Review: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods

Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods
Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First off, let me say Welcome to all the new readers here! I am so happy to see you! If you come on by as part of the Storey Publishing book tour, I am thrilled to have you over!  It’s such fun to be part of this  tour and introduce this wonderful book to you!

Now let me start at the beginning!

A while ago, I was asked if I wanted to review a knitting book.
Well, those of you who know me, know that I am not big on knitting books, or magazines.  I said yes regardless and told myself to be open minded and have a look.

Then cast on bind off came into my life…..


I have to say: WOW!
Here is FINALLY a knitting book worth it’s money! I absolutely love it!
Ok, so after knitting for 30 plus years, I knew almost all of the techniques described in the book, BUT do I really use them? uh… that would be a big fat NO!
I have my “go-to” ones. The ones I am used to and comfortable with.
Well SHAME ON ME!
Now, I’m not saying that having a “go-to”, a “staple” is a bad thing. It most certainly is not! But there are so many more possibilities out there and I am not utilising them to the fullest, because I just don’t think of them!

I keep cast on bind off right next to my knitting chair! I have used it ever since it came into my house! I am consulting it for every new project! Is there a better way to cast on for this? Is there a more fun way? You betcha!

I have used the tubular cast on for a new pattern I am writing on, instead of my tried and true knitted cast on and I have to say: I am thrilled I did!

I would recommend this book to novice knitters as well as experienced ones. It’s never a bad thing to have a little reminder that there is so much more then what is stored in our brains!

I also love the compact form! It fits neatly into my knitting bag and I have taken it to my LYS for the classes I teach. I showed it to my students and to other knitting friends. We all love it!

The pictures are clear and easy to understand instructions guarantee that even beginners will understand the cast on’s and bind off’s and can repeat them with success.
The little spiral binding is GREAT! I can flip to the page I need and turn it out without worrying that I break a spine and all the pages will fall out.

The only thing I have a problem with (and it’s not just me) are the little inserts with the “right side and wrong side” picture of the cast on/bind off. I had a bit of trouble figuring out if it was a seamed sample, or what exactly it was supposed to be. I think it would have been better to just do two different shots of this instead of folding the knitted piece the way it is in those pictures. They are just too small to see it well and one part is always dark.

See what I mean?

I really really recommend this book to ANY knitter! Never mind the level of experience! I will definitely take it to my classes and tell my students this is a must have for their library!

Do check it out and see for yourself! But do it in a yarn shop, or a book shop, instead of the library, because once you have looked at it, you WILL want to buy it!

Leslie Ann and her publicist have agreed to send a copy of the book to one lucky reader of my blog!!!! Don’t be shy! Just leave a comment here, telling me about your go-to cast on or bind off. Why do you use it? Who taught you that specific method?

(you could also subscribe to my blog while you’re at it, or like my facebook… but no pressure there. It won’t matter for the giveaway!)

I will leave the giveaway open until Friday next (7/20/12) so you have plenty of time to enter! Well, there you have it! GO GET IT!

If you don’t win here, there is an entire blog tour with more chances to snag a copy!  Here is the schedule, so you can hop along!

  1. 7/9         Picnic Knits
  2. 7/10       Knit and Tonic
  3. 7/11       Zeneedle
  4. 7/12       Rambling Designs
  5. 7/13       The Knit Girllls
  6. 7/14       Neo Knits
  7. 7/15       Knit & Nosh
  8. 7/16       Knitting at Large
  9. 7/17       Rebecca Danger
  10. 7/18       Lapdog Creations
  11. 7/19       Nutmeg Knitter
  12. 7/20       Yarnagogo
  13. 7/21       Weekend Knitter
  14. 7/22       knitgrrl
  15. 7/23       It’s a Purl, Man
  16. 7/24       Whip Up
  17. 7/25       Knitspot
  18. 7/26       Under the Humble Moon
  19. 7/27       Knitting Daily
  20. 7/28       Knitting School Dropout
  21. 7/29       Hugs for Your Head
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47 comments

  1. You’ve done it again!!!! Another oh so interesting post. Bridgett, you never cease to amaze me. You and I have talked a lot about how I love knitting but never get to it because of all my sewing. I haven’t sat down to knit in a very, very long time….but this book is amazing. You are right…we have a ‘go to’ and never stray from it…for many reasons. Mine is the simple knit cast on that my grandmother taught me 50+ years ago. Oh, my, I just had a reality check of my age…Geesh where has the time gone? Anyway, that is my go to and who taught me. Thanks for the opportunity!
    ~Louise

  2. I initially learned the cable cast on but my go-to cast on for years has been the long-tail method. I use others as needed or specified but I usually have to research them before I do them. I recently learned Judy Becker’s Magic cast on (as specified in a pattern) and love that one, too! I think this is a great reference book for everyone to have and am certainly looking forward to it!

