How to cast on, how to bind off: 200+ options (+ giveaway!)

Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

Cast On, Bind OffCast On, Bind Off—now in paperback! Did you miss this book when it was released in hardcover? Or did you hesitate because of the price? Packed full of cast-on knitting methods and bind-off techniques, it’s now only $19.99—that’s more than 200 ways to finish your knitting for only $19.99!

I’ve been knitting for many years now, but I still use only one cast on and one bind off. It’s what I was taught, am comfortable with, and have memorized. But I’m often unsatisfied with the results. Is it because I’m not doing it correctly? No. It’s because one technique is not conducive to all projects. The same bind off that’s perfect for my scarf makes my sock cuffs a little too tight and leaves my lacy shawls with an edging that’s disappointing.

No more! I vow to try something new on my current project. I’m working on a linen-stitch scarf at the moment that’s knit lengthwise, so the bind off will really show. I think the “Stem-Stitch Bind Off” might be just the thing.

Karen's scarf in progress
My scarf in progress

Stem-Stitch Bind Off
Stem-stitch bind off

I’ve been wanting to try knitting socks from the toe up—can you believe there are nine different options for starting a toe-up sock in this book?! Nine! Cast On, Bind Off just might become my new go-to sock resource.

Easy-Toe Cast On
Easy toe cast on

Straight-Wrap Cast On
Straight wrap cast on

Backward-Loop Sock Cast On
Backward-loop sock cast on

Each technique is presented with clear step-by-step directions and illustrated with line drawings AND a photograph of the finished edge. Finding just the right one is easy because the book is categorized by type. Cast-on categories include loop, twist start, long-tail, decorative, tubular, knit on, and more. Bind offs include chain, decorative, increase, sewn, and tubular, to name a few. It’s so easy to skim the category headings to find what you’re looking for. In total, you’ll find more than 120 ways to cast on and over 80 ways to bind off.

Picot Chain cast on and bind off

Author Cap Sease explains the advantages and disadvantages of each technique and makes a suggestion for each one’s most appropriate use. She even includes a chart of cast-on and bind-off pairs, so that your beginning and ending edges can match! Another chart helps you easily find just the right technique for your specific purpose. Need a firm-edge cast on? You’ll find six options. Want a durable bind off? Twelve are included! Making something from lace? You’ll have 11 cast ons to choose from.

You’ll even find tips on how to tighten up that last floppy bound-off stitch that drives you crazy!

Get Cast On, Bind Off in paperback, hardcover (which features a concealed spiral binding), or as an eBook. Remember, when you purchase the paperback or hardcover editions, you can instantly download the eBook version for free!

How many cast ons and bind offs have you tried so far? Share your count in the comments and you could win a copy of the Cast On, Bind Off eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

91 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I’ve used two or three of each. It would be fun to try more after I get my arm out of this sling!

    —Karen Watkins on April 18, 2014
  • I am NOT a good knitter!! I have probably have casted on 20 or more times and only finished TWO scarves!!! And they were sorta okay for only me to use! I really want to learn to make socks and know it will take alot of practice first. I hope I win this book because I and my two granddaughters have been using a book for dummies to learn and it isn’t working! I sew/quilt/design wedding gowns but can’t knit or crochet very good…lousy in fact!

    —Gena Raban on April 18, 2014
  • Not sure how many I’ve tried, but 7-8 cast on that I regularly use, and 3-4 bind-offs. Would love to learn more!

    —Laura on April 18, 2014
  • only one!

    —KATHERINE MCNEESE on April 18, 2014
  • Hi, old and stuck in my ways so only have used the cable cast on OR the slingshot cast on. I do a 2 hour class weekly where I teach the basics of knit and crochet. I am 74 soon and can’t afford books as a rule on my fixed senior income, so this would be a helpmate for my students to have available to them. thanks for the opportunity

    Vickey Stamps

    Vickey Stamps on April 18, 2014
  • I know about 3 CO but only one BO! Can you tell how badly I need this book? LOL

    —Sydnie on April 18, 2014
  • I had no idea there were that many different ways of binding on and off! I think I have only tried 3 or 4. Would LOVE to have the book!

