This will be my first lace project in lace weight and I want the best start to this project. This will be a rectangular shawl so what is the best way to cast on "loosely". Thank you for your help. Linda
Lace cast on is good for when you are starting a lace pattern right away which in most cases you would do only if you are attaching a lace edging or border. If you are planning on starting with several rows of garter stitch or some other solid stitch I would still recommend the long tail done on larger needles otherwise lace cast on. It really depends somewhat on the pattern.
I like to do a provisional cast on using a waste yarn crocheted chain. Then I can decide what kind of edging I want later and/or make it match the other side. A picot bind off is sometimes nice, so the provisional cast-on enables me to do one on the cast on end too.
The added weight of the waste yarn (I typically use cheapo worsted weight sugar and cream cotton) also makes the first couple of rows of lace knitting somehow easier for me to handle---less like knitting with cobwebs
The last one is a crazy one I learned in a class. It's super stretchy, but sadly I could not begin to explain it. I think I saw a site with pictures of it. There's no way words can describe it withouht pictures. The instructor had to come around and show us individually before we oculd get it. But it's very cool.
I regards to the lace CO: I was in the library browsing through Principles of Knitting. She describes 2 ways of doing the knitted on cast on. The only difference was the way you put the new stitch on the needle. If you insert the left needle into the new stitch from left to right, it comes out stretchier and is the lace cast on. If you do it from right to left it's not as stretchy and has more in comon with the cable CO.