Friday, March 09, 2007

My favorite and most often used cast on’s

Most often, I use long tail or a variation of long tail.

One disadvantage with long tail is knowing how long a tail to make--too short, and you have to start over, too long, and its just cumbersome and in the way.

There are several rules of thumb for gauging how long a tail to start with these include;
---Allow 1 inch (or 1/2 inch--which is it?) for each stitch
--Wrap yarn around needle 10 times, measure, this measurement is equal to 10 stitches
--Use this measurement to figure out required yardage.
--Cast on 10 stitches, measure, use this measurement, equal to 10 stitches to guesstimate.
--Use 3.5 times cast on length (i.e., if you are cast on 20 inches, tail should be 20 X 3.5 or about 70 inches of tail to start)

I use the last method, it generally works. For long cast on’s, (over 150 stitches) I use the 2 ball of yarn method--that is:
I use one ball of yarn for ‘thumb‘ and another ball of yarn for index finger. When I have finished casting on, I cut the ‘thumb‘ yarn.
It is an extra tail to weave in, but I think its worth it The tail is always the right size!
A nice variation of this, is to a use different colors of yarn for the Tail. this adds a bit of interest, and is one of the simplest variations of long tail!

Another long tail cast I like is the Norwegian (aka German, German twist cast on) this cast on requires 4 times the length for the tail (i.e., if casting on 20 inches, tail needs to be 4 X 20 or 80 inches long, The twist in the cast on makes the edge stretchier, and making the twist requires a bit more yarn to start.

I like 2 color and knit and purl long tail cast on, too.
Here, are Knit and Purl Long tail, 2 color Braided, and 2 color simple.
The 2 color braided is especially attractive, when combined, as it is here, with a braided fair isle band.

So, while I use long tail about 50% of the time, I only use a simple long tail about 10%!

Tubular cast on is my next favorite. I know 4 ways to do this:

--3 Needle--Simple cast on to start, with ½ +1 number of stitches,
--Provisional 1 --cast on ½ +1 desired number of stitches, work in stocking knit
--Provisional 2 --cast on ½ +1 desired number of stitches, R1: K1, YO method
--Italian/Kitchener Style--my current/favorites style

All of these cast ons end up looking identical once completed.. It is really just a matter of trying them out, and deciding which method works best for you! I like the Kitchener one best --it is perhaps the hardest to learn, but, it doesn’t require waste yarn, picking up stitches or any other fussiness. The clean rounded edge of tubular cast on is very attractive.
I like eyelets cast on’s too, Emily Ocker, or In the Loop.
(sorry no images!)
I use these 3 cast on’s (long tail/eyelet/tubular) or variations of them, for about 90% of my knitting.

Sometimes I combine a cast on with an edging, like the Latvian twist, or my own double picot.
Here is a simple long tail (in gold) followed by 2 rows of stockingknit in green, followed by a Latvian twist, and dark blue 2 x 2 ribbing.
The newest cast, for me, is the channel island cast on. It is both attractive and very stretchy.

Since I see no need to re-invent the wheel, tomorrow, I’ll post a page of links and list of knitting references to learn casts on, and other cast on tips.
These will include web pages, blogs and books.

Look for the (new 4/08) link to my You Tube video's in side bar too.

Go Forward to Part 4
Go Forward to Part 5 (Bind offs)

Go back toPart 1
Go back to Part 2


Anonymous said...

WOW! Saw a post of yours on Knitty and checked out the blog. Very helpful! I was just thinking I'd like to try some different cast-on's and here is a list of more than I ever imagined exists. Thanks!

gert said...

Just what I need to read abut today. I think this is an excellent reason for people (like you and me) to stop fearing the big stacks... and to stop bullying the small stacks. It was quite useful reading, found some interesting viewpoints in here, - Thanks!
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