Stretchy & Beautiful: The Old Norwegian Cast-On
The Old Norwegian cast-on (also known as the Twisted German cast-on) is a variation on the traditional long-tail cast-on that results in a far more stretchy edge than a traditional cast-on. This cast-on works well for almost any project, but is especially suited to edges for hat brims, scalloped patterns, mitten cuffs or projects that require more ease for better fit. This cast-on tends to use about one third more yarn than a typical long-tail cast-on, and since it is more elastic, it pulls in more at the edge with better stretch outward when pulled. This tutorial shows the continental method for working the Old Norwegian cast-on, but it can be easily modified to work in the English style (or throwing style). Initially, this cast-on can be intimidating, but with practice the result is well worth it for the elastic but sturdy edge it provides.
How to work it:
Begin with a slip knot, leaving a yarn tail that is about one third longer than a traditional long-tail cast-on would require.
Hold the yarn tail around your left thumb and the active yarn end around your index finger (English style: Leave the active yarn in the back). Observe that the yarn tail wrapped around the left thumb crosses over itself creating an "X."
Bring the needle underneath the "X" created by the yarn tail wrapped around the thumb, moving the needle away and toward the index finger.
Bring the needle up and over the furthest loop of the "X" and toward you through the space created by the thumb.
Bring the needle up and back, scoop the active yarn from behind (English style: Wrap the yarn around the needle).
Observe the space made by the thumb that the needle just came out of -- the needle will bring the yarn directly back through that space, but first the loop will be untwisted by rotating the thumb. Bring the thumb down and away, keeping the loop on the thumb.
Continue rotating the thumb now toward you, allowing the loop to untwist. If there is a further twist in the work ... that means you went the wrong way. The needle will bring the stitch directly through the untwisted loop of the tail.
Bring the stitch through the open loop.
Drop the loop off the thumb and bring the thumb underneath the tail to re-tension it.
Bring the tail around the thumb again to work another stitch, gently tensioning the yarn.
The finished cast-on has a bumpier look than the traditional cast-on; the extra twists create the elastic edge.
Want to try this Cast on in a fun and fast project? Titania's Garland is a worsted weight cowl worked in the round that uses the Old Norwegian Cast on featured in this tutorial.