What you need (in addition to what is required by the pattern you are using)
- needles two sizes larger than those required for the rib
- yarn of a contrasting colour to the rib
What you do
- Work out the number of stitches to cast on: halve the number of stitches required by the pattern and go up to the next whole number (e.g. If the pattern requires 40, you'll need 21; if it requires 41, you'll also need 21).
- Cast on that number of stitches using the larger needles and contrasting yarn.
- Change the yarn to the correct colour for the rib.
- Purl one row, still using the larger needles.
- Change to the correct needles for the rib.
- Knit one row, purl one row, knit one row.
- This row is the "trick" row or the "pick-up row". Once you understand the trick, it is really easy. You will alternate between purling a stitch from the needle and knitting a "pick-up" stitch. The pick-up stitches are "picked-up" onto the left-hand needle from the first row made in the correct colour. See the pictures below. The stitches to be picked up are easy to see because of the contrasting colour of the cast-on row.
- Remove the contrasting colour.
- Continue rib according to the pattern.
This is what it looks like when steps 1-6 are complete and turned ready for the pick-up row. The stitches to be picked up are the yellow loops you can see amid the green.
Step 7: pick up row
i. Purl the first stitch. All stitches originally on the left-hand needle at the start of this row will be purled.
Step 8. Remove the contrasting colour.
Viola! You have the best cast-on edge ever. Go-on... try it!
I'm interested in learning how to do invisible cast-off. Does anyone know how?