8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472158505&sr=1-1&keywords=cast+on+bind+off#nav-subnav

This one has 211 of them, and it's the one I have: https://smile.amazon.com/Cast-Bind-Off-Begin-Knitting-ebook/dp/B00BGHS0I0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472158505&sr=1-2&keywords=cast+on+bind+off#nav-subnav

They're the same price, so the second one gives you more for your money. Both of these books also have tables that show bind-offs that match the cast-ons, so if you're knitting something that has two ends, like a scarf, both ends will look alike. Other tables recommend specific cast-ons for particular advantages, like extra stretchy, not stretchy, decorative, etc.

Cast-ons and bind-offs have different advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the perfect cast-on or bind-off for your project can sometimes make or break the whole thing. I've bound off a pullover neckline and then discovered that the bind-off wouldn't go over my head, so I couldn't wear the sweater unless I fixed it.

I'm sure that you can immediately see that a too-tight cast on for a hat would do the same thing. As others have said, you want a really stretchy cast-on for a hat, with the grip of a nice ribbed edging for a hat.

I want to also caution you about the idea of casting on over two needles. It works for some cast-ons, like the knitted cast-on or the cable cast-on, but will NOT help you for a long-tail cast-on at all. The long tail cast on, when it's not stretchy enough is with the thumb yarn, not the finger yarn. Using a bigger needle or two needles will only make the finger yarn bigger or stretchier, not the part that's a problem. So, you'll still have the too-tight part along with a part that's too big and sloppy, which is probably not what you want.

If you want a stretchier cast-on with any method, you can do that by casting on so there's a space on the needle that's about as wide as the strand of yarn you're using. So, the cast-on stitches on your needle will show a strand of yarn, then an empty space on your needle that's about as wide as the yarn, then another strand of yarn, etc. This works especially well on the Norwegian cast-on also called the old German cast-on. That puts an extra twist in the long tail part between each stitch. I like that cast on because it looks like a very narrow I-cord on the edge.

If you leave the extra space or use the German method or both, you'll need additional yarn for the tail. Between the long tail method and both the German cast-on and extra space, you'll probably need twice the tail yarn, maybe a little less.
 

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I too learned long tail cast on when I began knitting. Now days if I have a very few stitches it's ok, other than that no. For ribbing I've heard cable cast on is great. My personal favorite is a knitted cast on. I'm doing more research on provisional cast on types since I use them a lot on shawls. I never knew that there were so many cast on/offs until I read Stephanie Pearl McPhee's "At Knit's End". The book was an eye opener for me, funny but imformational. In addition to Cast On, Bind Off you might want to read At Knit's End. Both books will really help your knitting.
 
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