No, “partial cast off” doesn’t refer to something you know you should get rid of but can’t bear to part with. It just allows you to leave a few stitches on the needle for later, often some at either end of the needle. It’s used in button holes and in most of my Webkinz patterns. This technique can be tricky, but hopefully pictures will help.
Let me show you on the Rockford Peaches outfit. Let’s say you want straps of 4 stitches wide each. First, knit or purl 6 (two more than you want) because the first stitch you cast off with travel over to the other side, like so:
Here’s the first cast-off stitch . . .
. . . here it is “traveling” to the other side of the work.
When you get to the other side (other “strap”) you will only have to knit or purl 3 stitches (or 1 fewer than you inted to keep on the needle) because of the one that traveled.
So there you have it, a complete partial cast off that’s not an oxymoron or