How to: Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy cast-on

I mainly knit toe-up socks as I hadn’t found a stretchy enough cast-on to get cuff-down socks over my heels comfortably. Instead I would finish my socks with Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off. But while testing the second edition of my Keep It Simple Socks I got to thinking if there was a corresponding cast-on, something with lots of stretch and that still gives a neat finish. After a spot of Googling I discovered that Jeny Staiman, the creator of both these techniques, had indeed created a cast-on to go with the bind-off. And so in the spirit of symmetry, I thought I’d share the technique here with you today. If you are more of a visual learner, you can find the video tutorial below.

  1. This cast-on is made up of a series of slip knots. To start make a slip knot by twisting the yarn to form a loop, with the working end laying over the ball end. Pull the working yarn up through this loop.

2. Place this loop on your needle and pull the working yarn end to tighten. This is your first stitch.

3. Continue making slip knots by holding the working yarn in your fingers and wrapping the yarn away from you around your thumb. Using your needle, pick up the strand of yarn closest to you, running from your fingers to your thumb, from left to right.

4. Then tipping the needle through the loop you have created, pick up the working yarn from right to left and bring it back up through the loop.

5. Snug the stitch you have just created as close as you can to the previous stitch and hold it firmly with your thumb. Pull the working yarn to tighten the knot and secure the stitch.

6. Your second stitch should now be sat right next to the first.

7. Repeat steps 3 – 5 until you have the desired number of stitches.

If for any reason you have a large gap between your stitches, you will need to remove the stitch and make it again. Do to the nature or this cast-on you will not be able to take out the slack later as you usually would, resulting in extra yarn in the final cast-on edge.

8. Once finished you will have a neat row of stitches to begin your project.

You can find all my video tutorials on my YouTube channel

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