    —Mye on April 18, 2014
  • I guess I either need to knit more, or get (win ;-)) thus book, because I still refer to pictures to remember quality cast on and bind off stitches. Thanks for posting this.

    —Em M on April 18, 2014
  • I’m trying to think of how many different cast on’s I’ve tried. I’ve tried the loop it around your thumb, the knit on, the crotchet on, and long tail. I think that’s all I’ve tried. And I think I’ve only ever done one kind of bind off, knit, knit, pass over. Having this book as a reference would be wonderful as I’m just getting into knitting and have no idea what’s even available to try.

    —Carol on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve only tried a few and am always wondering if I’m doing it the right way. Cast On, Bind Off looks like a great book to help in choosing the right method.

    —Heartsdesire on April 18, 2014
  • I have tried only about a half-a-dozen different cast-ons & bind-offs. Would definitely like to try more – not sure what I would do with 200, but it would be fun to try!

    —Cynthia W on April 18, 2014
  • I would love to win a copy of this book because although I’ve been a knitter for many years, I know three ways to cast on and only one to bind off. That’s sad because there have been times when other cast on or bind off methods would have suited me better.

    I need to learn more ways!

    —Arlene on April 18, 2014
  • While I’ve only attempted 3-4 kinds of castons and maybe 2 bind offs, I am knitting more than before so hope to try a few new ones this year. It would be great to have a few new methods on my needles or off as the case may be.

    —Lena Truitt on April 18, 2014
  • After knitting for many years, I realize I have much to learn. I have only used one way of casting on and one of binding off. It’s how I learned.

    —Linda B on April 18, 2014
  • Just two both did well

    —mararet on April 18, 2014
  • Would love a copy of this book to learn some more ways to cast on and bind off–I don’t think I’ve ever used but two different cast on methods and usually just bind off knitwise or in pattern! Thanks for a chance to win!

    —April on April 18, 2014
  • I didn’t realize that the way I bind off was what was effecting the way my socks turned out. Thanks for the info

    —Ava Allen on April 18, 2014
  • I have never done a proper cast off. I’m wanting to learn a new craft skill. I like quilting but hard to do with friends. Thanks for the chance!

    —June D on April 18, 2014
  • I learned one cast on and one bind off method from my mother and those are the ones that I always use. I know I need to learn more and look forward to this book.

    —Regina Harris on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve been a quilter for years, but just on my second small knitting project. What a great book for a beginner.

    Cynthia Wood on April 18, 2014
  • I am a self-taught knitter and I only know two types of cast-on and one kind of cast-off. This book would be an invaluable resource for me!

    —Roberta Kennedy on April 18, 2014
  • I have used three different types of cast-ons and two different types of cast-offs. I had no idea there were so many different types! I would love to win this e-book!

    —Lorinda on April 18, 2014
  • only knew of two

    —Sara S on April 18, 2014
  • Hello, just one! Must learn more!
    Thanks for sharing!

    —LINDA J on April 18, 2014
  • I have tried 6 different methods as best as I can recall and would love to learn more.

    Rachel on April 18, 2014
  • At least six. If a pattern suggests one I’ll try it. I love that I can find information on how to do them online.

    —Cindy S on April 18, 2014
  • I only know one way do cast on and cast off. Would love to win this book to help improve my knitting. I love knitting and enjoy learning new techniques for my crafts.

    —connie on April 18, 2014
  • Well now I’ve been enlightened. I had no idea there were so many ways to cast on and bind off. I am glad to hear about this book so hoping to win.

    —DeEtta Robison on April 18, 2014
  • I definitely need this book because I use the same one for everything!

    —DeeAnne Kimmel on April 18, 2014
  • Only the basic two for me. But I love the look of the picot chain cast on and the straight stitch bind off. Just imagining the way they might look as the top and bottom of a tunic top!

