This is a beautiful little cast on with a LONG list of attributes: it's durable, flexible, expandable and attractive. Either side can be used as the right side and the knots look great if you're working in Reversed Stockinette. It's not an "exact" cast on either since if you cast on too many stitches, you can just drop any extra stitches at the end of the first row. Like all cast ons, there are trade offs, so you need to be mindful that this cast on can widen and tension can be hard to maintain. It's not good for ribbing, it's slow going, and you'll need to space between knots carefully. But your efforts will be rewarded with a neat little row of "knots" that create a nice edge.
Use the Guernsey Cast On for sweaters and the bottom edges of garments worked in Stockinette. You can substitute this for most any cast on (except tubular or provisional) and you'll cast on the same number of stitches as you normally would with a basic long tail cast on.
So here's how you do it!
Either side may be used as the right side. After casting on, if you work the first row normally, the stitches will be twisted, providing a firmer edge. If you knit or purl through the back loop they will be oriented properly. With the knots along the cast on edge, a firm edge is obtained whether your stitches are twisted on that first row or not.
I hope you enjoy this one and give your next project an artistic detail that holds up well.
Hello! I'm Donna Estin, knitwear designer, certified master knitter and instructor. I enjoy designing artistic knitwear that is comfortable. I specialize in sweaters with a contemporary silhouette.