The Cure for the Common Cast On (and Bind Off)

Posted on | July 14, 2012 | 74 Comments

There are few things that excite me more than a good knitting technique book, especially when it really narrows in on a particular topic in detail. Leslie Ann Bestor’s new book: Cast On, Bind Off features 54 ways to start and finish your knits. Yes, I said 54. Believe it or not, long-tail isn’t the only way to cast on and a standard bind off isn’t the only way to finish things up!

I have to admit that when I’m knitting along on a project, it’s really easy to slip into a comfort zone and only use the techniques I know by heart. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to redo a cuff edge on a sock or the bind off on a shawl over again because of that comfort zone. I’m a pretty patient person, but when it comes to fixing a sock that was knit from the cuff down or shawl edge that has about a million stitches along the edge, it’s enough to make a grown knitter cry. I always regret not taking a few extra minutes to look up the proper technique and do it right the first time.

When I design, however, it’s a different story. Taking the time to plan out an interesting detail or two to keep the knitter engaged is really important to me. Since a lot of my designs are silhouette based, rather than technique, using an interesting cast on or bind off is a way for me to introduce a new skill without compromising my design.

My favorite cast on to use is one version of a tubular cast on, which can be a little tricky to work. In this instance, Leslie uses step-by-step photographs to clearly explain how to work four different versions of this cast on, giving you tips on how to “get it right” along the way. In the beginning of each technique in the book, she also gives a short summary of its characteristics and what it is good for. It’s always nice to know if a particular technique will give you the result you envision before you begin. Even if you don’t know where to start, the clear chapter headings will help guide you to where you need to be.

Personally, I think this book is really going to help me step out of my self-imposed cast on/bind off rut and I think it would be a welcome addition to any knitter’s library.

Thanks to Storey Publishing, I have one copy of Cast On, Bind Off to give away! Just leave me a comment below about something related to the book. Maybe you want to tell me about your favorite go to technique, a new technique you’d like to try, or why you think this book would be a perfect addition to your library. Something just generally amusing is good too. I love a good laugh.  Comments will be open until Wednesday July 18th 9pm EST and one winner will be chosen via a random number generator.

And in the meantime, go check it out at your LYS! Just tell your significant other you need to do some “research”.

If you’d like to follow along with the blog tour, check out the list below.

Cast On Bind Off Blog Tour
7/9         Picnic Knits
7/10       Knit and Tonic
7/11       Zeneedle
7/12       Rambling Designs
7/13       Rambling Designs Pt. 2
7/14       Neoknits
7/15       Knit & Nosh
7/16       Knitting at Large
7/17       Rebecca Danger
7/18       Lapdog Creations
7/19       Nutmeg Knitter
7/20       Yarnagogo
7/21       Weekend Knitter
7/22       knitgrrl
7/23       It’s a Purl, Man
7/24       Whip Up
7/25       Knitspot
7/26       Under the Humble Moon
7/27       Knitting Daily
7/28       Knitting School Dropout
7/29       Hugs for Your Head
7/30       The Knit Girllls


74 Responses to “The Cure for the Common Cast On (and Bind Off)”

  1. Laurie
    July 14th, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    I struggled and struggled to learn a tubular cast on. Hard to find good instruction in the books. Youtube was partly helpful. I look forward to seeing Leslie Ann’s book, and learning techniques tailored to my project!

  2. Julie Contino
    July 14th, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    I first read about this book on Knit and Tonic and am now stalking the tour! I hadn’t realized that there are so many cast on/bind off options! I would love to get my hands on a copy of this book to expand my knitting knowledge!

  3. Amanda
    July 14th, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    Well, you pretty much said it. When left to my own devices, I’m a long-tail cast on/chain bind off kind of lady… even though those techniques are not always ideal. I love the idea of designing with a decorative cast on and/or bind off for some subtle interest.

  4. andrea
    July 14th, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    i just may have to borrow your “research” idea. the next time i go shopping. as for my go to cast on it is a cable cast on but i know with the aid of this book i just might be able to master the long tail cast on after all. thank you for the chance to win.

  5. Marsha
    July 14th, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    I’m stuck in a rut with long tail cast on and basic knit bind off. Would love to learn more techniques and looks like this book would be a great way to do that.

  6. Anne Marie
    July 14th, 2012 @ 10:04 am

    You just reminded me how much I like a tubular cast on. I’ll have to start using it again. Rav amchart

  7. Sheila
    July 14th, 2012 @ 11:07 am

    I really look forward to getting my hands on this book – it sounds great. I too tend to live in a self-imposed cast on rut, only it’s long tail for me.

