I prefer to do my cast on with a dp (double-pointed needle), then knit the first row onto my circulars. It’s just easier that way for me to keep the cast-on stitches in a straight, untwisted line.
Ever since I discovered the Tubular Cast-On for Single Rib¹, this has become my go-to cast on, even when I won’t be knitting ribbing. It’s as fast as the provisional cast on² but is permanent, and gives a nice-looking edge. I always used to hate casting on, but this method is much more pleasant, and I think it looks better, too.
It doesn’t look like much, but each rep of the Saxon Braid takes me about an hour. (Making it with Cestari yarn takes a bit longer, because of the extra work involved in knitting rope.) I can put in only about an hour a day, because I’m not a professional designer, and have other things that require my time, and also because I don’t want to reactivate my carpal-tunnel problems. Some days, I’ve gone ahead and worked longer than one hour, but in general, if I can knit one hour each day, I’ll be doing well.
I’ve been working on this so long already! Is it a sweater yet??
1 (Stanley, Montse, Knitter’s Handbook, Reader’s Digest, 1993, p. 78)
2 ibid, p. 77 (called Looping Provisional Cast-On)
2 also, Walker, Barbara G., Knitting from the Top, Schoolhouse Press, 1996, p. 72