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Nice variations on the backwards loop caston: Use a smaller needle for the cast-on, and don’t let the yarn shift; all the yarn from each caston stitch is used in the knit stitch above it. Also, Use double thickness yarn or double twist 2x; both prevent the yarn from moving between loops as you knit the first row, and make it firmer and stretchier.
For long-tail, I sometimes hold a smaller needle beside the main needle. As the loop (from the tail) leaves my thumb it goes around the smaller needle. This keeps the loop larger, but if you use the right size you don’t have to readjust later. Takes experimentation to find best size of smaller needle for each project, so I stopped it after learning cable caston.
Ivy – when I was learning to knit (WAY back in the 60s), my grandmother taught me the backward loop cast-on method. However, she had one trick that I still use today. The first loop in the cast-on is usually a slip knot. However, as you mentioned, by the time you knit to this stitch, you have a lot of extra yarn. And the slip knot is precisely that, a knot… it tends to stick out like a sore thumb and is hard to hide. So, here is what my grandmother taught me – when using the backward loop cast on, cast on one more stitch than you need. Knit the first row, stopping at the last “slip knot”stitch and don’t knit it. Instead, slip it off your left needle, tug out the slip knot and move on to your second row. This gets rid of the extra yarn AND the knot!
In the words of a famous knitter – Be Blessed and Keep Knitting!