crochet cast on perfected

for the perfect NECKLINE (or underarm or anything, really…)

No gaps, no holes.
There are video tutorials for the basic method here and here (from about 4:06). These are good for seeing the general technique in action. They start from no stitches (and also show how to use this cast on as a provisional cast on… which is too fiddly for me. For provisional I prefer the Winding Cast On).

For a neckline on a top-down pullover that is knit in the round, your cast on is an extension of already existing fabric and stitches.
This is how to do it.
(Yarn in photos: Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Spiced Plum and Peacock)

1. At the end of a RS row at Right Front edge, turn work over.
WS is facing.

2. Borrow the first stitch to make the initial loop for casting on.
Here, the crochet hook is slipped inside this first stitch so that it can be slipped off the knitting needle.
The yarn stays behind the knitting needle.

3. Fetch the yarn to pull it through the borrowed loop to make the first cast on stitch.

4. First stitch is cast on.

5. Place the yarn behind knitting needle to cast on the next stitch.

6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 until the required number of stitches is cast on.
Note: If you are substituting this crochet cast on for another cast on, you need to cast on one extra stitch before replacing the borrowed stitch (step 8 below).
If you are following one of my patterns and there is a crochet cast on, then the extra stitch is already accounted for.
The extra stitch is decreased on the next round.

7. Final stitch. You still have a loop on the crochet hook.


8. Chain one — that is, make one more stitch but not around the knitting needle.


9. Place yarn behind knitting needle, place final loop on knitting needle.

Cast on is complete.

10. Turn work over and join to Left Front for knitting in the round.

11. Knit in the round to 1 stitch before the first cast on stitch (the one that used a borrowed stitch).

12. Make an SSK with the next two stitches (the last front stitch & the first cast on stitch).
(SSK: slip 1 knitwise, slip 1 knitwise, knit the slipped stitches together through the back loop)

13. Looking good.

14. Knit across all cast on stitches to Left Front.
Consider the pesky space.

15. Make a YARNOVER with LN to close the space – in the yarn between the last cast on stitch and the first Front stitch (not with the working yarn).

16. K2tog – knit the first Left Front stitch together with the yarn over you just made.

17. Contemplate the beauty of your work.

18. This is the Right Front one round later. Nice!

19. And left.

This neckline can be left unfinished or finished with a collar of some sort. My sweatrrr and Simple Ziggurat have simple collars added, but could both be left raw, when raw is this smooth. (See photo below.)

The crochet cast on can also be used to add stitches to the fronts of a cardigan as in Strrripes, for example (see previous post!) or for any cast on knitted back and forth rather than in the round. The decreases on the following row then differ a bit (for Right Front you make p2togtbl on WS and for Left Front a k2tog on RS).

This is a photo of sweatrrr with the neckline left raw:

(Yarn: Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Silver & Bronze)

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