Notes: 1) This is done with the needle tips of a single circular needle. http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring06/FEATmagiccaston.html. 2) This is done much like the long-tail cast on; you will need a long yarn tail and your left hand will hold the yarn in a similar manner on the thumb and forefinger.
Holding 2 needle tips in right hand, drape the yarn over the top needle (A) so that the tail is toward the front of the needle. Hold the bottom needle (B) below A. Pick up the yarn and tail so the tail is over the forefinger (causing the yarn and tail to cross underneath the needle) and the yarn is on the thumb. Don’t tip the hand upward as you do for the long tail. For orientation purposes, the tail wraps B and the yarn wraps A. *The tail will come underneath B, and wrap over B going between A and B, then the yarn goes between A and B and wraps over A. Repeat from *. End with a tail wrap to get the same number of stitches on each needle.
To work flat: Without dropping the yarn and tail, move A and B to left hand so tips are pointing toward the right. *Pull the needle tip B so the stitches are on the cable. You will likely find it easier to work the initial row of stitches with a separate needle. Hold onto the tail for the first couple of stitches, knitting the stitches on A with the yarn. When the stitches on A are knit, turn the piece so that a WS row can be worked. Continue to work your pattern for one side of the piece on A. When that piece is complete, the stitches on the cable will be pulled onto the needle tip of B and it will be worked as directed.