Knitters know how important choosing the appropriate cast off is to a project. Cast offs are either simple or decorative.The Yarn Over Cast Off has a little of both.

The story goes like this: I was working on a new design. As I was about to cast off the neckline, I stopped. Why? The design involved two colors. The cast off row would be done in the lighter color while the row immediately below it was knitted in the darker color. These were my concerns:

  • I did not want the darker color to show through my cast off edge.
  • I wanted to have a firm and simple, yet slightly decorative cast off edge.
  • I did not want to have the dreaded “minimum/maximum number of stitches” requirement to deal with.
After about 15 minutes of knitting and unraveling, I ended up with what I now call the Yarn Over Cast Off. I’m not sure if anyone else has come up with the same technique; but I think it is worthy of being added to any knitter’s “pattern vault”. The Yarn Over Cast Off results in a slightly lacy and raised finished edge. Doesn’t it look a bit like a crochet edge?

Yarn Over Cast Off

Yarn Over Cast Off
The steps are the same, but knitting through the front or the back loop, will yield slightly different outcomes. Knit through the back loop for a firmer/tighter edging. Or, if you need the cast off edge to be on the looser side, knit all the stitches through the front loop. Hope this will give your knitting projects a cheerful twist.

Yarn Over Cast Off- Front- right side:knitted thru front loop/ left side:knitted thru back loop

Yarn Over Cast Off- Back, right side:knitted through back loop/ left side:knitted through front loop

  1. Sl first st, *yo, k1 (3 sts on RHN)
  2. Pass yo, then the first st on RHN one at time over the last stitch (1 st left on RHN)
  3. Repeat from * to end.
  • Sl: slip
  • st/sts: stitch/stitches
  • yo: yarn over
  • k: knit
  • RHN: right hand needle

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