Sorry for the weird photos – I realised how AWFUL my nails look (especially after having peeled an orange) and just had to cut out all views of the nasty digits.
Anyways, here is a mini pictoral guide on how I join my cast ons for a nice smooth invisible & stepless join! It’s a bit fiddly, but the finished result, IMHO, is worth it.
I’m using the magic loop method, but DPNs work too. This works with any circular join, and with most cast ons, though how you weave in the tail will differ slightly. This following are directions for german long tail cast on.
After a few rounds the work will have a small gap at the join. I normally wait until I finish the sock to do the weaving in since it is easier to see, but sometimes I can’t wait and just want it nice and smooth. This one is after 3 rounds. Now what you are looking for is the very very first stitch from the cast on – the bottom most V. I’ve pointed it out using the needle. You see there are three stitches to the right of the needle – daughter stitch on the cable, mother stitch under the daughter, and grandma stitch under the mom. The grandma stitch is the one you’re after. NOTE: IGNORE DIRECTION OF NEEDLE!
Gran is the pink stitch. She doesn’t have an anchor loop. If you look at her neighbour, in blue, she does (the yellow). So to make a nice smooth join, and make gran match her neighbours, I take the tail and give her a little anchor loop too. YOu can also think of the anchor loops as scarves for the grannie stitches if you like. I like the image of all the grans sitting knitting – and you’ve just gotta get them all scarves, right?