How to work a Turkish cast-on

Growltiger is worked top-down, in the round, in ribbing, with a square top. I wanted a neat row of purls across the top to encourage a neat fold line, and to disguise the inevitable misalignment of the knit and purl columns. Luckily, there's a very simple solution, in the form of the amazingly fast and easy Turkish cast-on – which might just become your new favourite trick for toe-up socks. 

I find this cast-on is most easily worked using a long circular needle. You can also use DPNs or two shorter circulars (wrap the yarn a little less tightly if so); if you favour working hats on just one short circular, you will need to grab a spare needle – perhaps a bit smaller than your working needle – to help with the cast-on.   

Note: for Growltiger, unusually, the cast-on is purled – it would be more usual to knit it. The basic mechanics are of course exactly the same, and I show both knit and purl versions below. 

Turkish cast-on, knit version

1. Make slipknot. Hold needle tips together and parallel in your left hand, pointing right.

 

 

 

2. Wind yarn tightly over needles from back to front, until you have loops equating to half the desired cast-on stitches. Pull the yarn to snug stitches up if necessary.

 

 

3. Pull the bottom needle tip out to the right (if using circular/s), so that loops slide onto the cable, and knit across. Drop slipknot from needle.

4. Rotate work 180 degrees so that the bottom stitches are now on top. If using circular/s, slide loops from cable onto the LH needle tip, pull RH needle tip forward for magic loop and work across these stitches.

5. Cont working in the round as usual.

Turkish cast-on, purl version

Follow steps 1 and 2 as for knit version.    

3. Pull the bottom needle tip out to the right (if using circular/s), so that loops slide onto the cable, and purl across. Drop slipknot from needle.

4. Rotate your work 180 degrees so that the bottom needle is now on top and purl side is still facing you. If using circular/s, slide loops from cable onto the top needle tip and pull bottom needle tip forward. Purl across these stitches.

5. Cont working in the round as usual.

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