Fearless Sock Knitting + a Cast-On Tutorial from Sockupied!

Ann Budd's Twisted Diamonds begin with the Channel Island cast-on.

In our new eMag, Sockupied, knitting expert Karen Frisa provides directions and demos for several different cast-ons, and I'm highlighting the Channel Island cast-on for you here on Knitting Daily.

This cast-on is really pretty—it has a picot look—and very stretchy, so it's perfect for socks. (And it's used in Anne Budd's new pattern featured in Sockupied, Twisted Diamonds!)

The Channel Island Cast-On
by Karen Frisa

A certain cast-on method can make or break your top-down socks.

Not only can it add a nice decorative edge, but it can mean the difference between socks that go on easily and socks that don't!

It's important that your cast-on be stretchy enough to span the biggest circumference of your foot—between the top of the ankle and the back of the heel—so you can pull the sock on comfortably. The top edge of the sock also has to stretch more than the rest of the sock leg, since it sits where the calf widens.

Interestingly, most of us think that if our socks are falling down the ribbing needs to be tighter, but it could just be that the cast-on is too tight for your calf.

Here's a video demo with Interweave Knits editor Eunny Jang.

And here are the written instructions with a cool animated step-by-step illustration!

How to do the Channel Island cast-on (if you can't see the animation, click here)

1. Holding three strands of yarn together, make a slipknot about six inches from the ends and place it on the right needle (this does not count as a stitch). Divide the three strands, using a single strand as the working yarn and the two remaining strands as the tail.

2. Place the single strand around the index finger. Wrap the two-strand tail counterclockwise around the thumb so that two wraps are visible below your thumbnail. Make a yarnover on the needle with the single strand (see the animated illustration at right).

3. Beginning at the base of the thumb, slide the needle up through both loops on the thumb, then bring it over the single strand going to the index finger to grab it, then go back down through the two loops on the thumb (see the animated illustration at right, second and third frames). Drop the thumb loops and tighten all three yarns.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the desired number of stitches; each repeat creates two stitches. Distribute the stitches over your chosen needles and remove the slipknot from the needles (but don't undo it) before joining for working in the round, knitting the "beaded" stitches and purling the yarnovers. Undo the slipknot just before weaving in the tails.


Try this cast-on technique on your next pair of socks. I think you'll like how it looks and behaves.

And if you haven't purchased this special issue of Sockupied yet, get yours now! What's so special about the eMag format is that there's something for every type of learner.

In the cast-on article I've excerpted from above, you'll get Karen's step-by-step text, Eunny's demonstration videos, step-by-step animated illustrations, plus a PDF of the article to download, print and tuck in your knitting bag.

I hope you enjoy this new cast-on technique!


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