  8. Shirley
    July 14th, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    I am always looking for new knitting techniques to learn. I can’t believe there are actually over 50 ways to cast on and off, so I’d love to have this book to check them all out!

  9. Eleanor
    July 14th, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    I can’t stand when instructions state merely “cast on” and “bind off”. My response is always, “But how?!” I would love to have this book to study what techniques are appropriate for which situations, so I could provide myself with an answer to my perpetual question.

  10. Kim
    July 14th, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    So glad I’m not the only one stalking this book! Would love to win it, but, if not, I think it’s a necessary addition to the knitting shelf! Thanks for the chance.

  11. Kathleen
    July 14th, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    LTCO is my fallback, too. But my favorite is a picot CO matched with a picot BO (not a picot hem). Of course, they are only suited to some applications!

  12. debd94
    July 14th, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    I’d like to learn a new provisional cast-on. Thank you for the giveaway.

  13. Thao
    July 14th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    It would be nice to learn a different cast on than what I normally do… I am so impatient to start that I normally don’t want to take the time to try something new.

  14. Karen S
    July 14th, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    Oohh, a new compendium for interesting techniques! I love such books. And even better as it’s one of my favorite “hate” subjects. I always find it so hard to find the right cast on that I usually just use the one I know how to do properly, even if it’s not the perfect for the project. This book would certainly come in handy with regard to helping that.

  15. Cheryl S.
    July 14th, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    I would love to have a copy of this book. The spiral binding is fabulous – makes it so much easier to use. I wish all knitting books were that way.

  16. Barbara
    July 14th, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

    Cast ons may the one thing that keep me from moving further forward in my knitting. If it needs something other than long tail, I put it off and put it off….and I don’t even want to think about the number of bind offs I’ve had to redo to make more stretchy! I definitely need some help in this department :)

  17. Ivy
    July 14th, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    Excellent-sounding book! Matching the right cast-on and bind-off for one’s project is so important and this sounds like a valuable resource for that.

    And ever since I learnt the infinity long-tail cast-on, high-number COs no longer seem so daunting. :-)

  18. Cayenne
    July 14th, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    I really like Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off and my cast on rut is Cabled Cast on. I use that for almost everything. This sounds like a really interesting book.

  19. Jo
    July 14th, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    As I stalk the book tour, I am realizing that I use more cast-ons than I realize. My go to is long tail, but I have also used crochet and another provisional cast on, backward loop and cable cast on. However, I only use one kind of bind off–how lame is that? The book sounds like a great resource!

  20. Debbie H
    July 14th, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    My 2 fav Cast ons are long tail and Judy’s Magic Cast On. thanks!

  21. Ingrid
    July 14th, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    For some reason I’ve become stuck in a twisted German cast on rut… This sounds like exactly what I need to broaden my horizons!

  22. Suzanne Shattuck
    July 14th, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    My sister taught me to knit using the knitted cast on and that is all I used until recently I have become acquainted with the long tail but still perfecting that option. I see all of these other methods and the different bindings they make and would love to learn them. It would greatly broaden my project horizons. So in other words…I HOPE I WIN! lol

    schwip on Ravelry

  23. Staci
    July 14th, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    There are 54 ways?! Who knew?? They look awesome just from the cover alone! I sincerely hope I win, and wishing good luck to everyone all the same

  24. Sarah
    July 14th, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    I’m like you, often use the wrong cast off, and then have to go back and fix it, sometimes more than once, so this would definitely be a great book for me!

  25. Kristen E
    July 14th, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

    This is so exciting! I’m definitely going to have to get it. I know about 7 or 8 cast-ons and bind-offs off the top of my head, so I can usually come up with something that works, but I really love making my knits look super-polished, so I can’t wait to learn the ones I don’t know!

  26. Kamigaeru
    July 14th, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

    I am forever searching the internet for help whenever I encounter the need for a non-standard cast on or bind off… ugh!!! (Didn’t I bookmark that site last time? They took down the YouTube video?! Where the –?!?!?!?) So frustrating. This book looks like a super awesome go-to resource to have on a knitperson’s bookshelf!

  27. Jeanine
    July 14th, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

    Thanks for the chance to win! I only know the long tail cast on and I don’t even know what to call the method I use to bind off on…so I’m assuming it’s fairly simple. This would be a fantastic addition to my library.

