Here's something I learned while knitting a hat which Daniel wouldn't wear:
Tubular Cast On (Sometimes Called "Double Knitting")
for K1, P1 Ribbing in Circular Knitting
In order to work tubular cast on, you must know how to cast on using the double cast on (also called "long-tail") method. For tubular cast on in circular knitting, you will cast on half the number of stitches you need. This will be an even number, because K1, P1 knitting in the round requires an even number.
You will need:
- Circular or double pointed needles (DPNs) of the correct size to achieve your gauge over 1x1 ribbing
- Circular or DPNs one or two sizes smaller, if desired (tubular cast on is very elastic, so you may want to use needles one or two sizes smaller for the cast on rows)
- The yarn for your ribbing (main yarn)
- Yarn of a contrasting color that is the same weight as your main yarn (contrasting yarn)
- Using a slip knot, tie together the main yarn for your project and a length of scrap yarn of the same weight but in a contrasting color.
The scrap yarn will eventually be pulled or clipped out of the ribbing and discarded.
- Put the slip knot on the needle.
Use the smaller needles if you are using 2 sizes of needles.
The yarn that makes the slip knot will not count as a stitch. At the end of the round you'll just push it off the needle.
- Cast on half the number of stitches you need.
The main yarn for your project should form the loops over the needle.
- K 1, P into the running thread between the stitches.
Repeat until the round is complete.
To work the last stitch, purl the running thread and the last stitch together.
Remove the slip knot from the needle.
Join the beginning and the end of your cast on row, being careful not to twist the stitches.
- Repeat these rows at least twice:
- K 1, bring yarn forward, sl 1 as if to P, take yarn back. Repeat until the round is complete.
- Take yarn to the back, sl 1 as if to P, bring yarn forward, P1. Repeat until the round is complete.
- Switch to larger needles and work K1, P1 ribbing for required length.
- Pull or clip the scrap yarn out of the ribbing.
I have a somewhat loose tension, it seems, because I achieve pattern gauges pretty reliably using needles 2 sizes smaller than those specified in patterns. I have had good luck using smaller needles for the first few rows of tubular cast on.