Knitting Confessions

I love crafting…but sometimes, I have to experiment just a little bit!

You’ll forgive me if I have been keeping some things from you? ๐Ÿ™‚

For the past few projects, I have been trying a little of this and a little of that in the form of different cast-ons and bind offs.ย  I got the idea from the new book Cast On Bind Off by Leslie Ann Bestor.

I have to say, if there’s a new knitting book around, chances are, I’m going to get it, lol.ย  But, I generally like to buy books for the photos alone.ย  Don’t judge me, lol! My knitting and I are old acquaintances now.ย  I know what I like to knit and I know how I like to knit it.ย  Even if I come upon something new I’d like to try, I usually don’t look for new tips to help me make it.ย  I wasn’t really sure what I’d really be doing with a book that was about casting on and binding off…Just in case you are a little bit like me…I’ll let you know what I thought about this book.

Hands down, this book was very well planned.

  • The inside of the very covers organizes and lists the different types of cast-ons and bind-offs, what they’re good for and where you can flip to them easily.ย  I don’t always like to use the term never, but in this one instance I can safely say that I have never, as in never-ever, seen a book do that.ย  Have you?ย  That seriously wowed me!
  • Then, it is also spiral bound so that it opens up flat.ย  It helps that the book is not trying to shut when you’re tied up with reading directions and need both hands to do the doing of the directions at the same time.
  • The photos are clear and the directions are precise and very well-written.
  • There are even extra tips throughout that tell you how to make the techniques work well for your project.

Impressive! But…did it pass my ultimate test?ย  Yes.ย  It really did.ย  What’s that you say? What’s my test?

The absolute best thing to me is…and if you’ve been here before, you probably have guessed it already…

Yup! I can carry this baby anywhere I want!!

When I first found out about the book, I immediately looked it up to see if I could find a downloadable version.ย  I mean, how many times do I have to tell Amazon to tell the publisher that I want it on my Kindle?ย  I think my account should just have an automatic-request feature for every fiber craft book that comes out, to effect that I will be writing them about that shortly…

Take a look at how clear these pages are.

The illustrations are kind of cute too. ๐Ÿ™‚

All that said, you must understand that I’m also a creature of habit.ย  Yup.ย  I am.ย  I tend to stick to the same cast-ons and bind-offs I learned when I first started knitting.ย  Really.ย  Why would I need more when they work just fine?ย  I did wonder if the book would fit well into my way of doing things.ย  Well, I have to admit, these past few projects have given me a few more tips to put in my knitting arsenal that actually aren’t such a bad idea to have around.ย  Take for instance those dishcloths I make for my mil.ย  Well, usually. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  I have always had a slight distaste for the fact that the long tail cast-on never matched the traditional bind off.ย  Do you know which one does?ย  The chained cast-on completely matches the traditional bind-off!

It’s perfect! The chained cast on requires the use of a crochet hook.ย  And all the strictly knitters said, “Ugh”, lol.ย  It took all of about an extra minute, so it really wasn’t so bad. ย And if it completely matches the other edge, it really is worth it.ย  Dishcloths are such a tiny project.ย  But I just like it when the edges match so much better! Wish I’d known that tip sooner…Gonna have to try that on my mil.

Another issue I’ve always had is the edging of my lace pieces not really being as stretchy as I’d like.ย  It’s always been hit or miss.ย  Take a look at the cast-on here.

That’s my version of loose, lol!

But now, check out this bind off.

This bind off is called a lace bind off.ย  Look at how perfectly relaxed that is.ย  Isn’t that nice?ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

And the socks!

Well, actually, the first time I tried the Old Norwegian cast-on was with the socks I made for the hubby.ย  But, I really only did that because it was in the pattern.ย  I’ve had a chance to commit it to memory making my own socks.ย  And, it really is better than the long tail cast-on for a stretchy cuff.

Hmm..I really think I could use this book!

Meh.ย  You learn something new everyday. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you want to learn a bit more about this book, there is a tour going on currently where you can read about how knitting bloggers have used it for their projects.

