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
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Comments

  • Wanda

    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.

  • Helena

    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.

  • Angie S.

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

  • Deena

    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

  • Francesca

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

  • http://www.rainloverknits.com Sarah

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

  • http://Ravelry Bordergirl

    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.

  • GinkgoKnits

    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.

  • http://gratitudepractices.wordpress.com Rebecca Gabriel

    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.

  • Jo Alcindor

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

  • Jo

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

  • Retha

    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!

  • Shelley G.

    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.

  • Susan

    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!

  • KileyAmber

    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 :)

  • Lynn

    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!

  • Doris

    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.

  • Aimee K

    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!

  • http://www.cookalotje.blogspot.com Charlotte

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

  • http://www.peaceableliberal.blogspot.com Bonnie

    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!

  • mary mcmahon

    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

  • Heather N

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

  • Hayley

    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.

  • http://sweetpurls.blogspot.com Monica

    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.