Many of my knitting patterns make use of the disappearing loop cast-on and lifted increases. I created illustrated tutorials for them several years ago, but have improved my skills in that area. Since Sarah and I are publishing an ebook that makes use of them, it seemed time for an update.
(both tutorials are in PDF format.)
The disappearing loop is useful for knitting in the round from the center of a shape outwards–lace shawls, doilies, top-down hats, and so on. It’s not very bulky, and can be drawn up tightly so that there is no hole in the middle. I think of it as the reverse of running yarn through a small number of stitches and then drawing it up tight as a bind-off. I also think of it as the knitting equivalent of crochet’s Magic Ring.
Unless there is some overriding reason to use something else, these are my favorite increases. They are practically invisible, and feel to me like an equivalent to mirrored decreases. I do not, however, recommend them in situations where there is an increase in the same location on every row: too many of them will pull on the knitting because they involve knitting stitches from previous rows.