My current work in progress:

Freshet, by Irina Anikeeva for Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 13, knit from Rowan Softyak DK in the Steppe colorway, using 3.75mm and 4mm needles.

Beginnings and Endings

This week I received a review copy of Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. First off, its size: it is 5.5″ by 7″, small enough to tuck into your knitting bag. And it is spiral-bound, making it easy to refer to because it will lay flat no matter what page you have opened to.The book is also available in e-book format, so you can keep it on your mobile device for quick and easy reference.

Another good thing is, of course, the content!

The cast-ons covered are:

  • All-purpose
  • Ribbing (both moderate stretch and really stretchy)
  • End-of -row
  • Super stretchy
  • Decorative
  • Temporary and Hems
  • Toe-up socks
  • Circular

The bind-offs are:

  • All-purpose
  • Lace
  • Decorative
  • Stretchy ribbed
  • Specific use

Each technique is covered fully: each has a general information page that tells you the pros and cons of the technique, tools you need, etc., along with clear photos of the technique.

Then the technique is demonstrated with clear step-by-step photos and text. There are also tips and tricks in little call-out boxes throughout the book.

There is a quick start guide at the beginning of the book that covers things you need to know, like making a slip knot, and what “knitwise” and “purlwise” mean.

The tables of contents are nicely illustrated with thumbnail photos:

Bottom-line: This is a great reference for new knitters, experienced knitters, and everyone in-between. Most knitters have a “go-to” cast-on and bind-off they use 90% of the time. But there are always times when you need to use a different technique to get the best result. Reach for this handy guide!

Storey Publishing very kindly sent me a review copy and offered to send a second copy to one of my readers.

To be entered in the drawing for a copy of Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor, leave a comment on this blog post and tell me your favorite cast-on or bind-off before noon Eastern time on Wednesday July 18, 2012. I’ll draw a winner at random at that time.

It’s Hip to Be Square

Back here, chez WendyKnits, I am still all about the mitered squares!

And Lucy is all about the nap!




  1. Well Now that would be a very handly book to have. It would live in my knitting bag for sure. This book would step up my knitting. I am very experienced kniter.or maybe seasoned with be a better word, and that book would come in very handly. Oh yes please ! ! ! !

    I use the long tail cast on and have used alot of cast off`s but i think Jenny`s stretchy bind off is my favorite, I am a sock knitter by choice. I knit other things because they all have to have what I make for them.

  2. I usually use the long-tail as I don’t know any others. Please give Lucy a tummy rub from me (or is she too dignified for that?)

  3. My favorite is the figure eight cast on. I love knitting in circles. The mitered squares look wonderful.

  4. My favorite is the cable cast on, and it’s probably the one I use least; for the current project (two Euro-size pillow covers) it’s the long-tail, with very long tails for sewing-up when I’m done.
    Lynn´s last blog post ..Plan R

  5. I use the long tail all the time! That’s why I need to get this book.

  6. I go between the long-tail cast on and cable cast on, but I always use Judy’s super stretchy bind off on my socks!

  7. This book sounds like what I need! I could put it on my e reader and go! I use the European cast-on method, and the bind-off method I use, is I knit one, ss over the second, and continue until the end. I don’t know the name of the method, but I use the book written by Chicks with Sticks. Their book is the only book that has been able to teach me how to knit!
    Michelle´s last blog post ..New Sock Monkey Cup Cozy in My Etsy Shop!

  8. Mande Kuechenmeister says:

    I would love a copy of this book because I generally use the long-tail cast-on with the all-purpose bind-off. It would be great to have a reference for other techniques!

  9. Christel says:

    This book looks great!! My go to cast on is long tail, favorite cast off is EZ ‘ s bind off.

  10. Carol Walther says:

    Trying yet again!! Book sounds fantastic!!:):) Thanks for the chance!:)

  11. I just got this book from the library, and I thought it was terrific too! My favorite cast on is the cable cast on. I love the way the edge looks so smooth.

  12. My current fav is the Twisted German Cast-On. I already have this book on my wish list

  13. Heard about this book from the comments in the KAL Summer Solstice …have delayed buying it for myself…maybe I’ll get this one!!

  14. Eileen Bunn says:

    Long tail is my favorite because that’s mostly all I can do…..a reason for me to check out this book!

