If you are going to create a ribbed piece on your knitted garment, for example, you are making a classic sweater and you want a ribbed waist band, the last thing you want is to lose all of that valuable stretch by starting with a classic cast on. The Cable Rib cast on is an invaluable cast to have in your toolbox and is the perfect cast on for this scenario!
This cast on make a beautiful stretchy edge that flows with the knits and purls of your work, and you can start with a provisional double slip knot to avoid the knot at the beginner of the cast on which is a nice add on. It will be worked into the “working” yarn, so you do not have to plan ahead for the stitch count, but you do need to plan ahead for the patter you want to create. So, if you are doing a one by one rib, you will cast on one knit stitch followed by one purl stitch and continue on. If you are doing a two by two, or three by two, or any other pattern, you just follow that pattern as you cast on.
This is a more advanced technique, but I believe anyone can do it. It is more advanced because of planning your stitch placement and it is more advanced because you are not just repeating the same motions over and over in each stitch, but you are placing your working needle in a new position with each pattern change. It’s not difficult, it just requires a bit of focus as any patterned piece will require. Stitch by stitch you can knit anything you choose. Just take it one stitch at a time, take a deep breath and relax and enjoy the process. You will be so satisfied with the results, and guess what? If you are not happy with your progress, just rip it out and start over. It’s really no big deal and you will become a better knitter when you are not afraid to begin again.