Stretchy Rib Cast On

September 13, 2007

Stretchy cast onThis was adapted from a free Regia leaflet, called “Sock Pattern & How-to-knit Guide”. The instructions for the cast on in the leaflet made no sense to me at all. For example, the complete instructions for Round 2 read “*slip the K stitch purlwise yarn at front of work rep from *” – exactly like that, no punctuation or anything. As far as I can see, all it’s telling you to do is slip all the stitches in the round, so basically you’re doing absolutely nothing apart from moving stitches from one needle to another. So here we go with my interpretation which actually works (and, I hope, makes sense!).

Stretchy Rib Cast on for Top Down Socks

Cast on HALF the number of stitches required for the cuff using a contrasting waste yarn. My sock pattern needed 64 stitches altogether, so I cast on 32 stitches.

Now continue with your sock yarn.

Round 1: *Knit 1, yarn over needle. Repeat from * arranging knit stitches and made stitches (the yarn overs) across your 3 or 4 double pointed needles.

Round 2: *Yarn at back, slip the knit stitch purlwise. Yarn at front, purl the made stitch. Repeat from * making sure you include the very last made stitch at the end of the round.

Round 3: *Yarn at back, knit 1. Yarn at front, slip purl stitch purlwise. Continue from * to end of round

Round 4: * Yarn at back, slip knit stitch purlwise. Yarn at front, purl 1. Continue from * to the end of the round.

Now continue with normal knit 1 purl 1, or any other rib that you prefer . Remove the waste yarn.

Stretchy cast on

When I first figured this out, I really didn’t believe that it would work. I was convinced that when I removed the waste yarn I would be left with open stitches. So, I knitted just 2 rounds of normal ribbing after the 4 cast on rounds, then removed the waste – see the picture above. If you try my version you might like to do the same, just in case…. far better to undo a few rounds than knit a complete sock with a wrecked cast on edge!

Lana Grossa Maya CottonAnd here’s the yarn I’m using, Lana Grossa Maya Cotton which is 45% cotton, 42% wool, 13% nylon.

11 Responses to “Stretchy Rib Cast On”

  1. ellie Says:

    Thank you so much for this, I’ve been looking for instructions like this for a long time!


  2. TheBlackPurl Says:

    This is very similar (and produces an identical result) to the tubular cast on, but it’s so much easier to work! Thank you!
    How you got from the regia instructions to your brilliant method I don’t know, but you’ve done knitters everywhere a great service 😉


  3. Arleta Says:

    Yay, thanks!

    When do you join the stitches, though? I did it when I started with the sock yarn, I don’t know if that was right, but it worked.


  4. tiemeinwords Says:

    Thank you very much for this! It is just a brilliant and lovely cast on, and so simple! Thank you for sharing!

    CinderLisa @ Ravelry


  5. Heidi Says:

    Thanks so much! This was just what I needed. I shared the link with my mom on facebook, too.


  6. Michelle Says:

    Amazing! Thank you so much for these instructions. You explained perfectly, and I’m excited to see what a nice edge it makes.


  7. Margaret Says:

    Have you ever tried to adapt this method to 2 x 2 rib?


  8. Pam G. Says:

    If I read that right the stretchy rib cast on is basicly a regular cast-on divided, or, did I missed something while I read it on here?


  9. Knitter59 Says:

    I’ve done this cast on twice in three days, really enjoy the look of it. BTW, is there a comparative bind off?


  10. Sarah Says:

    thanks, what a great cast on! big improvement on the simple provisional into k1p1 rib, which is a bit too stretchy (on a big sweater you can work up one needle size per row, for a few rows, but with socks there’s nowhere to go with that!) but has the magic no-run advantage.

    Margaret: k2p2 rib does not have the no-run property of k1p1, so you’d have to at least start with a few rows of k1p1 before transitioning to a k2p2.


  11. Qsefthuko Says:

    If not done in round from the start then the stitch count is off. I don’t know if that stitch can be added in before the main yarn is used or not. Something to try though.


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