Twisted German Cast On

This is my favorite cast on. It seems silly to even have a favorite cast on, but there you are. This one has two specific traits which I find desirable; it is very stretchy and it is very stable. Many of the “stretchy” cast ons get their stretchiness from being very flimsy – barely there cast ons. I need something beefier, more substantial. Enter the Twisted German.

Which sounds very nefarious. Zee Twisted German Cast-on vill make you happy, Ja? But it isn’t. It should be something more like the Happy Swedish Cast  on – because it really is very easy. It’s only drawback is that it is a long tail variant, which means you have to pull out a length of yarn and hope that you have the right amount.

I know there are good ways to figure out how long to make the “tail” but I seem to muck it up every time. Luckily I use it for my crescent shaped shawls, and they only have a cast on of 7 or 8 stitches – so it isn’t a big deal if you are off by a bit.

Hopefully I have talked this up enough to make you want to try it out. If so – I made a video. It’s my first, so be gentle.

9 thoughts on “Twisted German Cast On

  1. Yay video demonstrations! This one is very clear!

    One of my favourite knitting tricks involves the twisted German cast-on, and it is this: when casting on for a piece that will begin with ribbing (e.g. the leg of a sock, the cuff of a mitten or sleeve), alternate casting on with the long-tail method and the twisted German method such that the knit columns grow out of long-tail-cast-on stitches and the purl columns grow out of twisted-German-cast-on stitches. The result looks like your ribbing continues straight down into the cast-on edge, and it is both attractive and stretchy. Hurrah for the many methods of casting on!

    • Whoa! That sounds very cool. I will have to try it next time I do ribbing. How does it effect the stretchiness of the cast-on?

  2. I have watched a number of video demonstrations of this cast-on (including vids by the Knitting Witch and Lucy Neatby), but this one is by far the clearest. I was feeling like a bit of a dunce when I couldn’t get it, but you made it so clear! Thank you so much!!

  3. Fantastic! I also watched a number of other videos but couldn’t quite get the hang of it. I could never find that little hole at the end. And then there it was! Yours is by far the clearest video of them all. Thanks so much.

  4. Great Video, clear and concise. But I can’t get my fingers to do what is needed in order to do this Twisted German Cast-On.
    No way, no how, I am really frustrated. I normally use the Long Tail Cast On and can do it my sleep, just like the Cable Cast and other methods..

    But not this one, as is suggested for a Cowl pattern. Guess I won’t be knitting the Cowl, even though I love it.

    Thanks so much for sharing with us.
    PSL Love your Mage Shawl on Ravelry.


    • I am really sorry it isn’t working out for you. How big is the cowl? You should be able to effectively substitute regular long tail for twisted with very little difficulty. Regular is just a little, hmmm, wussier? The twisted is like casting on and having an extra half stitch in there to make it a little bulkier. It give it a lot of stretch without sacrificing stability. I suggest it for my shawls, but it is not essential. I would much rather someone substitute something they are more comfortable with than give up on something they really would like to knit.

      If the cowl is available on Ravelry and you want to link it I would be happy to take a look and let you know if I think the substitution would work. Thanks for the kind words & thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hi Barbara
    I would like to add my support and encouragement of your very clear video demo. I watched about six and was almost ready to give up, could not get it at all, that last bit through the tiny triangle eluded me – except in yours! There it was clear and obvious – thank you! I’m now looking for how to do it ribbed, in two colors, I must be mad….

  6. Barbara, in searching to learn this CO stitch, I watched a couple other videos and didn’t quite master it. Like Gillian said, that last through the triangle wasn’t going well for me. Thank you so much for slowing it down and walking us through each motion/twist=got it now! Thanks so much!!!

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