Fixing a too-tight knitting cast on
December 1, 2017 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Knitting newbie here - I'm working on my first ever pair of socks. After a test-fitting today, the cast-on round isn't stretching enough to let a foot in (they're baby socks fwiw). The rest of the sock stretches fine - just that first cast on round is too tight. I figure I can undo the top round, pass the newly-exposed loops on to some needles, and then bind off loosely - is that an appropriate solution? (Secondarily, is there a different way of casting on that is more suited to stretchiness?)
posted by mustardayonnaise to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any suggestions for fixing what you've already done but for future socks check out the long tail cast on. It's what I use for socks and I've been very happy with it.
posted by mcduff at 2:12 PM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

I go up two needle sizes to cast on and after the first row, I switch back to my regular needles.

Your solution for now works great! Socks are so much fun.

There are a zillion different ways to cast on to get different effects but the above is simplest.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 2:12 PM on December 1, 2017 [4 favorites]

I find that the German twisted cast-on has a little more stretch than the long tail.

(There's also the strategy of knitting socks toe-up and using a stretchy bindoff.)
posted by darchildre at 2:30 PM on December 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

People do often intentionally do the fix you're thinking of doing -- cast on provisionally, knit the sock, undo the provisional cast on, bind off loosely.
posted by zeptoweasel at 2:31 PM on December 1, 2017 [6 favorites]

I generally like a twisted German cast on myself, but recently I've been trying a cable cast on for when I want more give: it's kind of tedious, but I like the result.
posted by glitter at 2:32 PM on December 1, 2017

I love the German twisted cast-on mentioned above. Seconding going up a needle size or two as well, depending on how tight of a knitter you are. If you don't have needles a size or two up, you can hold two needles together and use them as one for the casting on too.

I don't know how to fix the sock you've already started.
posted by purple_bird at 2:33 PM on December 1, 2017

Your solution sounds good. If you want extra stretchiness when you bind off, go with Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off.
posted by freezer cake at 2:33 PM on December 1, 2017 [6 favorites]

Your bindoff will be in the "wrong" direction, but for baby socks it will hardly matter.
posted by praemunire at 2:33 PM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

as a knitting newbie, German twisted cast-on is probably going to frustrate you.

I second the cable cast-on (or knitted cast-on) and was going to recommend the correlary to Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off, which is Jeny's stretchy slipknot cast-on [edit: which freezer cake just posted]
posted by baniak at 2:36 PM on December 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Stretchy cast ons! I **love** the cable cast on, I use it for hats.

There is also Jeny's super stretchy cast on and it IS super stretchy, but also a huge PITA.

And Jeny's Surprisingly stretchy bind off is not hard, I was able to tech myself to do it watching the video and rereading a few times.

Good luck!! (and also there is a MeFi Ravelry group - join us!)
posted by bibliogrrl at 2:37 PM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Came here to suggest Jeny's super stretchy cast on, but I see that bibliogirl and baniak beat me to it. So count this a a vote for that one. I didn't find it to be too difficult or a PITA (I just learned it a couple of weeks ago, as a matter of fact) but I am a fairly experienced knitter.
posted by fancyoats at 3:47 PM on December 1, 2017

My cast ons were reeeeealy tight. I started casting on to 2 needles at the same time (held together as if they were one), then pulling the extra one out before knitting my first row. Worked like a charm for me!
posted by TheCoug at 4:11 PM on December 1, 2017 [7 favorites]

I use the long-tail cast-on for socks, and do the actual cast-on onto two needles held together. (That is, since I knit socks on size 1 needles, I hold two size 1 needles together and cast the stitches onto those, then pull out the extra needle.)
posted by sarcasticah at 8:02 PM on December 1, 2017

Thanks all - I undid my first row and bound it off with Jeny's super stretchy bind off. It's a little stretchier, but perhaps I did it wrong (or I a just need to work on loosening up in general?) - it's still a little too tight. I'll give it another go and then chalk it up to practice and start fresh, the yarn is pretty heavily worked at this point.

(Also I joined Ravelry / the MeFi group with this username, see y'all there!)
posted by mustardayonnaise at 6:36 AM on December 4, 2017

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