Updated: Jul 31, 2021
Oh my goodness the Long Tail Cast On. I use this almost every time I cast on a knit project. Back when I was still a newbie I remembered always being terrified of this technique. It looked so intimidating watching others do it, I was afraid my work would unravel, I could never seem to measure out my yarn well enough or get my stitches to look even. I tried it out a few times but just never used it. However since I'm kind of a perfectionist a main focus of my designs is always to achieve the best finished look for my pieces. So let's just say I think I've tried like every cast on there is up to this point and I just didn't care for the look and feel of any of them quite so much as this one so I thought I'd give it another shot. It took some practice but if you just take it slow, you'll get it. It really does make that edge much nicer and for pieces that need a good stretchy edge like hats it makes a world of difference! Here is a great tutorial on how to do the basic long tail cast on.
The corresponding bind off that I like to use when using the Long Tail CO is called the Sewn BO or sometimes called the long tail BO, there are a few different ways I've seen to do this one but I like Elizabeth Zimmerman's the best. Happy knitting!