    —Lynne on April 18, 2014
  • I would have to say I could only "own" maybe a half dozen cast on and knit off versions I have tried. I learned to knit …..a long time ago…..long….heheheh the book looks very user friendly and useful. The perfect combination. This is for sure going on my wish list and I am wishing to win one too! Martingale has a stable of excellent "core" books on stitchery and quilting topics. This one looks to be classic which in my vernacular means I would like/need it and will be sending this issue of your blog to a number of friends as I think they need this book

    Thanks again for a great blog and wonderful selection of books

    Jane Modjeski

    —Mj Modjeski on April 18, 2014
  • I haven’t knitted for awhile. I would love to win this book to get back into knitting.

    —Debra R. on April 18, 2014
  • I know 3 cast on methods, and 3 cast off methods that I have used.

    —Marjory W on April 18, 2014
  • I picked up this book at the library to preview, and it is full of great stuff! Like most people, I have a limited repertoire of 3-4 cast-ons and 3-4 bind-offs. I love learning new ones!

    —Amy on April 18, 2014
  • Well, I know two different cast-ons, and one bind off. I’m in sad need of educating. :{

    —Whiskers on April 18, 2014
  • I have been knitting for more than 50 years and decided a few years ago to learn as many ways to cast on and off as possible. I think I counted 19 cast on methods and 5 or 6 cast offs. I would love to win the book and learn the other 186 before the arthritis in my fingers makes me give up knitting.

    —Sherry Walls on April 18, 2014
  • I have only tried 2 different cast-ons and only one cast-off. This book would be a great resource.

    —Gloria Meyer on April 18, 2014
  • So far, I’ve tried a looped on, two finger looped, and a knitted on bind on, and a crocheted bind off and a knit 2 peso bind off. This might help me conquer the provisional cast on!

    —Jean Blythe on April 18, 2014
  • I have only used two different cast-ons, and only one bind-off. Those are the ones I taught myself when I started back in the 60’s, and have not tried any others. This book would be a great help to learn more ways. Thanks for the opportunity.

    —Kathy C on April 18, 2014
  • I don’t knit, but my daughter does and when I win stuff I give it to her and she makes me stuff…so we both win. Thanks for the giveaway. Good luck everyone.

    —CindyM on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve tried 3 or 4 cast-ones with great success, but only one bind-off, and that can be a problem sometimes! I am putting this book on my wish list.

    —Robin M on April 18, 2014
  • Don’t have an exact count, maybe 6, but I am always willing to learn a new one. I use different bind offs depending on the look and feel I want in the finished edge, stretchy or firm.

    —Deb G on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve only tried one but would love to learn more. Thanks for the sweet giveaway!

    —Terry on April 18, 2014
  • Only a beginner, so all I know is one cast-on and one bind off.

    —Elaine on April 18, 2014
  • I’d love to learn different ways to"Cast On, Bind Off" – I’ve used two different ways to Bind off and only one way to Cast On. I’d love to win this copy- thank you

    —Jennifer Essad on April 18, 2014
  • Only 2, I am not an adventurist knitter.

    —Carol on April 18, 2014
  • I know 2 ways to cast on and one way to cast off. This book looks like a must have. Putting on my list for when I have a bit of extra $$$$$

    Becky in Georgia on April 18, 2014
  • I just learned the Eastern cast-on, so that makes 5 and I know 2 ways to bind off, so far.

    —Peggy Aronson on April 18, 2014
  • I have tried both. I am a terrible knitter but I am trying!

    —Bridget on April 18, 2014
  • One cast on, and one bind off – that ‘s all I thought there was! Ignorance is bliss! Would love to win this book and try something new!

    —Jan staples on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve knitted for quite a while, but my cast-on & bind-off (one of each) leave something to be desired. I didn’t even know that there was more than one way!

    —Pat on April 18, 2014
  • I am a beginner… so the last scarf I started I had to cast on 4 times before I was satisfied with it!! So I need all the instruction I can get!

