Turkish Cast-on for Toe-Up Socks
The Turkish (also known as Eastern) cast-on for toe-up socks is a simple method for starting a sock with two sets of live stitches on either side of a row of stockinette stitches. Worked by looping the active yarn around both needles held parallel and then knitting each loop twice, this method makes for a seamless beginning to any toe-up sock.
How to Work It
Begin with both needles held parallel to each other and bring the active yarn over the bottom needle from front to back, and up behind the top needle.
Wrap the yarn down around the front of both needles and up the back of both needles for half as many stitches as are required total. Each loop will be knit once on each needle, resulting in twice as many stitches as loops made in this step. If the instructions say to cast on 12 stitches total, cast on six loops; if the instructions say to cast on six stitches to each of two needles, make six loops.
Bring the active yarn around the back of the work and insert a third needle into the first loop on the top needle. This initial stitch can be a little tricky since the active yarn is creating the tension on the loop. Hold the yarn gently but firmly while inserting the needle tip.
Wrap the yarn as if knitting a normal stitch and pull through. Carefully slide the first loop off the top needle, but not the bottom needle. Allow the active needle to remain above the two parallel needles as more stitches are worked across this active needle and will take the place of the top needle.
Knit across all but the last of the remaining loops on the top needle.
This last loop is similar to the first with the end of the yarn being close and a lack of tension present. Hold the yarn end down while knitting into the last loop, making sure not to let the end fly free and lose that last loop. (If you do, no big deal, just re-loop the end up over the top needle from front to back and try again!)
Rotate the needles clockwise one half turn and bring the tail end of the cast-on yarn over the active yarn from right to left. This will help secure it when working across the second needle.
Knit across all stitches on the second needle (which was the bottom needle and is now the top needle) in the same manner as the first.
There should now be six stitches on each of two parallel needles, 12 stitches total. If your stitches are uneven with wonky tension (like mine are) never fear!
Beginning at the end that is opposite to the yarn tail and using the third needle, gently lift each leg of each stitch, working across the row to even out the tension.
Now you have perfectly tensioned stitches!