Knitting Basics: Two-Color Braided Cast On
Hello, my dear knitters! Today I invite you to learn the two-color braided cast on. This braided cast on is a decorative method using two yarn colors. It produces a firm, attractive edge with a good amount of stretch. This method is slow to work, but the end result is worth it, especially when used in combination with two-color stitch patterns, such as the corrugated ribbing shown below. I see this as a beautiful edge, for instance, around the bottom of a colorwork mitten. In structure, this cast on is like the Long-Tail Cast On, but using two colors of yarn. This is a fast and easy cast-on, it sets your two-color rib up right from the get go, and it's elastic to match the fabric. Beautiful choice and easy to learn.
This cast-on method produces two unique edges, depending on which way you twist the yarn.
A counterclockwise twist makes an edge that looks like a cord. This is the way to set up the corrugated ribbing too.
A clockwise twist gives the edge a braided look.
How to work this cast on
Step 1. Holding the two yarns together, make a slip knot, leaving a short tail, and place it on the needle.
Step 2. Hold the yarn in slingshot position, with yarn A (in this example, maroon) going over the thumb and yarn B (orange) going over the index finger.
Step 3. Make the first stitch as in Long-Tail Cast On: Reach up under the thumb yarn, grab the finger yarn, and pull a stitch through. Pull the yarn snug around the needle.
Note: For a simple contrast edge, continue in this manner across the cast-on edge. Yarn A (maroon) forms the border and yarn B (orange) is ready to knit the body of your garment.
The slip knot can be used as the first stitch, though it’s bulkier than the other stitches. Alternatively, it can be dropped off the needle after knitting the first row.
Switch the position of the yarns before making the next stitch. This is what determines the finished look of the cast-on edge.
For cord: Move yarn B (orange) from the finger over yarn A (maroon) and wrap it around the thumb. Move yarn A (maroon) back to the index finger, making sure it goes under yarn B (orange). This twists the yarns in a counterclockwise direction.
For braid: Move yarn B (orange) from the finger under yarn A (maroon) and wrap it around the thumb. Move yarn A (maroon) back to the index finger, making sure it goes over yarn B (orange). This twists the yarns in a clockwise direction.
Step 5. Continue casting on, switching the position of yarns between each stitch.
Characteristics of this cast on:
- attractive multicolor edge
- elastic edge
This cast on is perfect for corrugated, or two-color, ribbing, bottoms of mittens and hats, stranded knitting, and any multicolor knitting: helix, mosaic, twined, and more. Try to master it, and I'm sure you will like the result it gives to your projects!