How-To: Simple Tubular Cast-on

For a recent camping trip I decided I need a portable project and cast-on for the ever popular Star Crossed Slouchy Beret. However, I wanted to mod the cast on for one of my favorite seamless ones. A tubular cast-on for 1×1 ribbing in the round. The great thing about this cast-on is it doesn’t require learning any new maneuvers or stitches, just a little scrap yarn.

Simple Tubular Cast-on Tutorial

Cast-on using Long Tail Method with scrap yarn

First, determine half the number of sts indicated in the pattern plus one. So for this pattern that’d be 37 (72/2 = 36, +1 = 37). Using your scrap yarn, and needles a couple sizes smaller than the pattern indicates, cast-on with the typical long-tail method. Distribute sts for working in the round (on needles a few sizes smaller).

slip last CO st over first CO st

Slip the last cast-on stitch over the first cast-on stitch and off the needle (36 sts remain).

*K1, yo; rep from *

Switch to your working yarn and work: Round 1: *K1, yo; rep from * – 72 sts.

P1, *k1, sl1 pwise with yarn in front*

Round 2: P1, *k1, slip 1 purl-wise with yarn in front; rep from *.

*P1, sl1 pwise with yarn in back*

Round 3: *P1, sl1 pwise with yarn in back; rep from *.
Repeat Rounds 2 and 3 one more time. You are actually working double knit on these rounds, basically one side at a time. Therefore it takes two rounds to complete one row. At the end of the repeat you have the equivalent of two rows completed.

*P1, K1* 3 rounds

Now you’ll switch to the indicated size needles and work your regular 1×1 ribbing for however many rows to match the pattern. In this case, that would be three more rounds of *P1, k1* to equal 5 rows of ribbing.

Cut and remove waste yarn

Next, carefully cut the waste yarn in sections and remove.

Beautiful seamless edging!

Ta-da! A beautiful invisible stretchy edge! See the finished hat here.

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17 Comments.

  1. I just did my first tubular cast-on for Bramble. It was extremely stressful, but I wound up extremely proud of myself for not screwing it up.

  2. I love this tutorial!! Looks so simple they way you’ve laid it out. Thank you!!

  3. Thank you for posting this! I didn’t know that there was a way to do the tubular caston in the round! I’m bookmarking this post, and may refer to it in some of my own patterns, if that’s alright with you.

  4. I have no idea why this works, but I just used it and it turned out perfectly. Sometime I’m going to need to examine it more closely and see if I can figure it out.

  5. Thanks for this interesting idea. I had never heard of it, but it makes a lot of sense. Will give it a try.

  6. Thank you for this tutorial – I now understand how to do a tubular cast-on – obviously, a picture IS worth a thousand words. I shall now go and cast-on my beret, again.

  7. Cathy L from San Jose

    Thank you so much for posting this tutorial — so wonderfully simple and easy to do — I’ve struggled mightily with special twisty tubular cast on techniques in the past and I always get very confused – particularly when a lot of stitches are involved. I copied your text instructions and have saved them to my smart phone.
    Cathy

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  10. This is awesome. Thank you for clear instructions & pics!

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  12. omgosh, thank you!! you make it look so easy :)

  13. You make it look easier than I thought it would be. I’ve been trying for a couple of hours by myself. Maybe I can do it now.

  14. Hi! I LOVE this tutorial…I am about to try the tubular cast on for the first time and was intending to use this as a reference:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jefvxJFOpU
    However, your method is so much better and simpler! You don’t pick up the stitches linked to the waste yarn at any point, do you? Again, this is great. Would this work for a project that is not knit in the round?

  15. Thanks for not requiring me to build a spider web around one hand in order to do this cast on! Your instructions are wonderfully clear.

    • Thanks for the simple instructions and photos. They’re the very best I’ve seen! I’ve linked to my Ravelry page so I can find it again quickly and so I can recommend your method to others.

  16. this is amazing! can anyone tell me how i would create a 2×2 ribbing using this technique? thanks in advance :)

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