I used to only know two ways to cast on, and I didn't think it really mattered in the end which technique I used. You just need to get the stitches onto the needles, right? Wrong! For Christmas I received a copy of Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley. In this book, there are over 30 ways to cast on! And there is even a list to help you decide what type of cast on would be most appropriate for your project. This afternoon I sat down and tried out about a dozen of these techniques. Some of them were hard to understand. I find it difficult to learn from just a couple of sentences and an illustration. After a quick trip to the internet I finally learned how to do the long-tail cast on, and was able to figure out several variations of it.
After cast-ons, the next part of the book is about bind-offs. I guess I will save that chapter for another day!
This book really has an amazing wealth of information and I would recommend it for any knitter.