Thursday, June 28, 2012

Try it Thursday & Review {Cast On Bind Off}

 This week on
"Try it Thursday & Review,"
I had the opportunity of reviewing a fabulous new book by Leslie Ann Bestor.

It is called,
Cast On Bind Off, 
a one-of-a-kind reference to more than 50 different ways to begin and end a knitting project. 

Now, I'm a little embarrassed because I didn't realize there were so many ways to cast on and bind off. I guess I just stuck with the traditional way of starting and ending my knitting projects. I'm so glad that I was able to find the perfect start and finish to a knitting project. Thank goodness for good knitting books! They truly are a lifesaver to knitting.

But, now I know various ways. It is truly exciting!

Cast on bind off is split into two parts.

Part One-Cast Ons


Part Two-Bind Offs


There were so many wonderful ways of casting on but I chose three to share with my readers. First, I tried a stretchy cast on called the Slip Knot Cast On. "This cast on is simply a string of slip knots lined up on your needle. It  creates a very elastic edge that is great for the tops of socks, the ribbing on sleeve cuffs and mittens, and other places where you want a lot of stretch." You could use this cast on for adding stitches at the end of a row, buttonholes or any very stretchy ribbed edges.

The next one I tried was a basic cast on called, Long Tail Cast On which is used with the Two Color Braided Cast On in the Multicolor cast on section. "The Long Tail Cast On is the workhorse of the many methods available. You use a long tail of yarn along with the working yarn to create the cast-on edge." It was actually pretty easy to understand. The Long Tail is good for any stitch pattern and any project. 

Here are a few close up photos of the Two Color Braided Cast On method.

Excerpted from Cast On, Bind Off © Leslie Ann Bestor, photography © John Polak used with permission from Storey Publishing

 All of Bestor's instructions come with step by step photos so it was easy to understand. However, I wasn't able to figure out some of the methods but I'm sure I will with time. Moreover, Bestor explains each cast on/bind off method, adds characteristics and what it is "good for."

Excerpted from Cast On, Bind Off © Leslie Ann Bestor, photography © John Polak used with permission from Storey Publishing

Next, I focused on the bind off section. I chose a basic bind off called, Traditional Bind Off which is "usually the first bind off knitters learn and often the only one they ever use. It is easy to learn; works well on knit, purl, and ribbed edges; and looks decent." Yes, the traditional bind off is the one that I normally use. It is super easy to remember. However, I tried the Gathered Bind Off and loved it. "It pulls the stitches together along the bound-off edge. This is useful for stitch patterns that tend to spread a lot, such as cables or openwork. You actually work three stitches instead of two so it is similar to the traditional bind of. It is good for "preventing flaring along the edge of stitch patterns with a lot of lateral spread.

Overall, I enjoyed reading and looking through Leslie Ann Bestor's book, Cast On Bind Off. I know there is a lot for me to learn about knitting so this was a good direction for me. The photos are beautiful and the instructions are easy to understand. Also, I loved how the book was wire bounded. It made it easy to stay on a specific page and not loose your place.

I definitely recommend, Cast On Bind Off to any knitter. It will come in handy as you start and finish any knitting project. 



  1. This looks like a very interesting book - now I just need to get the middle figured out:) I do have a hat on the needles at this writing but that is as far as it is getting:)

  2. What a great resource. I'll have to check it out when I try to figure knitting out again.


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