7/9ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  Picnic Knits
7/10ย ย ย ย ย ย  Knit and Tonic
7/11ย ย ย ย ย ย  Zeneedle
7/12ย ย ย ย ย ย  Rambling Designs
7/13ย ย ย ย ย ย  The Knit Girllls
7/14ย ย ย ย ย ย  Neo Knits
7/15ย ย ย ย ย ย  Knit & Nosh
7/16ย ย ย ย ย ย  Knitting at Large
7/17ย ย ย ย ย ย  Rebecca Danger
7/18ย ย ย ย ย ย  Lapdog Creations
7/19ย ย ย ย ย ย  Nutmeg Knitter
7/20ย ย ย ย ย ย  Yarnagogo
7/21ย ย ย ย ย ย  Weekend Knitter
7/22ย ย ย ย ย ย  knitgrrl
7/23ย ย ย ย ย ย  It’s a Purl, Man
7/24ย ย ย ย ย ย  Whip Up
7/25ย ย ย ย ย ย  Knitspot
7/26ย ย ย ย ย ย  Under the Humble Moon
7/27ย ย ย ย ย ย  Knitting Daily
7/28ย ย ย ย ย ย  Knitting School Dropout
7/29ย ย ย ย ย ย  Hugs for Your Head

Stop by and say hello!

There’s also a giveaway per blog where readers have a chance to win a free copy of this book. If you’re interested, leave a comment here by July 28th and I’ll enter your name into a drawing for the giveaway to take place next weekend.

Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Oh, I’d love some new options! Please enter me for a copy!

  2. OK … inquiring minds want to know: How long does it take you to put together a post like this? Writing a post isn’t a problem for me; however, including pictures, links, and all the other goodies seems to take a l-o-n-g time. (Wonderful post, BTW. Must check out that book — my bindoffs are always tight unless I go up, like 4 needle sizes.)

    • Sometimes it takes a minute. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had actually been thinking about it for a bit though because I had to do the projects for it. I tried some of the cast-ons and bind offs for the swatches I did a few posts back to see which ones I could see me using on a regular basis. But I don’t really plan a blog post ahead of time. Usually, I’m just posting about whatever I’m doing anyway. There’s not much of a plan required for that! ๐Ÿ™‚ But, for something like this, I kind of just get a general idea and then try to make this stuff fit my life somehow. I blurt it all out when I sit down to post about it! BIG mouth, I guess. ๐Ÿ™‚ This one took about an hour, not counting the time it took to complete the projects…

      Oh yeah! I’m adding you into the drawing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Um … drawing? Since one of my many mottoes is, “If it’s free, it’s me,” a drawing sounds great!

        And another thing … what kind of fancy-schmancy camera do you use? I’m feeling drawn to DSLR photography and have no clue what’s to die for and what will make me want to die (if you see where I’m going). :o) Thx for your words of wisdom, oh, shutter queen!

      • Lol! I like Canons. ๐Ÿ™‚ I use a Canon t1i. Also, I like to play with different lenses. There is a saying that you should invest more in the lenses than the body because they are really the difference makers for the image as far as the gear goes. A couple friends and I have started a blog called “YummyFluff” where you can see some great photos by folks who love canons, nikons and point and shoots. It’s still fairly new. But the big idea is there. See if you like the photos and check out the camera that was used. That might give you a better idea of what you might like to try?

  3. Neato! I’d love to learn some new techniques!

  4. I think I gotta have this book..sure hope I win a copy….otherwise I’ll have to whip out the plastic and buy me a copy!!

    • Well, you’re in the drawing here! And don’t forget to look at the other blogs as well. They are doing giveaways too. More chances to win, right?! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Craftie Allie says:

        I’m totally checking out the other blogs. Need more knitting blogs to read ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you dear!

