I almost didn’t have a mini series this month because I couldn’t figure out what technique to feature, but at 10:30 last night it hit me! Single strand cast ons! I use them all the time on sweaters to cast on for the underarms or for a round neckline, but I’ve never really played around with them.
I almost always use the backwards loop cast on for underarms. It’s really quick and easy to work, and it’s effective for what I like to use it for. It creates a loose edge that stretches easily which can be nice for necklines and underarms, and it’s looseness makes it really easy to pick up stitches for. But it is ugly! I would never use it somewhere it would show. It also lacks structure which means it’s not always the best choice for every project.
It’s really easy to cast on new stitches at the end of the round, and it doesn’t cause much distortion to the surrounding stitches. The last stitch before the cast on does end up pretty loose, but if you’re picking up stitches, this will typically be a selvage stitch and get hidden away. Overall, this CO method works well for me.