Knit, Purl – However You Please April 18, 2013 – Posted in: How to, Thursday This and That

As you might have figured out at this point (after reading posts like this one, this one or this one here) I do love my long-tail cast-on. It is pretty, it is versatile (though not for everything, as you can see well enough here), gives you a stretchy edge and it is really not that difficult to learn. I bet once you know how to do it you won’t go back.
You would think by now I have shown everything that can be done casting on with this method – but wait, there’s more!!
I do consider myself a fastidious knitter, sometimes you might call me even pedantic, and yes, I do like my knitting to be just so. So when I am knitting a piece that needs to be reversible, I like to have it look pretty from both sides. Not only pretty, but – gasp! – looking the same on both sides. Most of the time there are ways to achieve this. Sometimes there are not.
However, there is a way of doing the long-tail cast-on to make it look exactly the same on both sides. If you are interested in how to do it, please do read on. If not – well, let’s just say: You’re missing out!
The presupposition here is that your knitted piece starts with a rib. No matter which kind, if 1×1, 2×2 or whatever combination you want to choose.

This is a 2×2 rib done with a regular long-tail cast-on.


This is a 2×2 rib done with a knit/purl long-tail cast-0n. 100% reversible.

To achieve the reversible look, you have to alternate between casting on the regular way and the reverse way. Here is how:


For the reversed cast-on insert your needle under the thread by your index from the back.


Then insert your needle from below under the strand by your thumb to make a stitch.


Now, just as for the regular way, go back where you started from and pull your stitch tight.


There, one purl stitch made.



Repeat as needed and depending on what kind of rib you want to knit.

For a 1×1 rib you switch for every stitch, for the 2×2 rib, cast on two stitches the regular way, then two the reverse way. This you can do for any combination in any way you want. When you start knitting the rib, knit the knit stitches, and purl over the purl bumps formed by the cast-on. This way, the rib looks exactly the same from both sides – 100% reversible, if need be.

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona