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Cast On: Crossed Yarn-Over Long Tail

This is a unique knitting cast-on. It requires more yarn than a standard long-tail cast-on, but will create a looped, very stretchy cast-on edge.

The pattern shown here is the hem of the PurpleSage Vintage Child: Accordion design, a girl’s skirt in sizes 1 – 6.

In this first photo, the cast-on loops were not blocked {probably the preferred look for most people – pinning 224+ loops isn’t for everyone! – and personally I prefer the look of the unblocked edge but thought I would show you the possibilities!}

In this second photo, the loops
e been blocked open {read that as each pinned individually}.

Here's How It's Done:
There is a downloadable pdf at the bottom of this web page.
The pdf file has some additional identifiers on each picture e.g. numbering the yarns and stitches which may make it even easier to follow the instructions for the cast-on.

This cast-on results in twice the number of “stitches” minus 1 {because the first cast-on stitch a single stitch}.

For example, if you cast on 70 stitches, your needle will have 70 stitches and 69 yarn-over’s  for a total of 139 loops. In the first round/row of knitting, you will work each cast-on stitch and drop each yarn-over leaving you with the 70 stitches your pattern requires. The dropped yarn-over’s create the slightly looped, very elastic edge.

First cast on stitch is a regular long tail cast-on stitch i.e. either a slip knot or twisted loop, whichever you prefer.

All subsequent stitches should be cast on as follows:

 Step 1.
a. place the yarn in the usual “butterfly” or “sling-shot” formation:

~ tail yarn extends from the needle, behind the thumb, around to the front of the thumb and into the palm where it is held by the middle, ring and little fingers

~ ball yarn extends to the index finger, wraps behind the index finger and returns between the index and middle fingers and is then held along with the tail yarn in the palm of the hand

b. lay the Right needle over top of yarn coming from the back of the thumb

c. use the needle to push down on that yarn so that it crosses over yarn coming across the front of the thumb, forming an X   {see picture in Step 2}


 Step 2.

~ push the Right needle into thumb loop from bottom

 Step 3.

~ catch yarn from index finger clockwise and bring it through the thumb loop

 Step 4.

~ drop thumb loop and tighten stitch

Repeat Steps 1 – 4 as many times as required.

 The Result:
Each cast-on stitch will consist of a cast-on loop {left-most loop on the needle in the picture} and a corresponding yarn-over {the second from the left loop which slants from top-left to bottom-right on the needle}.

The yarn-over wants to creep and “take over” the previous stitch, so care has to be taken when knitting the first round that these are kept separate and each one knitted in turn.

L. O'Neill,
Mar 8, 2009, 7:23 PM