  5. Oh man, you’ve got me sold! This book sounds fantastic…variety is the spice of life, right?

  6. Craftie Allie says:

    I’ve been hearing great things about this book. And your review has made me even more interested. My knitting library really needs more additions, I’ve decided. Would love to be entered into the drawing ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. i too have both format of the book. i bought a kindle version so i could bring it every where with iphone. Love it. Need to experiment with each cast on and bind off

  8. This looks like a great book, especially since I just started knitting 6 months ago or so. I would just die if I won. I never win anything! lol

  9. Don’t enter me in the winning, I”ve already got the book, It is fab-U-lous! I love the photos and directions, made the picot cast on a bunch of baby hats for the preemies I’m making. Love all the alternatives for stretchy bind offs and cast ons. BUY IT FOLKS you won’t be sorry!

  10. Thanks so much for the very thorough post and the pictures to illustrate. The more I read about this book, the more I realize how much I could benefit from learning some new techniques. I have visited several of the blogs on the “tour,” and that in itself is good because I will become a regular reader of some of them. I do hope I win this book, but I’m now convinced I will buy it if I don’t win it. How can a knitter live w/o it?

    • LOL! Well, I got away with my run of the mill for a good bit, lol! But I do believe the techniques in this book will certainly make some of your knits even better! And they’re so simple, really. It’s really senseless not to try them.

  11. This book looks like a must have. Great review.

  12. As a self taught knitter, I’ve always used the long tail cast on because that is what was in the book I used. Would love to learn some new ways to both cast on and off. Thanks for the chance to maybe learn some other options.

    • I normally used that too. If I ever tried anything different, it was the backwards loop. But, the options in this book are really good for specific situations (which the book also suggests for each method). Somewhat of an eye-opener…

  13. Please enter me! I am so hoping to win a copy of this book. It sounds absolutely wonderful, and I’ll probably have to break down and but it if I don’t win one.

  14. KittasaurusRex says:

    Oh no. Oh no, I looked it up on Amazon and I JUST ordered my new Kindle and now I’m going to fall into the bottomless vortex of browsing knitting books available digitally.
    And there are at least two budding knitters I know who could really use a copy as well.
    Eesh. Some books, you just need to keep multiples on hand!

  15. Woo hoo! Love this book. I really do need to expand beyond long tail.

    • The thing that really gets me is that they’re not that difficult. Once you’ve done them a few times, you can easily memorize them. Very little effort for a nice payoff, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Jeanine says:

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy, this will definitely expand my knowledge and get me out of my habitual cast on and bind offs!

  17. I love this book. I think multiple BO and CO options are fantastic. I’m so stuck in the sand with my Long tail CO and the sewn BO. I do like kitchener though.

  18. Weekendknitter, your review of this book is spot on. I got the book a week or two ago and agree with everything you said about it. It’s as close to perfect as any knitting book gets.

    • Thanks!! I’m glad you liked the review! It’s a really valuable tool. I’m just so glad that more of the publishers are making them downloadable!! I do a lot more with a book I have to read when I can carry it with me. And it keeps Girl Child from making mince meat of it too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. I am also in dire need of new cast on/bind off optionsโ€”I’d love to win!

  20. Geraldine Scott says:

    I absolutely need this book to expand my horizons! Please enter me!

  21. So intrigued by this book. please enter me to win a copy! Fgording (at) aol (dot) com
    thanks for the awesome blog

  22. This stalking of the intriguing book has also led to some great blogs including yours. I am very stuck on long tail cast on and plain vanilla cast off–the book would definitely be useful for me. Thanks!

  23. What a great book and review. I love the fact that you found a cast on that matches the bind off – It did bug me a bit too. Thanks for sharing that one. g

  24. margaret stoecklein says:

    The book would totally work for me. And I love your blog. Love.

  25. I would like a stretchy cast on for sock cuffs. This book sounds like a winner. Please enter my name.

  26. Shelley G. says:

    I’m dying for this book. Great review too! One of the best I’ve seen so far! I love learning new techniques, but I never remember them…

    • Thanks for the compliment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      This book would be great for you then because it is small enough to fit inside of a typical knitting bag or even a small to medium sized purse. Good luck!