  15. Oh, what a great reference to tuck in to one’s knitting bag. Thanks for the giveaway contest.

  16. Hmmm, it’s hard to name just one favorite. I like Channel lsland Cast On when 1×1 follows. And I like the Double Start Cast on described in a few of Nancy Bush’s books. But if I could only do one cast on the rest of my life I would pick the Long Tail CO because it is so all-purpose.

  17. I just figured out Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretch Cast On, and I’m absolutely loving it for socks!

  18. Annette Mand says:

    I have seen this book and would love to be a proud owner of this wonderful volume. Please enter me in your drawing.

  19. Long tail cast on for me. This book looks wonderful, something I need in my knitting bag. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  20. Bluetoespinner says:

    I am all about long tail cast on lately. And love the 3-needle bind-off. The book look amazing!!

  21. I still love the long tail cast on but have really begun to appreciate the knit on cast-on I saw demonstrated recently….good alternatives!

  22. This book will be a great help to me. Thanks for making the offer – and for telling us about it!

  23. Linda R says:

    I usually do the long tail cast on, but recently learned the German twisted cast on and love it! I’m still trying to find the perfect cast off method! I like Lucy’s idea of nap time!

  24. Snowflake says:

    I have seen this book and it looks like a wonderful reference to have.
    My favorite cast on is the long tail because it is fast and can be used in
    a lot of situations. It can be done with a larger needle if you need some
    added stretchiness.

  25. I use mostly long tail cast on, except for very large numbers of stitches or when I will have to pick up the cast on stitches later, when I use a knitted cast on. My bind offs are typically in pattern. On the rare occasion I do a toe- up sock, I opt for the Russian Bind off. This book would be a welcome addition to my knitting bag, and I would love to expand my cast off and bind off horizons!

  26. Cathy E says:

    I usually use the long tail cast on as my all-purpose cast on, but use other cast ons when called for in a pattern. This book is now on my wish list! Thanks for the give away.

  27. Michele Eskew says:

    I always seem to use the same boring cast on and bind off. I would love to learn some new ones…

  28. Martina says:

    My favorite cast on for most work is long tail. I can snug it up or leave a ‘porch on the house’ if I need a stretchier edge. For bind off, I love the Stretchy Bind Off from Jeny with the yarn over prep for each stitch. It makes a really pretty edge. I use it on toe up socks, scarves, sweater neck bands… Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor, appears to be a great resource that is super easy to have with you all the time. Sweet.

  29. I am a new knitter and this would be a great go to book.

  30. Rose lane says:

    Book looks great :). I also am a huge fan of the long tail cast on and k2 slip 1st stitch over to cast off. Hugs, rose

  31. Beverly S says:

    It depends on what I am knitting but I like doing knit cast on but use different ones for socks. I would love to have this book as it looks like it would be handy to keep in my knitting basket.

  32. Long tail cast on midst often, but increasingly find use for cable cast on. Standard cast off for the most part, but have been experimenting with stretchier ones for lace and ribbing.

  33. Denise in Ohio says:

    Long tail cast on. Jeny’s Suprisingly Stretchy Bind Off from Knitty.

  34. I’ve wanted to pick up a copy of this book and now a chance to win it! I don’t have a favorite cast on, it all depends on what I am making as to which cast on I use. It will be interesting to learn new ones from this book.

  35. Jennifer says:

    I usually use the long tail cast on, but my favorite new cast on from this book is Tillybuddy’s Very Stretchy Cast On.

  36. A loose Long tail cast on or a lace cast on are my favorites, but that can change at any time something new and better for a project comes along!

  37. Carolyn says:

    Unless a specific cast on is specified, I usually do a knitted cast on which is what I was originally taught about 50 years ago. This book is on my wish list and I have already pestered my local library to get it.

  38. Becca J. says:

    I’m a long tail cast-on girl. It’s the first method I learned and it makes a good sturdy platform to work from. But I’m always willing to learn new things!

  39. I usually use the long tail cast on or the cable cast on. I think I need to expand my options, though, so this would be a great reference.

  40. Wait a minute–there is more than one way to do this? I use the long-tail cast on, and I guess the most common bind off (cast off?). Would be great to win the book and become educated about all this.

  41. Long-tail cast on is my standard because I know it and it’s easy. But it’s often too tight, so I need to learn more.

    Thank you and thank Storey Publishing for the opportunity to win.

  42. Would be very interested in this book. Have wanted to take a class on different cast-ons and bind offs. I think this book would be great!
    LynnIL ravelry

  43. My favorite cast off is Judy’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-off!

  44. Sherry L says:

    Cable cast on here and a simple bind off (I don’t know the name) but would love to learn more. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Love how the colors are working in your mitered squares.