    —Jeannine on April 18, 2014
  • I am a beginner, but I know two cast ons and one bind off. Would love to learn more.

    —Laura on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve only just learned to knit, and haven’t yet reached a point where I’d have to cast off

    —Karen Cohn on April 18, 2014
  • Cast on is failry easier to change but I am so stuck on the same bind off, that I do need help. strecy ones would be so good. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

    —CJ on April 18, 2014
  • I have four cast on methods I got to regularly and only two cast off methods I use.

    —OHSue on April 18, 2014
  • I can count the CastOns on my right hand, and BindOffs on my left, and still have one finger left over. That’s the finger that will turn the pages on this book, should I be lucky enough to win it! Thanks for the frequent giveaways, and the great articles.

    —KittenWithAWhiplash on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve only used a couple of ways. Would be nice to learn more and have them all together in a beautiful book!

    —Nancy D on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve several bind offs and more than a few cast ons, and there all several more i’d really like to add to my knitting techniques. thanx for the chance to win this marvelous book.

    Rita Goshorn on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve tried about 4 of each. My favorite cast on is the long tail. Thanks

    —Debbie H on April 18, 2014
  • Well Well, I learned how to knit when I was 7 years old. My Grani taught me. Cast on one or two & bind one or two sometime three. But I don’t know how to read knitting book & it’s all in my head & looked at the pictures to figure it out. I would love to learn how to read & the words meaning how to knit the right way. Thank you & Good Luck all.

    —Erdna Pummell on April 18, 2014
  • I’ve been knitting for lots of years, but I have only tried a couple of different cast-ons and bind-offs…and I always return to the tried and true beginning one. It would be great to have a resource strictly focused on different methods. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity to learn more!

    —Terri on April 19, 2014
  • I learned to knit in the Girl Scouts at least 55+ years ago. I only know one way to cast on and bind off. Would love, love to learn some new ways to enhance my skills.

    Sharon Hansen on April 19, 2014
  • I typically gravitate to the same 3-4 cast-ons / bind offs in my knitting. Would be great to expand my repitoire to know which ones to use for various types of projects.

    —dogzncats on April 19, 2014
  • I’m the same – 3-4 of each w the long tail cast on & regular bind off predominating, followed by a provisional cast on, emily ocker’s cast on, & Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretch cast on & bind off, w the occasional toe up.

    —Charlotte on April 19, 2014
  • I have until yet tried 3 ways on cast-on et probably 5 ways of bind-off. It depends what I knit, if it is shawl, sweater or socks.

    —Josey on April 19, 2014
  • I probably tried 4 or 5 cast ons and 6 or 7 different bind offs. I would love to win this book.

    —Teresa Knittingdancer on April 19, 2014
  • I am very new to knitting so I have not used any of these techniques. Thanks for the giveaway.

    —Renea on April 19, 2014
  • I have tried 3 cast on methods and 2 binding off methods so far. I would love to win this book because from what I can see is very resourceful

    —Marthese on April 19, 2014
  • I think I’ve only tried 3 cast-ons. I have no idea what the name is of the one I was taught when I first learned to knit many years ago. I used it, because I didn’t know any other, but was unhappy because it didn’t seem very consistent. I’d get lots of gaps on the first row. Then I learned to knit-on, and that was better. I still haven’t mastered the long-tail cast on, because I never know how much yarn to leave at the beginning. And I only know one bind-off!

    —Barb Johnson on April 19, 2014
  • I really want to master socks this year and love the easy toe cast on look. I am always looking for new techniques and this book will be a great help.

    —Jean Krause on April 19, 2014
  • I’ve always casted on, binded off the one way my Grandmother and mother taught me and I’ve taught my youngest daughter (now 26 ) so it does interest me to see a variety of OTHER ways. 6 more weeks til summer and 1 year away from retirement, still young enough to learn new ways and with time on my hands, finally, it is a very intriguing idea to have 211 ways to cast on, bind off.

