Judy’s Magic cast-on is my go-to whenever I’m knitting toe-up socks so I thought I would create a tutorial that would sit nicely alongside my other favourite techniques here on the blog. I find that I’m not always able to sit and watch a video which is why my tutorials are written. I also link to these techniques in my patterns so that you have an easy to find resource should a technique be unfamiliar to you. If you are more of a visual learner then a quick google will bring up lots of videos on how to perform this cast-on method. Let’s get started!
This technique can be done using magic loop or dpns.
1. Most tutorials begin with a slip knot but I find this can create an ‘ear’ at the end of the cast-on edge. To avoid this, hold the yarn with the yarn tail over your finger and the working yarn over your thumb. Then hold the two needles together and lay the yarn over the top needle (needle one). This will be the first stitch.
2. Bring the tip of the bottom needle (needle two) over then under the yarn tail held over your finger, bringing the yarn down between the two needles to create the second stitch.
3. Bring the tip of needle one over then under the yarn held over your thumb, bringing the yarn down between the needles. You should now have 2 stitches on needle one and 1 stitch on needle two.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, casting on one stitch on each needle in turn until you have the desired number of stitches. You should have the same number on each needle.
5. To start knitting, drop the yarn tail and turn the needles so that needle two is now on top. If you are using magic loop pull out needle one so that these stitches are resting on the cable. If you are using dpns simply pick up a third needle. The first stitch will be loose so to help anchor it in place make sure that you carry the working yarn from needle one around the yarn tail and hold it behind needle two before you knit in to the first stitch. Knit across the remaining stitches on the needle as normal.
6. Turn your work and prepare to knit across the stitches on needle two. Knit the first stitch as normal but the rest of the stitches are ‘twisted’ during the cast-on process so to help them lay neatly in your finished sock you will need to knit the rest of the stitches through the back loop.
7. Once you have knit this first ‘setup’ round your cast on stitches will blend in to each other seamlessly. You are now able to continue knitting in the round as you normally would. Once you have knit a few rounds simply pull on the yarn tail to close up any gaps that may have opened up due to that first loose stitch.
I hope you have found this tutorial useful and that it has inspired you to try it out if you haven’t tried it before. I’d love to see your projects so please do share them with me in the comments below or by using the hashtag #TheConsciousKnitter on Instagram. I’d love to see what you are working on!