Straight line cast on’s, can be, of course, joined into a round—and used to create a tube—some (the stretchy ones) are quite suitable for socks or hats.
But there is another way to knit in the round... the ‘Disk’ (vs. the tube)
Hat, Doily’s, Shawls--and a host of other knit objects start with flat or shaped disks.
The cast on directions are often vague, and sound impossible—
Cast on 4 stitches, divide evenly on 4 needles. Join
Round 1: K1, YO, (4times) 8 stitches.
Round 3 is often an other increase round (another 8 stitches) and each Odd numbered row increases by 8 – (or the increases come at different intervals)
Some patterns with 8 –instead of 4, or 6 or 10—but all these directions are maddeningly difficult--a straight cast on, of 8 stitches, joined into a round leaves a big messy hole.
How do you manage 4 double pointed needles with just 1 stitch on each!?
One solution: the Emily Ocker cast on.
Another solution: TechKnitters slip knot cast on (see her alphabetical index)
My solutions: the Loop cast on.
I’ve made video after video—and each time, I’ve had small ‘mishaps’ –I’ve forgotten yarn overs—I have been out range, or out of frame (I make my video’s using a tripod (between me (my body) and my hands and sometimes it really gets in the way—and the knitting goes to the south of the framed image or to the north!
This video has a small mishap or two... a strand (from a round worked as I cord) get caught in front of the work—and I just move it to the back--and at one point, I lose my working yarn!
I left these mishap in—(and several other jumbles) because I think its important for newer, or newish, or just new to this cast on knitters, to see, while this cast on is easier than some, it's still a bit fiddly.. And I have fiddled with it a bit.
But with just a bit of confidence, and a bit of working through the fiddliness, you can get a beautiful center eyelet –
The Video is long (almost 11 minutes!) And you may need to watch it a few times to get the process –But I think its general faster (to learn and to do) and prettier (than any straight cast on joined) and with a bit of practice EASIER than any other eyelet cast on.
So if starting that shawl with a cast on of 4 stitches, and Round 1 of K1, YO –has left you saying, NOT TODAY… then maybe this will help.
This cast on works for Cast on 4, Round 1 K1, YO (4 times) and it works for Cast on 6, cast on 8, or cast on 10 (any even number) --and it gives you a beautiful tight eyelet each time.
Warning! it is an 11 minute long video.