  3. My go to cast on is the long tail or for socks I use Judy’s Magic Cast on. I like the long tail because it has a fairly stretchy edge. I’m self taught in everything. Love you tube videos! Thanks!

  4. Knitted cast on was the first I learned, in my very first knitting class at my lys. It’s the one I use most often, but recently an instructor at that same lys showed me that if I do a purl cast on instead of knit, it flows quicker because you don’t ever have to remove the right needle, it’s already in position. Genius!

  5. Long-tail – it changed my life ;-) I was taught it as the remedial runt at the back of a complex colorwork class, promptly caught up and have never looked back. For socks: Judy’s Magic Cast-on, and the Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off.

  6. That books sounds awesome! I get stuck in a rut as well. I normally do a long tail cast on and the regular old bind off of passing a stitch over another. I have done the tublar cast off and that is nice but it is definitely not ingrained in my brain.

  7. Thanks for the review and for showing pics of the interior of the book. It’s nice to see a book prior to purchasing it – and with our bookstores quickly disappearing these types of reviews are really helpful. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. I only know two castons and one bindoff. :( One of them really makes a much nicer starting row, but it’s much slower for me to do it.k But I don’t have to guess how much yarn I need for it so that’s better. My friend Emily taught me all I know about knitting. :)

  9. I like the cable cast on – some stretch and it looks tidy. Also matches up reasonably well with the standard bind off I do (second last loop over the last stitch done – is there a name for that?). I’ve recently discovered the super stretchy bind-off, though – love that for socks!

  10. Yes, tubular cast on is such a neat trick! I use it for the ribbed brims of all my berets; I was so tickled when I figured it out. I use long-tail for most everything else, and can even alternate long-tail knits with long-tail purls. I like cable cast on for the sturdy, flexible edge sometimes. This book sounds wonderful. Thank you for being part of this blog tour giveaway!

  11. my mom taught me the cable cast on and as for binding off it all depends if it is the purl side or the knit side i’m on then i just knit or purl the stitch and then bring the stitch before it over and off my needle. thank so very much for a chance to win. not to mention i’m loving the blog tour.

  12. My go-to cast on is the knitted because I don’t have to figure out how long a tail to leave. I can picture my mother using this cast on and also the long tail, but my knitting haitus between childhood and motherhood lasted so long I had to relearn almost everything via books and internet. I fell in love with the picot bind-off when I recently knit a baby blanket, though I haven’t had occasion to use it again since. Would love to peruse all the different techniques in this book – like a stitch dictionary for co’s & bo’s!

  13. My favorite is the long-tail cast on. I recently started a project using the provisional cast-on. I am amazed how that works!

  14. I like the long tail, with the modification of the german twisted cast on. I taught myself both, in the days before Youtube. I like the EZ sewn bind off for scarves, and the Evelyn Clark shawl one for shawls.

  15. I always use the cable cast on, because to me it looks the most like a bind off if I want things to look all tidy, but I seems like there are a ton of options in this book that would be amazing!

  16. Jo Alcindor Jul 12, 6:01 pm

    I love the cable cast on!

    Not too keep on backward loop though.

    A great idea for a book as it’s my least favorite part, but one I should put more thought into.

    Jo Alcindor posted this under the wrong article, so I am going to put it here for her.. would be a shame if she missed this becuase she clicked the wrong thing! :)

  17. I always use long tail. I learned from a book when I was learning to knit and it seems to work for most of my projects. The book looks great for learning new methods.

  18. The majority of the time I use the long tail cast on, that was how my Grandmother taught me to knit. I have also used the cable and provisional when necessary.

  19. I mostly use the long-tail cast on. My friend Heather taught it to me. I use it because it looks neater than “looping” and I can use two ends of the same ball if I have eleven billion stitches to cast on.

  20. My fav is the cable cast on – looks neat from either side & doesn’t stretch to much. Would be nice to try some of the others & perhaps get out of my rut.

