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for the perfect NECKLINE (or underarm or anything, really…)

No gaps, no holes.
There are video tutorials for the basic method here and here (from about 4:06). These are good for seeing the general technique in action. They start from no stitches (and also show how to use this cast-on as a provisional cast-on… which is too fiddly for me).

For a neckline on a top-down pullover that is knit in the round, your cast-on is an extension of already existing fabric and stitches.
This is how to do it.
(Yarn in photos: Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Spiced Plum and Peacock)


1. At the end of a RS row and Right Front edge, turn work over.
WS is facing.


2. Borrow the first stitch to make the initial loop for casting on.
Here, the crochet hook is slipped inside this first stitch so that it can be slipped off the knitting needle.
The yarn stays behind the knitting needle.


3. Fetch the yarn to pull it through the borrowed loop to make the first cast-on stitch.


4. First stitch is cast on.


5. Place the yarn behind knitting needle to cast-on the next stitch.


6. Repeat steps 3 to 5  until the required number of stitches is cast on.
Note: If you are substituting this crochet cast-on for another cast-on, you need to cast on one extra stitch before replacing the borrowed stitch (step 8 below).
If you are following one of my patterns and there is a crochet cast-on, then the extra stitch is already accounted for.
The extra stitch is decreased on the next round.


7. Final stitch. You still have a loop on the crochet hook.


8. Place this loop on the knitting needle. This replaces the stitch you borrowed at the beginning.


9. Cast-on is complete.


10. Turn work over and join to Left Front for knitting in the round.


11. Knit in the round to 1 stitch before the first cast-on stitch at Right Front (the one that used a borrowed stitch).


12. Make an SSK with the next two stitches (the last front stitch & the first cast-on stitch).
(SSK: slip 1 knitwise, slip 1 knitwise, knit the slipped stitches together through the back loop)


13. Looking good.


14. Knit across all cast-on stitches to Left Front.
Consider the pesky space.


15. Make a YARN OVER with LN to close the space – with the yarn between the last cast-on stitch and the first Front stitch (not with the working yarn).


16. K2tog – knit the first Left Front stitch together with the yarn over you just made.


17. Contemplate the beauty of your work.


18. This is the Right Front one round later. Nice!


19. And Left Front.

This neckline can be left unfinished or finished with a collar of some sort. My sweatrrr and Simple Ziggurat have simple collars added, but could both be left raw, at least when raw is this smooth.

The crochet cast-on can also be used to add stitches to the fronts of a cardigan as in Strrripes, for example (see this blog post) The only difference is that for Right Front you’ll make a p2togtbl from the WS after purling back over the cast-on (p2togtbl: slip 1 knitwise, slip 1 knitwise, place both stitches back on LN and purl them together through the back loop).

Here is a photo of sweatrrr with the neckline left raw:

(Yarn: Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Silver & Bronze)

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