Disappearing Loop Cast-on Tutorial
I love knitting in the round - little tiny circles spiraling out into great big circles! Starting in the middle opens up a world of possibilities - pentagons, octagons, umpteen-a-gons, not to mention spheres and eggs and octopi and all manner of seamless toys. But how exactly do you get started?
Here are some great tutorials that other folks have done:
Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-On from Bagatell (a crochet cast-on)
Fleegle's Blog - Simple Ring Beginning for Circular Shawls (a really elegant ring made with one knitting needle)
And the line-art wizardry of TechKnitting(tm): Casting on From the Middle - Disappearing Loop Method
And here's how I like to do it - you may notice it gives the same result as TechKnitting's method, but I go about it a little differently. You'll need two double-pointed needles and a tapestry needle.
1) Make a slip knot and secure it to one dpn, leaving a generous tail 6 or 7 inches long.
2) Hold a second dpn parallel to the first. Wrap the yarn under the bottom dpn, then over the top one, making a figure-eight.
3) Continue figure-eight-ing until the top needle has the desired number of stitches plus one extra.
4) Thread the tail through a tapestry needle. Holding the working yarn in place, carefully slip the bottom needle free from the stitches.
5) Drop the slip knot off the left side of the dpn and thread the tail through the empty loops from right to left using the tapestry needle.
6) Gently tug the slip knot to undo it.
7) Distribute the stitches over the desired number of dpns and begin working in the round. After you've worked five or six rounds, pull the tail snug. Reinforce it by threading it through the loops a couple times.
p.s. I cover these techniques in much more detail, and give you at least 28 ideas of what to do with them, in my book!