(Please note that this tutorial assumes that you are already familiar with the basic steps of how to work entrelac.)
First things first: what’s wrong with any of the usual cast ons for entrelac? Well, nothing if you’re planning to cover it up with fringe or an edging or anything else. Next to nothing if you’re doing your entrelac in a solid coloured yarn. But when worked in a multi-coloured and especially in a self-striping yarn, it ends up looking less than lovely.
And of course, the more stitches you cast on and the longer the edge, the worse this effect gets. Even beyond the colour differences, the cast on is a bit sloppy looking, which I wouldn’t mind in most things, but I do mind in this.
Now, I’m sure you could use some method of mid-row cast on to simply cast on stitches for each base triangle as you worked them, but I suspect that might leave some gaping problems and also potentially some edge stability issues. So! I present to you, the Jesh method.
Start by casting on your preferred number of stitches, using a loose long-tail cast on in waste yarn.
Then, work your base triangles in the usual fashion, as well as the first tier of squares. Be careful when working the squares not to pick up stitches off of the cast on; instead, if you find you are short a stitch, pick it up from the strand of working yarn in between the triangles, as badly shown here on the left needle:
Stop just before picking up the stitches for the far side triangle—for me this is on the left side, since I started with a purl row. Yours may be on the right side, but it doesn’t matter either way.
Now, here comes the scary part. Ready? Are you sure? Break out the scissors and…
Cut off the cast on!
Note that if the scissors make you squeamish you can just start at the other end and unpick the cast on, but that is not nearly as thrilling or fun.
After you remove all the cast on bits left behind, you will find that you have one unsecured stitch:
Don’t panic! But don’t try to pull it out, either, unless you really want to unravel all your hard work. Instead, use that stitch when you pick up the stitches for the side triangle,
Then work the side triangle in the normal fashion. And you’re good to go with your nice clean cast on edge!