  28. Connie
    July 14th, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

    Oooh I’d love a copy! My favorite bind off is the tubular, but other than that one, I usually go to the tried and true long tail cast on. I’d love to learn more types!

  29. Tanya M
    July 14th, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

    This would be a great addition to the library!

  30. Brandon
    July 14th, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

    54 cast on and bind offs? Next you’ll tell us that Jenny isn’t the only person with a super stretchy one…but if she isn’t I’d love to read about it. Working every stitch twice makes getting to the end feel so slow.

  31. irene
    July 14th, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

    I usually use a cable cast on when I start. I can do the long tail cast on, but sometimes it turns out pretty tight and non-elastic, so I tend to use the cable cast on. Seriously, that many types of cast on? I’ve got to get this book. I enjoy learning new techniques, but can’t remember them later. A book with all the cast on techniques will be just the ticket.

  32. Sally
    July 15th, 2012 @ 4:55 am

    I have to confess, I don’t think in 30-odd years knitting I’ve ever used more than maybe four or five different cast ons, I haven’t yet even really used long-tail. I’ll definately be investigating this book. As a designer as well as a knitter its so useful to try different techniques.

  33. Louisa
    July 15th, 2012 @ 6:03 am

    I am forever googling this sort of thing as I hate spoiling projects with the wrong cast on or cast off technique. It would be great to have this information all in the one place!

  34. Robin in VA
    July 15th, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    I’m really interested learning to do the Old Norwegian cast on…I’ve never heard of it before!

  35. Katherine
    July 15th, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    I would love to learn more cast on/cast offs. Long-tail is my Go To cast on but I recently learned Russian Bind off (for toe-up socks) and I love it! Never realised you could cast off in so many different ways!

  36. Christine
    July 15th, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    I could really use this book..I have my set ways of doing cast ons and bind offs and would be very interested to expand my knowledge.

  37. Patricia Edie
    July 15th, 2012 @ 10:27 am

    I would love to own this book. I just checked it out of my library and found it extremely helpful! I too am in a rut with my cast on, bind offs!

  38. Michelle
    July 15th, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    It would just be so much easier to have one book of cast on and bind offs, instead of having to search through the internet or my library! I can’t tell you the amount of times that I’ve googled kitchener stitch. Thanks so much for the great give-away!

  39. meppybn
    July 15th, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    Am following the tour and glad to have found you :) I think I am in a rut too as far as casting on and off methods go and this book sounds like it will make knitting far more interesting and effective for certain projects. I’m a bit of a bore and can’t think of anything funny right now though :(

  40. kayT
    July 15th, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    I am going to have to get this book one way or another! So if I win great but if not I will be buying it. Um, I guess the author would prefer I not win as that will cost her a sale! oops.

  41. Kathy
    July 15th, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    I think it’s weird that a book can be all about bind offs and castons and yet, I really want the book so I can make my stuff more interesting. thanks for hosting!

  42. Louise
    July 15th, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

    I wish I had had this book years ago. However, better late than never. Now maybe I’ll be able to get “the finishing touch” to make my projects reflect the effort I put forth.

  43. Sharon M
    July 15th, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    For a long time, I never even knew there was more than one cast-on (long tail) or bind-off (pull one stitch over the other). It was only when patterns specified certain techniques that I found out there was a whole new world out there!

  44. MelodyJ
    July 15th, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    I only know the cable cast on. So, I want to learn more.


  45. Geraldine Scott
    July 15th, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

    I definitely need this book to expand my horizons! Stuck in a rut. I recently learned how to do a provisional cast-on. It was scary at first and then fun when I realized it worked!

  46. Aleda
    July 15th, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    While I’m relatively adventurous about trying new techniques within a knitting project, I’m a little more hesitant when it comes to trying new cast-ons or bind-offs. I think this book would definitely be helpful in that regard!

  47. Helen
    July 15th, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    Ravelry really put me in touch with other cast on techniques.

    As for new techniques, just this past week I learned how to do a norwegian purl and JMCO!

  48. Chantal Boucher
    July 15th, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    If i tell you that i would need more casting on techniques than casting off… If casting on is more complicated, maybe that would make me more incline to finish my on-going projects and… make me more interested with the casting off techniques… hummm i need reflexion on that…

  49. Ivory
    July 15th, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

    I’m a long-tail lady, with knit bind-offs, but I do try new methods when a pattern recommends or calls for it. I’d love a single go-to resource for learning all of those new tricks!

