The Kitchener rib stitch cast on forms an elastic edge that is an excellent start for a 1 x 1 rib stitch or a reversible fabric. I used it to cast on a reversible headband in two colors. This cast on can also be used for a single color cast on, but is actually easier to learn with two different colors. It is called a tubular cast on or Italian cast on and this is just one of many ways of generating a tubular cast on. Read more ..... for stepwise illustrated instructions. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image.
The stitch is completed by centering the needle over the "V" of the two yarn tails as illustrated in image 7. The process is continued alternating pairs of knit and purl stitches until the last stitch, which is a half-hitch (backwards loop) stitch to anchor the stitches. Since two colors of yarn were used, the knit stitches are one color and the purl stitches another. Through this process the knit stitches are twisted on the needle, so on the next (1st) round, the knit stitches are knitted through the back loops. The purl stitches are correctly oriented. Details showing how to knit the first row are coming in the next article. If you click on the thumbnail at the beginning of this article, you will see that the knit stitches are slanted upwards towards the right because they are twisted relative to the purl stitches.