Crochet cast on is a very simple way to create a neat and professional border of your work on a flat bed knitting machine. A crochet hook or a latch tool can be used for this cast on, thus the name, crochet cast on. I used a crochet hook for this tutorial. There are a couple ways to do this cast on.
On this sunny afternoon in Arizona, I decided to open the windows for the cheerful sunlight to stream into the room. Prepare for very contrasting photos in the sunlight.
The first step is to engage the working needles as usual. Push the working needles to E-position (all the way forward) using the pushing tool.
The carriage can be either on the left or right of the working needles. However, the cast on should start at the end away from the carriage and move towards the carriage. When the cast on is done, the working end of the yarn should be on the same side where the carriage is. If you the carriage is not in the correct location, you can switch the holding cam lever to “H” (hold) position and move the carriage on the other side. Alternatively, you can take the carriage all the way out of the machine and insert it at the correct side. You don’t have to remove your stitches from the needles.
Let’s begin the cast on. Make a slip knot and insert the crochet hook (or a latch tool) between the first and second working needles just like in the photo below.
I am holding the working yarn in my left hand. Reposition your left hand so that the working yarn is above the needles and in front of the crochet hook.
Use the hook to slip the yarn through the slip knot below the needles.
Pull the yarn down through the next loop.
Next, move the crochet hoot upwards between the adjacent set of two needles.
Keep going in the same fashion until you reach one needle before last. Slip the yarn down between the last two hooks and cast the last loop onto the last needle.
The next picture shows better the last stitch and the yarn behind it.
Run the working yarn under the carriage and through the yarn feeder. Close the yarn feeder.
Below is the first row created by moving the carriage to the left.
Attach the cast on comb to the work.
Knit as usual.
I put my sample onto a hand knitting needle for this demo and blocked the sample with a steam iron to demonstrate the border created by a cast on with a crochet hook. As you can see, this border looks a lot like a manual cast on or bind off.
I am sure, there are many ways to do a cast on with a crochet hook. Let me show you one other way to do it. You will need a crochet hook and a transfer tool.
This fabulous set of crochet hooks was sent to me directly from Russia. These hooks are made of sorbus or mountain ash. Aren’t they beautiful!?
I am going to use a larger hook to make a bigger chain for the purpose of a photo. Normally, I wouldn’t make it so loose. The crochet chain looks like a braid on one side.
And it looks like a chain on the other side.
I will be using a transfer tool to move the chain links onto the needles. But first, I need to loop the last stitch onto the last needle with the working yarn behind the stitch.
As you already know, the carriage is on the right. I will be placing the stitches from right to left using a transfer tool pictured below.
Below is a close-up of the transfer tool threading through the stitch and hooking onto a needle tip.
The stitches are transferred one at a time.
When all stitches are transferred, you can thread the carriage and start knitting as usual.
This method has its pluses and minuses.
The plus is that if you have a tendency to over-tighten your cast on, this will help you avoid the problem by using a large enough crochet hook to make a chain that is relatively loose.
The negatives are, first, it takes a little longer because you have to prepare the chain separately; and second, it’s easier to make a mistake and skip a needle just like I did. Do you see a skipped needle in the photo above?
I hope, you found this tutorial helpful.
Blue Cat is really tired after all this work. Whew!