    Carolyn White (Sewing Sue2) on April 19, 2014
  • I’ve been knitting over 40 years, and am embarrassed to say that I know only four cast-ons (long-tail, old Norwegian sock, backwards loop, Turkish provisional) and three bind-offs (traditional, modified Russian, Kitchener stitch). Woebetide! You’d think I knew a lot more after all this time! I could probably make good use out of a larger CO/BO arsenal.

    Lucille Reilly

    Lucille Reilly on April 19, 2014
  • I am so surprised there are so many ways! I learned one way to CO and two to BO.

    —Marianne on April 19, 2014
  • I’ve tried several methods of each (CO and BO). But I can usually only remember one without having to ask someone for help. This book will be a great help.

    —Pearl on April 19, 2014
  • I have really only tried two cast on and one bind off methods. As a beginning knitter, when if saw this book I thought I would not be ready for it. After reading your post, it sounds like this is a good time to get something like this book.

    —Jamie Todhunter on April 19, 2014
  • I’ve basically done one cast on and one bind off since my Aunt taught me to knit when I was 18 – 50 years ago! Time to branch out, I think. I’ve taught the same ones to my daughter, grandson, and daughter-in-law. I’m sure they’d like to learn some variations too. Sounds intriguing. I have recently started knitting socks and used a stretchy cast on for those, but it’s really just the same cast on knitted between the stitches instead of through the stitch. Effective, though.

    —Marilyn Goehl on April 20, 2014
  • I’m new at knitting, but have tried 2 cast ons, and one cast off method. Would love to have this book as a resource.

    —Lynn D in NC on April 20, 2014
  • I’ve tried two cast-ons and Three bind-offs. But i’ve realized that there is a lot more left for med to try. I’d love to have the book to find out more ways to cast on and bind off.

    Ullis on April 20, 2014
  • I have only tried casting on a couple of times. I need this book to help me learn more since I recently started trying to learn to knit.

    —Susan on April 20, 2014
  • As an advanced beginner I have only tried 2 castons and 1 bindoff. I want to learn more! My sister has this book and I fell in love with it. I would so love to win it.

    —Suzanne Shattuck on April 20, 2014
  • I wasn’t even aware until now that there was more than one option for each, so would love to try more.

    —SUSAN STEFUN on April 20, 2014
  • I have crocheted and knitted for many years but an advanced beginner i had no idea there was more than one way to co/bo. my grandaughter who is 9 is taking knitting lessons at school and she told me so this is the perfect time to catch up to my grandaughter. thanks for the chance to win

    debra on April 21, 2014
  • I’ve tried two or three of each -I find that it is different depending whether you knit left or right handed. I’d no idea that there were so many methods, and wish that I lived closer to some of the more experienced knitters. Every time I check out the Martingale site, I get inspired. You are my muse!

    Gail G on April 21, 2014
  • I’ve tried four methods of casting on, and only one of binding off (didn’t know there were so many options!).

    —June P on April 21, 2014
  • Whenever l try a new simple project l try different ways of casting on and keep practicing to attempt to keep my stitches even. The casting off is more difficult for me so l try to have a friend always give me a hand. I feel the more l practice the better l will become, it’s a craft that practice, practice always improves the skill level.

    —Anne on April 22, 2014
  • I’ve tried about 9 or 10 cast ons, only about 3 cast offs, but would love to learn about more, and when to use the different ones. This looks like an excellent reference book and I really hope I win! Thanks for the opportunity!

    —Susan on April 22, 2014
  • I had only known of about 3 or 4 ways to cast on and bind off.

    —Marcia Gaffney on April 22, 2014
  • I have tried to knit again recently with two different projects, both scarves. I really am not a good knitter and had absolutely forgotten how to cast on. My mother and grandmother used to show me how and they are both gone now so a book to help me along would be great.

    —ruby t on April 22, 2014
  • This is definitely a book that is on my must own list. Thanks for reminding me about it.

    —Barbara Young on April 27, 2014
  • I am a beginner, I do cable stitches and would like to learn more.

    Faye on January 16, 2015

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