The Turkish Cast-On is a great cast on for toe-up socks or mittens starting at the fingers, or similar items that start in the center of a circular/oval shape.
It is much easier to do on circular needles than on DPNs.
This demo shows how to cast on for 2 socks, but of course, you can just cast on 1 if that is your preference.
This method also works for 2 circs or 1 long circ (magic loop).
Step 1: Place a slip-knot on needle, leaving a small tail. The slip-knot will be taken out later and not part of the finished cast-on.
Step 2: Holding both needles together horizontally, tips pointing in the same direction with the slip knot on bottom needle, wrap the yarn around both needles, starting on the bottom, wrapping under away from you, over the top toward you, then down in front.
Each complete wrap creates two cast-on stitches; one on the bottom needle and one on the top needle.
Step 3: Continue wrapping until you have the desired number of cast-on stitches. In the example here, my pattern said to cast on 20 stitches, so I did 10 wraps. Do you see where I stopped wrapping and put the yarn between the needles? That is what I call “parking” the yarn. This is helpful when you need to set down your work before continuing or if you are going to cast on for a second sock and don’t want your wraps for the first one to come undone.
Step 4 (if doing 2-at-a-time): Park the yarn for the first set of stitches, by putting it between the needles. Cast-on second set of stitches.
Step 5 (if using circular needles): Pull the bottom needle, by the tip, until the stitches rest on the cable, and snug up the wraps a little bit (be careful not to snug up too much if using larger sized needles).
Step 6: Knit into each of the wraps on the top needle.
Step 7: At the start the 2nd half of the wraps, the first stitch is the slip-knot that started the cast on. This slip-knot is no longer needed, so just drop if off of the needle and proceed knitting the rest of the wraps.
Once you have knitted all of the wraps, the cast-on is complete.