  27. I would absolutely love to win a copy of this book!

  28. Thank you so much for doing this! ๐Ÿ™‚ I had a look on the amazon website, and it really looks like somehting worth having – like you, it didn’t strike me as necessary to learn any other cast on (or bind off, for that matter) than the ones I’d learned right at the beginning – but it sure is a great thing to have and to be able to chose what kind of start/beginning suits your project first!

    I’m not a fan of e-books – but maybe there’s a chance I could get a copy for my birthday or Christmas … I’ll have it on my list.


    • I LOVE ebooks!! I always look for the e-version before the bound version anymore…Nothing like being able to take a ton of knitting books with you without breaking your back lol!!

      • That made me laugh. ๐Ÿ˜€ Yeah, I know, ebooks are very practical for sure. no doubt about that. But for me, it’s just not the real thing … It’s just like reading stuff on the computer, and I need to feel and so hear the pages turning and even smell the paper … Maybe this sounds a bit weird. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Once I was talking about this to someone who said: “Yeah, but I’m buying the CONTENT, not the MEDIUM!”.
        well, I do. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So that’s why I’d rather have TONS of books in my home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        But, as you said – it is dead practical, if you’re on holiday or something like that, you can store two hundred books in one ebookreader and won’t break your back. :mrgreen:

      • I get what you’re saying. I think whenever I move, I always pack my books first! Well, after my spinning and knitting stuff… But, if I ever had a fire or something (God forbid!! Almost happened TWICE!), I should think my devices would be with me and I wouldn’t lose my books! ๐Ÿ™‚ Books are wonderful objects.

      • That’s true! I really didn’t think about this. Of course, this is another advantage of ebooks. Also, storage space. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I mean, in the flat or house in which you live … It sure is a difference. ๐Ÿ˜€ And I hope I wasn’t sounding like I thought you wouldn’t value books as such. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • weekend knitter says:

        Not at all! Just making conversation. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Love your before and after shots – the true proof in the pudding! Thanks for the amazing review!

  30. now that i’ve actually seen the crocheted cast on it’s starting to make more sense for me. thank you.

  31. Melissa C says:

    I’d love to win a copy! Glad I found you from the ‘book tour’.

  32. Great book review, and beautiful photos of your FO. This book is definitely going on the wishlist. Your review really sold me, you bring up great reasons to own this book. Thanks for sharing.

  33. daisiejane says:

    So you are a spinning guru and now a knitting one! Go you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would never have known about this book if not for you, how I love this blog!

  34. Jennifer R says:

    I am a creature of habit and only use one cast-on and one bind-off, but I haven’t been knitting for very long. I would love to expand my knowledge! Thank you for the opportunity!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    This sounds like a great resource because it explains in what situations each cast-on or bind-off would be most useful, and it looks like it has really clear directions. I almost always use the long-tail cast-on, but I would love to learn something else.

  36. ooooh – there’s a Kindle edition? And I thought the spiral binding was awesome. How much better to have it in digital format! It looks like such a great book.

    • It really is a good book to have! I like having both…but I am partial to ebooks. I’m probably in the minority for that. But just you try to carry even three knitting books at one time and you might change your mind! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck!

  37. Charissa says:

    Sounds like a great resource for every knitter, I also use Old Norwegian to cast on for socks. Now if I have to use regular long-tail cast-on I have to look up how to do it!

  38. Thanks for the great review, now I really want this book!

  39. Aimee K says:

    I used to do the long tail cast on, but then discovered the German twisted which is much more elastic. I use it all the time. Then there’s some sort of rib cast on that my LYS owner just taught me but I can’t for the life of me remember how to do it. This book would be very handy! And since I’m moving overseas soon (less luggage the better) the electronic version is perfect – thanks for including it in your review!

  40. Karen Frisa says:

    I’d love to win a copy — it sounds like a great book! Thanks!

  41. Kiley Amber says:

    I would love to win a copy. The only cast on I know is the long tail and I just recently learned how to do it all by myself. (yay me)

  42. I’m shamelessly stalking this blog tour, and if I don’t win (spell that W-H-E-N, maybe), I’ll just buy a copy. Y’all have me convinced I need it. I’m getting ashamed of my long-term long-tail monogamy, and need some sort of provisional affair immediately!