  45. I usually use a long-tail cast on, and really like the EZ sewn bind off. This book would be a great reference!

  46. I use the figure 8 cast on for toe-up socks and sewn bind-off. I really need to expand my skill list. This book would be great!!

  47. Long tail cast on (a few needle sizes larger, since I am a tight caster-oner) and Russian cast off. So nice for toe ups!

  48. That book sounds like a lot of new ideas which I would like to learn and try but as of now my favorite is the crochet cast on because you get a nice edge. thanks for the nice giveaway. /
    nannyjean´s last blog post ..Sammy Jo

  49. Looks like a great book! I’d love to be picked to win a copy!

  50. I know a few cast ons and bind offs, but feel like I could really use some more in my “tool box” so to speak. I think my favorite bind off is Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. Works great for all the toe-up socks I knit and definitely turned me into more of a toe-up sock knitter over a top-down one.

    Looks like you’re making great progress on the mitered squares. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!
    MsLindz´s last blog post ..An Update on Spinning

  51. I am like everyone else and use long tail cast on most of the time and the standard bind off; unless the pattern calls for something else. Then I go through books or the internet for reference. This looks like a book that I would use a lot so thanks for the chance to win one.

  52. The long tail cast on is my most used and judy’s magic cast on for toe up socks. When working with lace I usually used the knitted on cast on. Book really looks great, I wish more were published with the spiral feature.

  53. Vickie Yanik says:

    I use the long tail cast on because that is the cast on I learned first. I would love to win this book, it looks like an awesome book. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  54. I’m a long tail cast on girl. Your mitered squares are beautiful!!!

  55. Brenda Brown says:

    The first cast-on I ever learned was knit-on. I modified that to Cable cast on, and then I used the long-tail when the others didn’t have enough stretch (but I hate running out of tail yarn). My sister-in-law taught me a knitted on long tail, which somewhere was called American cast-on. Mostly I still use cable cast on because I like the looks of it, and it’ s easy.

  56. Mary Beth says:

    Twisted German CO (aka Old Norwegian). 🙂

    Thanks for the chance!

  57. I like the chained cast-on, and would really appreciate having this book to help me expand my knitting skills!

  58. This comes from a toe-up sock person’s perspective –
    Favorite Cast-on: Judy Becker’s Magic Cast On
    Favorite Bind-off: Jeny Staiman’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off
    (and when I knit the occasional top-down sock, I use Jeny Staiman’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast-on – well worth the time it takes to learn).

  59. patricia says:

    I like the suspended bindoff. Has a little bit of stretch and maintains a nice ruffle edge, if that’s what you have!

    the blanket looks great!

  60. I do use long tail alot, but I really like Judy’s Magic for toe up socks.
    Chris Reeske´s last blog post ..How to make the stretched star

  61. DeborahKaye says:

    Since I knit a lot of lace, I normally use the backward loop cast on. Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind off is my favorite bind off method. But, I want to learn more and would love a copy of this book!

  62. Wow, what a coIncidence! I am educational chairman of my knitting guild, and was thinking about a lesson on various cast-ons and bind-offs! This would help tremendously!

  63. I usually use the long-tail cast on, but I always feel the most clever when I use Judy’s Magic cast on.
    Lynn Z´s last blog post ..It’s that time again…

  64. Pam Chamberlain says:

    Usually use long tail cast on and I’m still looking for a great stretchy bind off for socks. Thanks for another great give away.

  65. Wow, I could really use that book.

  66. Looks like fantastic book, and I would love to have a copy! Thanks!

  67. Mickie Swall says:

    Wow, what a coincidence, there’s another book with the exact same title by Cap Sease coming out in August: Cast On Bind Off, 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting
    Obviously I will need them both, one to keep on my bookshelf and the other to keep in my knitting bag!
    My go-to cast on is the long-tail, and I use a crochet hook to do Cat’s stretchy bindoff.

  68. Erica Roberts says:

    I heard about this book, it looks really great!

  69. Thanks for a chance to win this great book. My favorite cast on is the knitted cast on and I don’t know more than 1 or 2 bind offs 🙂

  70. Since I’m still pretty much an new knitter, my favorite cast on is also the only one I know how to do–the long tail cast on. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book. If I’m not a winner I’ll definitely get it.