  21. When my sister taught me to knit, she taught me the knitted cast on. I have just recently started using the long tail but I am not very good at it, I cast on way to tight. She suggested that I cast on with 2 needles which works better. I would like to use others but am stumped with them. I would absolutely LOVE this book.

  22. I’m not even sure what my go-to cast on is called! It might be backward loop but I’m not sure. I have tried a long-tail cast on and don’t like having to guestimate the length. I also do Judy’s magic cast-on when knitting toe-up socks. I didn’t realize that there were so many options!

  23. I only use the long tail cast-on as well. Would love to learn some new methods. This book looks like a great way to expand my knitting skills. Thanks for the chance!

  24. My go-to cast-on is the long tail. I learned this from my mom when I learned to knit. Until pretty recently, I didn’t even realize there were other cast-ons, but now have 2 or 3 others I can use. But the long tail is the one I just automatically fall back to.

  25. I would love to win this book! I have been stuck in the land of “long-tail cast-on” and continually run the risk of running out of “tail!” I checked this book out of the library and loved it and found a new way to do this cast on using two strands of yarn!

  26. Hi, found you via ‘the tour’! and am glad I did :) I was first taught long-tail method using the thumb from my mum but since moving to the States I found out about and use mostly the cable cast on – the dread of casting on oodles of stitches only to be short of yarn caused me to move over! Casting off also depends on the project – love the finish of Kitchener done right but oh, the pain of reading and thinking through every little step!!! I usually use what the pattern calls for depending on its reason as it can make a difference to the project but that always calls for research to remember exactly the details of the method wanted so this book with everything in one place would be super :)

  27. I usually do long-tail but recently cast on 372 stitches using backward loop and was AMAZED at how stretchy the edge is and how … I guess I can’t say easy to 372 stitches but it was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. (Using my HiyaHiya sharps was a help.) But I would love to have this book so I could have a few more strings to my bow.

  28. Long tail for me, I learned it online. Before that I would make one stitch, knit into it, slip that stitch back to the left needle, etc etc. Not sure what that is called, other than time consuming!

  29. Long tail cast on taught to me by my mom. But I just learned the old Norwegian cast on and have to say its amazing.

  30. The first cast-on I learned was the cable cast-on, but I also use the long-tail cast-on as well. I definately need to expand my knowledge here.

  31. The first cast on I learned was longtail and that has become my go to cast on. I’m not a huge fan of any other cast on methods, but I’d like to find one that is less frustrating than long tail (you know, the whole running out of the tail end 10 stitches short). I just do the normal, basic bind off. I can never remember the other methods. I would love this book!

  32. I use the long tail cast on, but have always wanted to learn other types. The long tail was new to me a few years ago, as I took a sweater class. I would enjoy this book!

  33. I have been knitting for years and only realized that there were more options than the long-tail a few years ago. So, as you can guess, it is my go-to. I would love to learn more and more than the basic bind-off. I have done some others on occasion, but need a reference (like this book) to remember how.

  34. I used to do the long tail cast on, but then discovered the German twisted which is much more elastic. I use it all the time. Then there’s some sort of rib cast on that my LYS owner just taught me but I can’t for the life of me remember how to do it. This book would be very handy!

  35. following the blog hop – what a lovely blog you have. The puzzle just about made me blind but I did it! I generally use a long tail cast on and some sort of stretchy bind off. Would love to have a chance to increase my options. g

  36. Well, long tail definitely is a favourite. Because it is fast. But the cable cast on is stretchy so when a stretchy edge is needed I am brave and use that!

  37. My favorite cast on would be the tubular cast on. It’s sort of a pain. I first learned it to make a Karabella yoked sweater, and I think I used my Vogue Knitting reference book! I used it again to make Ysolda’s Snow White sweater, and I think her tutorial was even better. I would need to look it up again! Or look in the new book! ;)

  38. I taught myself to knit as a kid from a book so…long tail is what I learned many many many years ago and then surprise a couple years ago I learned about the cable and knitted cast on! Love them! Just recently I discovered long tail has a stronger edge for all the fingerless mitts I’ve made (I finally followed the directions to use the long tail) silly me

  39. Stalking this book contest has led me to several interesting new blogs. I am in a rut with long tail cast on and standard bind off. This book would definitely expand my horizons!

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