  43. You sold me at “this book was well-planned…” and the size, format, binding and content have me chomping at the bit to get my hands on a copy.!

  44. I got here from Margene’s blog. I would love to win a copy of the book, and will also be checking out the Kindle version…although I have an e-ink Kindle so I don’t know how that will work for the pictures. It might come out perfectly on my phone’s Kindle app though.

    • Good luck! I would love to own a Kindle Fire too! But that might be overkill, lol. Still, anytime you can take your knitting books with you, whatever the device, it’s a good time to be a knitter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Marsha W. says:

    Wow, you really sold me on this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

  46. yarnitect says:

    Absolutely, positively, thoroughly enjoyed your review! Your photos were sooo delightful. I really did appreciate seeing the before and afters etc. Of course, your writing style is entertaining as well. You covered every question I may have had and you were funny on top of it. Awesome!

    I’m fairly new to knitting (I’m a long time crocheter). As an avid reader, I love to learn new techniques. This does look like a must have for my library as I learn more and more knitting techniques!

  47. Love Twisted German cast on for socks, cuff down. It is stretchy, and I need to learn MORE!

  48. Brenda C says:

    This book sounds fantastic. I know only a couple of cast-ons and bind-offs, and would love to know more.

    (Goodstuff on Rav)

  49. ooh, love the lace bind off! that would be perfect to stick in my brain, my shawl edges leave something to be desired, but I haven’t done too many yet. I would totally love to be added into the drawing to put this book into my bag o tricks, thanks!!

  50. I love the look of this book! The illustrations look so clear, and concise – and the techniques would definitely fill a hole in my knitting knowledge. I’d love to win a copy!

  51. Okay, I have the same feeling about bind off and cast on matching and I love your tip! I’m going to look up this chain cast on technique. (and yes I cringed a little when you said crochet hook!)

  52. Great review! I would love to learn some new cast ons and offs. I can’t crochet very well but have seen some knitted cast offs that give a pretty edge like crochet.

    Now I am going to look at some of the other blogs…so many lovely things. ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Jeanine Benkoski says:

    I could definitely use this book. I tend to use the same two old reliable cast on and cast off methods. It’s time to learn something new. Thanks for the opportunity!

  54. I am so sick of the same cast on options! I am beyond excited about this book, im avidly reading every post on the tour and it just makes me want it even more! Please enter me! Thank you!

  55. I am the proverbial ‘old dog’ you know the one that can’t learn new tricks. But I am trying to change my spots and get out of the knit rut and learn more. And I do manage to challenge myself at least once a week and learn something new. I have been working on my provencial cast on and have conquered it –I knit it last night without looking at a diagram while casting on and I even went one crazier I did it with out a crochet hook cause I was too lazy to get up and look for one.
    So help this old dog learn a few more tricks and pick me for a copy of the book ; )

  56. It looks like a great book – please include me into the book drawing.
    Also, love your socks!

  57. This looks like one of the best technique reference books in a long while. I’ll finally be able to stop the frantic searching for the cast on/off that I know I saw somewhere and printed off, etc., etc., etc.
    Thanks for offering the opportunity to win one.

  58. I’m eager to have a few more cast ons and bind offs under my belt. Can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

  59. Ok. Thank you to all of you lovely commenters! I will be taking the names that have commented here to draw a name! Once I have counted the unique visitors (sans my comments, lol), I will place those numbers into a random generator. If your number comes up, you will be the new owner of a brand new copy of Ms. Bestor’s book! Comments are considered closed at this time for the drawing. Please remember to check back (or check your email) to see if you have won. Thanks again!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. Whoa, looks like I just missed the giveaway. Oh well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve been planning on buying this book for the LONGEST time now and you are convincing me to finally check it out of the cart. ๐Ÿ˜€


  1. […] is a screenshot of all the unique names for the comments on Knitting Confessions which included a review of Leslie Ann Bestor’s Cast On Bind […]

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