  71. Sandra Kerr says:

    I would love this book. I have been looking at buying it, so getting it free would totally rock.

    My favorite cast-on is the long tail, because I like how it creates a knitted row. Also, it’s the only one I can ever remember clearly without looking it up. As for the bind-off, I do what the pattern calls for, but I like the stretchy ones, because otherwise, mine is usually too tight.

  72. I like the twisted German cast and the knitted cast on.

  73. Aunt Colleen says:

    Your mitered squares blanket is beautiful.

  74. Love the old no. Norwegian cast on for socks and lace

  75. I just ‘discovered’ the three needle bind off…….love that, and so easy too!

  76. Cool book. I use Judy’s Magic Cast on whenever I can.

  77. Nancy Clark says:

    I usually do the knit on cast on, but like to experiment with others. I am presently enamored with the picot bind off. This book is on my wish list!

  78. Usually use the long tail caston. Just learnt the cable caston and I love it. I like the picot castoff but use it only on scarves or shawls. Would love to learn more. Have seen lovely reviews of this book.

  79. Love your mitered squares! Must get back to mine – as soon as I finish all the other WIPs!
    Thanks for sharing the book!

  80. i only know the way i was taught, don’t even know the name. might be the long tail?
    would love to learn others. although i think my cat likes the long tail cast on too.

  81. This looks like a fabulous book, and I would put it to great use.
    I’m loving the way the mitered squares look 🙂

  82. linda roller says:

    I love the long tail cast on have a long time of one way. I would make this book an every day ritual.Love Lucy! Rinebird on Ravelry

  83. I use the long tail cast on.
    Donna´s last blog post ..Mystery Story

  84. Your mitered sqs are coming along…so is my Kal Shawl, having fun on my first lace project.

  85. Kathy Waldusky says:

    I’m crazy for the cable cast on! I use it all the time but know I need to expand my horizons. I know how to do German twisted, long tail and knitted cast ons but usually come back to my tried and true – mostly because I think it is so pretty to look at! Would love to have this book in my knitting bag! Thanks for a great blog, Wendy – one I never miss!

  86. Peggy aka PickleSoup on Rav says:

    I LOVE Jeny’s Super Stretchy bind-off for a lot of things. Especially the leg of toe-up socks! Thanks for the opportunity to enter for this book. Would be a great reference item to keep handy.

  87. This looks like a great book. Thanks for the review. My favorite cast on is the long tail. Seems I’m in good company with this. If I’m doing top down socks, I use the German twisted cast on for more stretch. Toe up socks, Judy’s Magic Cast on and for bind off, Jeny’s Surprisingly stretchy bind off. Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  88. I need to learn some different methods of casting off!

  89. Ruthie A. says:

    I just learned to do the super-stretchy Italian rib cast-on. I like it so much that I’m always looking for projects in which to use it.

    LOVE the book!! I would really like it if the random generator…or whatever method you use…picks me for a change…..

  90. I almost always use the long tail cast on or the cable cast on 🙂

  91. Charlotte says:

    I knit mostly toys, so use the knitted cast-on & the basic bind-off primarily.

  92. This book is on my wishlist at Amazon. So glad to read the favorable review. Thanks Wendy

  93. long tail cast on…..sewn bind off (for toe up socks)

  94. I LOVE, Love, love the three needle bind-off because I don’t have to sew a seam!! I am in love with this book and would LOVE, Love, love to win it!! 8*)

  95. I only know the long tail cast on so I could really use this book. I have added it to my amazon wish list. Thanks for the helpful review.

  96. laura sequeira says:

    I usually use the long-tail cast on since I cast on loosely anyways, but i like the knitted cast-on for some things….just did my first picot-edge cast off. Actually enjoyed it.

  97. Oh I would so dearly love this book. I have had it on my wish list to buy ever since its publication was announced. I am on a very strict budget for knitting at the moment and can not afford to buy this. Please please let me win this time

  98. Kamilla Mazanec says:

    I make socks almost exclusively. I find that the long-tail cast on, using a double strand of yarn as the bottom yarn, gives me good stretchiness for top-down socks.

  99. Favorite cast on is the classic long tail.
    My favorite bind off is the one where you knit 2 stitches the knit those 2 together.
    I don’t know what it is called but it’s easy to repeat for me.

  100. My favorite cast on is either the long tail or the cable. I have always wanted to learn a Picot bind off. I would like to learn more bind offs.
    Rae´s last blog post ..Its Been Awhile….