5 Ways to combat long tail cast on complications:
1. If your cast on seems to be too tight (especially important for neck down garments and hats) try casting on to a needle one or two sizes bigger than what you will actually be knitting with. This works for any cast on method, not just long tail.
2. If you are using particularly small needles (for sock cuffs) try holding two needles together while casting on, then slip the extra one out when complete.
3. A good rule of thumb is to allow somewhere between 3 times the width of the piece or 1″ for every stitch when determining tail length. The same is true to determine how much to leave when binding off.
4. If you are doing an afghan or other especially long cast on, try tying yarn from two skeins together, then work the long tail cast on with one strand from each ball. When you have completed the cast on, you can cut one of the strands and leave as a fringe end and use the other for your first working row. This does mean weaving in more ends if you are working on a garment BUT it does guarantee that you won’t run short on the 210th stitch when you need 225.
5. For a better understanding of just what goes on when doing the long tail cast on, try the two stranded version above using two different colors.