It’s no secret that I love the long-tail cast on. It’s a nice mix of firm and stretchy. It doesn’t mutate into extra-long loops as you work the first row. It’s pretty fast to do.
The long-tail cast on is essentially a cast on combined with a row of knitting, done at the same time. That’s what gives it those wonderful properties. That means that the long-tail should count as the first right side row of any work. The long-tail cast on looks like a row of knit stitches, which is great if you’re working a piece of stockinette. But what if you want your cast on to match the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater and are a relentless perfectionist?
If you can cast on and knit simultaneously, then you can cast on and purl simultaneously too.
Let’s review the knit long-tail a bit:
Hold the working yarn (coming from the ball) over your thumb. Hold the long tail over your index finger. (Or vice-versa.) Let the loose ends drape down your palm and grasp them lightly in your other fingers. This forms two loops, one over your thumb and one over your index finger.
The needle moves around and under the outer strand on the thumb and comes up in the middle of the loop. Then the needle goes under the closest strand on the index finger, from outside moving inwards. The strand is pulled through the loop and the resulting stitch is tightened up.
The right side and wrong side of the cast on.
For the purl long-tail cast on, the set up is the same. Hold the yarn as if to do a regular long-tail cast on.
The needle moves around and under the outer strand on the index finger and comes up in the middle of the loop. Then the needle goes under the closest strand on the thumb, from inside moving outwards. The strand is pulled through the loop and the resulting purl stitch is tightened up.
The right side and wrong side of the cast on. See the purls?
Make sure that the needle goes under the strand from behind. If the needle goes under from the front of the strand, the stitch will be twisted.
Look, a video! There’s no sound, just real-time cast ons. Exciting!