Lorilee Beltman explains what the magic cast on is, tells you why it’s useful, and shares some of its most popular applications, such as toe-up socks. With Lorilee’s guidance, you’ll soon understand the mechanics of the cast on, no matter which style of knitting you prefer.
The magic cast on has many applications in knitting and is something that Lorilee encourages every knitter to learn. It’s similar to a provisional cast on, but in Lorilee’s opinion, it’s better, because there is no crochet hook or waste yarn needed, you’re not fighting with loose stitches, and the cast on creates a row of Stockinette stitch (with purl bumps on the Wrong Side of the work). Similar cast ons, such as the Turkish Cast On and Figure-8 Cast On, are great, but have loose stitches and don’t create purl bumps on the Wrong Side of the fabric.
Once Lorilee briefly reviews similar cast ons, she begins working the magic cast on. She notes that this cast on is commonly referred to as Judy’s magic cast on, but this method of casting on was previously developed in Estonia many decades ago. Leaving a tail about the length of her forearm, she makes a “C” with her left hand and places the tail over her top finger (index finger), with the working yarn over the bottom finger (thumb). She puts the yarn in between the two needles and begins creating yarn overs on each needle, alternating between the bottom and top needle.
This cast-on can be adapted for different knitting styles, and Lorilee demonstrates several different ways of working the magic cast on. She shows how to work using two hands to work the yarn over the needles, how to work it for Combination Knitters, and how to work it for Left-Handed (Mirror Image) Knitters.
What cast-on is your favorite for toe-up knitting?