A standard long-tail cast-on results in a nice row of purl bumps along the reverse side. Some years ago I figured out how to do a purled long-tail cast-on, where the purl bumps appear on the side facing the knitter.
For Quadrille, which has ribbing immediately after the cast-on, I used alternating purl and standard cast-on stitches in the opposite order from the first row (purl for every knit, standard for every purl). When I turned to start the first row, the purl stitches appeared exactly where I wanted them.
The alternating cast-on would be perfect for the cuffs of the Van Halen knee-highs, the mock turtleneck of the sleeveless Summer Party Top, the Meandros Hat or Mittens, or the Gecko Hat. A good tutorial of this technique can be found at Purlwise.
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