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Today marks the big day – the Cast On.

This is the Cast on I was taught, when I first started making socks. It is nice and elastic and good for socks, and anything else that has ribbing.

You start with what is called a provisional cast on. All this means is grab a bit of yarn that is not the one you are using with your socks and cast on half the number plus one of stitches you require.

We can use the Algebraic Method and take our *stitches per inch and times them by 2 to get X and then have 4 times X for the cast on. so if your spi* is 8 then X is 16 and you need 64 stitches for the cast on.

Most socks are cast on in either 56 stitches, 64 stitches or 72 stitches.

The Cast On
See the end for condensed instructions. There is also a good tutorial of this cast on with pictures here: http://www.knitpicks.com/tutorials/Tubular_Cast_On__D21.html

Row 1: So now that you have your number, with your scrap yarn I want to to cast on which ever way you wish HALF the number of stitches and one more.

Row 2: Take your sock knitting yarn and Knit a stitch then do a Yarn Over and then Knit the next stitch and then do a yarn over till the end. Knit the last stitch.

Row 3: With the yarn in front, slip the first stitch as if to purl, then move the yarn to the back and knit the next stitch. Repeat to the end. (You are meant to slip the final stitch but I am naughty and knit it.)

Row 4: Knit the first stitch, move the yarn in front and slip the next stitch as if to purl, then move the yarn back to the back and knit the next stitch. Repeat to the end.

Here you have a choice. Most people recommend doing the following:
Row 5 and 6: Repeat Rows 3 and 4.


If you are impatient like me you can just start ribbing. We will do at least 2 rows of ribbing before making our sock into a tube. You can choose to do a 1×1 Rib (1 knit, 1 purl) or a 2×2 rib (2 knit, 2 purl). (on the way back knit the knits and purl the purls). I will be doing 2×2 Rib.

Once you have done 2 rows of ribbing we will put the stitches onto 4 needles instead on one really crowded one. You will be either at row 6 or 8.

To knit in the round we are going to divide our stitches evenly onto 4 needles. the last needle will have one extra stitch on it. we are going to slip this onto needle number 1 and knit this together with the 1st stitch to join our knitting into the round.

We then will keep knitting our k2, p2 (or 1×1) ribbing around and around until you have X number of rows. X = 2 times your number of stitches per inch.


The Algebraic Version.

Cast on 4x stitches, x on each needle. Join into a round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Knit a cuff in the ribbing stitch of your choice for x rounds.

The Condensed Version.

  • Row 1: K1 *yo, k1; rep from* to end.
  • Rows 2 & 4: K1 *ytf, sl 1, ytb, k1; rep from* to end.
  • Row 3 & 5: Ytf, *sl 1, ytb, k1, ytf; rep from* to end.
  • Row 6-to X- K1, P1 rib OR K2, P2 Rib. (What You want)