I was having a particularly brain-dead day the other day, and that was the day I chose to do a tubular cast on for a slouchy tam (in Ravelry) I'm making. First I tried the way I know and love:
This book has a really easy tubular cast on. The brim of the tam looks professional and has good stretch. It started out with waste yarn.
So, I cast on, worked some rows of the brim, took out the waste yarn, all while watching mediocre television. It was then I noticed that I had dropped a stitch, dropped a stitch all the way down to the cast on. I was faced with several long floats and no idea how to reconstruct the cast on. So I frogged it. I decided (why?) to try a different tubular cast on which might be easier and not involve starting out with waste yarn:
This book is my favorite reference. (I used to have Principles of Knitting, but sold it for big bucks and don't miss it.) It has a tubular cast on which produces the same results as Mary Rowe's version, but requires no waste yarn. The cast on is easy ... but(!) when I tried to join in a circle for the tam brim without twisting, well I just couldn't do it. This would be my tubular cast on of choice if I was going to knit flat and not have to worry about twisting cast ons.
Once again, I cast on, worked some rows of the brim, took out the waste yarn - only this time I was in a quiet room in full sunlight with some jazz music in the background instead of bad tv. This [dark] picture is before removing the waste yarn. When working circularly, this tubular cast on cannot be beat.
I've only told you about two of the cast on attempts. Actually there were about 5, if you count the ones that had the wrong number of stitches. I could not even count to ten this day. Thank God that day is gone!