Tutorial: Tubular Cast On and Off for Double Ribbing – A Guide to Masochistic Knitting

Autumn is coming…. get your needles on and start knitting for X’mas! So, I thought this would be a great time for me to do a knitting tutorial.When it comes to knitting I am very pedantic. I often used to be frustrated when the ribbing neck edge didn’t stretch and I could not get my head through a sweater I just knitted (… and it wasn’t because my head is too big!). Previously I introduced the two-stranded tubular cast on method for single ribbing. Today I want to introduce tubular cast on and off methods for DOUBLE RIBBING.
Double ribbing has a nice neat look especially when it is used for a garment. Tubular casting on and off would give a nice round edge, so the combination of double ribbing and tubular edges results in a very neat finish. By the way, there is a seriously great knitting book called Knitter’s Handbook by Montse Stanley. I have many knitting books but this one is used very often.

Tubular cast on for double ribbing actually utilizes the same method for single ribbing. So do go back to my previous post. The total number of stitches to to cast on is a multiple of 4 (k2, p2…. and end with p2) or 4 + 2 (k2, p2….. and end with k2). So I have casted on 22sts for this example (picture below).
Work one row (WS) in single ribbing (i.e. p1, k1….) until the last 2 sts, p2 (picture below). I used a different color for clarity.
Next row (RS) will be worked by dropping every other k stitch and picking it up after the p stitch next to it has been worked (picture below). This is a bit like a cable knitting involving just 2 stitches.
I am always scared of dropping this st, so I use cable needle… In other word….. k2, p1, then *place the next st onto a cable needle in front (picture below).
……then p the st after the one on the cable needle (picture below).
then k1 from the cable needle, k1 (picture below), k1, p1.
Repeat from * until the last st, k1.
Next row (WS), p2, k2….
Next row (RS), k2, p2…..

This complete the tubular cast on for double ribbing. I think mine (below) looks like the example picture at the beginning?
Onto tubular cast off for double ribbing!! I tried to take pictures of my own knitting but it was so difficult to get the right angle so I gave up :(….

It took a while for me to get the hand of this but here is what you do.
On the last row (WS):
p1, sl 2nd p stitch pwise (purl wise – basically means from behind) wyif (with yarn in front).
k1, sl 2nd k stitch pwise wyab (with yarn at the back).
Continue until end.

Casting off by grafting (RS):
This assumes that the first 2sts are k.
Cut yarn leaving about 1.5 x of the width of your garment.
Step 1. Using a darning needle, insert the needle into the first k st pwise. Make sure that the arn is pulled, but not too tight. Place the yarn back.
Step 2. Insert needle kwise (knit wise – basically means from front to behind) into the first p st. (very similar to the last picture)
Step 3. Insert needle into the 1st k st kwise and drop this st. Insert 2nd k st pwise. Pull yarn and place the yarn back. (picture below)
Step 4. Insert 1st p st pwise, then into the second p st kwise (picture below).
Step 5. Insert into 2nd k st kwise, drop this st. Insert into 3rd k st pwise (picture below). Drop 1st p st. Pull yarn.
Step 6. Insert into 2nd p st pwise, drop this st (picture below).
Step 7. Insert needle kwise into 3rd p st (keeping the 3rd and 4th k sts still on needle). Pull yarn.
Work forward by repeating steps 3 to 7 (i.e. read 3rd where it says 1st). And it should look like this….
Phew! Actually it was so hard to explain it even quoting few things from books….mmm If you have a better way of explaining it, I would be so happy to know.

Time for a cup of tea!

Responses to “Tutorial: Tubular Cast On and Off for Double Ribbing – A Guide to Masochistic Knitting”

  1. monda-loves

    Hello. I’ve been reading your blog since you popped by mine a few weeks back, so now I’m offically de-lurking to say ‘Hi!’
    I always find written instructions really hard to follow, but what does really work for me is watching a video/recording. Maybe you could record yourself next time around? Just a thought :o)


  2. Kyoko

    Hello Monda!
    Thank you for dropping by 😀 I am very happy for your visit. It’s so hard to explain things in word!! I am the same. Video would be much more helpful. Definitely my future project. 😀

  3. Pandaman

    Hi There,

    I'm wondering if this cast on can be done in the round? I think it would be Great for socks. Or should I work the first 2 rows then join the round after switching to k2, p2 and use the beginning tail to sew up the edges of rows 1 & 2?

    Thanks for any help or insight you can give! :o)

    James – Panda Man :o)

  4. Kyoko

    Hi Pandaman,

    You can definitely do this technique in the round. It is really excellent for socks. You are right! 😉
    The only thing you have to be careful is not to twist the tubular cast on (it get twisted very easily). I tend to cast on really tightly on a dpn (rather than straight into magic loop method). Hope this helps!


  5. love it. I’m all for illustrations and steps over video, video is too talky and slow, i’ve always broken it down.

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