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Cast On, Bind Off

Knitting Starts and Finishes

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Cast On Bind Off

Cast On, Bind Off by Cap Sease.


Most of us knitters learn one or two different ways to cast on (and probably one way to bind off) and then we stick with what we know, doing the long-tail or cable cast on over and over again.

We might get fancy and use a provisional cast on or something every now and then, but for the most part we stick with the tried and true. But there's a lot more available to us when it comes to how to get stitches on and off the needles.

Cap Sease shares more than 200 different ways to cast on and bind off in her appropriately titled book Cast On, Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting.

About the Book

  • Pages: 160
  • Format: hardcover with interior spiral
  • Number of patterns: 211
  • Skill level: varies from simple to more intermediate skills
  • Illustrations: each method is shown photographed on a full-color knit swatch; instructions are illustrated with color line drawings
  • Publication date: August 2012

Better Ways to Start And Stop

Cast On, Bind Off of course has all those basic ways of beginning and ending your knitting that most of us know, but it goes way beyond to include lots of variations and different techniques that you might not have seen before.

In addition to the run-of-the-mill cast ons and bind offs that you can use in most situations, there are specialized versions like tubular and provisional cast ons, cast ons for toe-up socks and cast ons and bind offs for circular projects. There are mobius cast ons, stretchy bind offs, techniques using crochet hooks and more.

Flipping pages at random here are just some of the techniques you'll see: Twisted Italian Cast On, Three-Strand Cast On, Chain Circular Cast On, Picot Chain Bind Off, Russian Grafting, Kitchener Bind Off.

Each cast on and bind off is illustrated with a picture of it worked on a swatch, and the instructions for working it are illustrated with line drawings. The photos, drawings and instructions are clear, making it easy for knitters to pick up their needles and experiment.

Sease also offers tips about when and how to use different cast ons and bind offs. Some are firm, some are great for lace knitting, some need to be worked on larger or smaller needles than those used in the project for best effect.

Bottom Line

There's not a lot to say about Cast On, Bind Off other than that it's a great book and a solid reference that every knitter will want on his or her shelf. Browsing through this book will make you want to try the different techniques, perhaps a cast on that's made for ribbing or a bind off that makes a frill.

You wouldn't think that a book about something so deceptively simple as how you start and end your knitting would be inspirational, but it really is in a strange way. You'll see different projects in your mind's eye and how they would look different with the different starting and finishing techniques. I can see using the Frill-Edge Cast On, for instance, at the bottom of a sweater, or trying the Russian Bind Off on my next pair of toe-up socks.

If you've never given much thought to how you cast on or bind off a project, this book will get you thinking about those little steps and how just a little variation can make a difference in the way your finished project looks.

Publisher's website

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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