  50. Margaret Law
    July 16th, 2012 @ 1:19 am

    I just love learning new stuff about knitting , each time I do it’s gets me all excited about our craft all over again. Last week it was old Norwegian cast on who know what next week will hold!!!

  51. Wanda
    July 16th, 2012 @ 6:45 am

    I only use the long tail cast on and the traditional bind off. Too intimidated to try something new and potentially mess it up! I’m sure this book would give me confidence to try something new.

  52. Helena
    July 16th, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    I do quite like the Judy’s Magic Cast-on and Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind-off combo that make toe-up socks more pleasure than pain.

  53. Angie S.
    July 16th, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    I really would love to do stetchy cast-ons and bind-offs. I also love the portability of this book.

  54. Deena
    July 16th, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    I love trying out new cast-ons and bind-offs – especially bind-offs. It’s such an easy way to make a pattern a little more personal

  55. Francesca
    July 16th, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    Been eyeing this book… I always default to long tail cast on and never take the time to learn new ways.

  56. Sarah
    July 16th, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

    Love this book, it looks so helpful! Would love to be able to try all the new things.

  57. Bordergirl
    July 16th, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    A much needed book – one that would surely help my limited knitting skills. I really need help with bind offs! Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  58. GinkgoKnits
    July 17th, 2012 @ 3:06 am

    I have wanted a book like this for years. I would have loved to have such a complete guide when I first began to knit.

  59. Rebecca Gabriel
    July 17th, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    Go to is long-tail cast on and k2, pass first stitch over. After learning super stretchy cast on and cast off, I use those exclusively for socks.

  60. Jo Alcindor
    July 17th, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    I really don’t give much thought to the cast on/bind off but it’s so important. Nice idea for a book.

  61. Jo
    July 18th, 2012 @ 2:21 am

    This is definitely a must read for me. I am so stuckmwith long tail cast on and plain vanilla cast off. thanks!

  62. Retha
    July 18th, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    I use long tail cast on most of the time unless it needs to be stretchy, then it’s German Twisted cast on. Cast on’s and bind off’s are pretty much determined by the application. So I could definitely use more techniques in my repertoire!

  63. Shelley G.
    July 18th, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    I would love to have this book for my knitting library. I like learning new methods, but can never remember the qualities of each when the time comes to cast on or bind of, so I always go with longtail and bind off the normal way.

  64. Susan
    July 18th, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    I would LOVE to win this book! Now that I have finally mastered the long-tail cast on method, I don’t use anything else. And the only bind-off method I have ever used is the basic knit two, pass one stitch over the other. Clearly my repertoire needs to be expanded. Thanks for hosting this contest. Oh, and pick me, please!

  65. KileyAmber
    July 18th, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    I would love to win this book. I just recently learned to cast on all by myself and the long tail method is the only way I know. This would be awesome :)

  66. Lynn
    July 18th, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    I am a long tail cast on and boring knit bind off person. I have promised myself to take a class, but have not yet. Looks like a great resource book. Thanks for a chance!

  67. Doris
    July 18th, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    I love the idea of this book. I need to learn more techniques, but the size is what makes me really want it…it can fit in my bag and be a go-to resource.

  68. Aimee K
    July 18th, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

    I used to do the long tail cast on, but then discovered the German twisted which is much more elastic. I use it all the time. Then there’s some sort of rib cast on that my LYS owner just taught me but I can’t for the life of me remember how to do it. This book would be very handy!

  69. Charlotte
    July 19th, 2012 @ 6:18 am

    Long tail all the way! I’m getting pretty good at guestimating the yarn needed as well.

  70. Bonnie
    July 19th, 2012 @ 11:56 am

    I only know a couple bind offs and cast ons, and I think it would be really helpful to have a reference that not only tells me how to do different techniques, but what situation might be best for a specific cast on/bind off. This book looks great!

  71. mary mcmahon
    July 26th, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

    if Leslie had seen me struggle through cable cast on the first time I tried it, she would be overnight-ing this book to me! mary in Cincinnati

  72. Heather N
    July 27th, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

    I think it is great that the have dedicated a whole resource/book for just the basic start and end of knitting!

  73. Hayley
    August 1st, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    I’d love to have a read of this book. I only know two ways to cast on and one way to cast off, and I’ve never really been happy with the lack of stretchyness in my cast off. This books looks like the solution to these woes. Thanks for blogging about it.

  74. Monica
    October 19th, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    I really want to learn cast on techniques other than the long tail & cable that I use all the time. This books seems like a good resource for any knitter collection. Thanks for the opportunity.

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