Technical Tuesday: German Twisted Cast On

I went to start a sock the other day and I realized that I forgot how to do my favourite sock cast on. I went back through the archives of the blog because I was SURE I had done a Technical Tuesday post about it, but I only found the mention of it! I managed to YouTube it and all was right with the world, but I cannot keep my favourite sock cast on to myself!

I first heard about the German Twisted Cast On (GTCO) at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago 2013. I believe it was in Amy Detjen’s class Gloves Fingers First. She said that she really wanted you to get your money’s worth in her class and allowed us to bombard her with questions during the lull in the teaching. As we all knitted the fingers of our gloves she regaled us with stories and knitting advice. I got a lot more from that class than I went in for, so if you can take a class with Amy, do so. The GTCO will always stick in my head because someone raised a question about its origins and if it actually came from Germany. After that, someone said it was named the German Twisted Cast On, probably because no one wanted to call it the Twisted German Cast On, which wouldn’t be very politically correct. As I snorted into my knitting, I realized I would never forget the name of the German Twisted Cast On and now I have a little mental giggle every time it is mentioned.

The reason I like this cast on so much is the elasticity you get when you are knitting socks from the cuff down. The bane of my existence is when you can feel that cast on line through your hem. You work so hard on making this beautiful sock and all of the sudden there is something like that, which isn’t an obvious physical flaw, but it just isn’t as nice as the perfectly soft and stretchy cuff the GTCO gives you.

As you can see from the videos, it is very similar to the long tailed cast on. You hold the yarn the exact same way, the path of the needle is the only thing different.
Other things that could benefit from this cast on are mitten cuffs, sweater cuffs and the edge of a hat. Anything where you need it to stretch in order to get it on your head or over a hand. Generally you are fine with your regular cast on for these articles of clothing since the cast on edge isn’t holding it up. If you’re anything like me though, you pull up your sweater sleeves constantly. It is nice when the cast on edge doesn’t cut off circulation.
There we have it! German Twisted Cast On in all its glory! I couldn’t leave it with a mere mention in the blog when I have covered other things much more comprehensively. Does anyone else have a favourite cast on, or cast off for that matter? I am still looking for a way to perfect a stretchy cast off edge.