Invisible CO join

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.

This long tail is leading off the photo to the left, and the working yarn is on the right in the photo.

Knit a round (this is the first stitch). Try to make sure the first stitch is snug, not loose. No need however to yank it tightly.

First round finished. Gap look familiar? No worries. We’ll sort it out soon enough. Just knit another round – and pull first stitch snugly again.

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!


Here’s granny again –  just to the right of the needle. If you look carefully, you’ll see gran’s right neighbour (eg the stitch on the left of the needle) has a loop of yarn anchoring her.  Gran doesn’t have this cause she was the very first cast on stitch from the long tail cast on.  If you used a slipknot, she’d have a little knot under her.  I don’t do the slipknot since it makes the join less smooth (and you don’t really need it anyways). NOTE: IGNORE DIRECTION OF NEEDLE!
Okay now you can follow the direction of the needle.  You take your needle, bring it from the front of the work to the back just to the left of gran.
A little recap:
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?

Once you’ve pulled the yarn through from front to back, you come from back to front on the right of gran, between the yarn on the bottom and the yarn above it.
Then find the anchor loop for the neighbour stitch, and point your needle under that loop.


And then through from front to back left of the second stitch (gran’s neighbour).

Tighten up any slack from the tail, and voila, smooth invisible join.


2 thoughts on “Invisible CO join

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been trying to figure this out for a very long time. Your photos and explanation were very good. I really appreciate you taking the time to post this!

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