Monday, June 22, 2009

Just how many ways to Cast On are there?

Does it matter? I know LOTS of ways to cast on—depending on how you count--40 or more!

Take Long Tail--(aka Sling shot, double end cast on, or worked slightly differently, Thumb cast on.)--There are about 6 ways to do the basic Long tail cast on. Six ways, to produce the same result. Do you count this as 6 cast on’s?

Certainly, the thumb (aka English) method is a very different process than the sling shot method—but the results are identical to the sling shot method.

But what if you wrap the yarn differently around your thumb (an open U shaped loop?) The result is different—it doesn’t look exactly like long tail—does this qualify as a new cast on? (I say yes!)

So when you count cast on’s, do you count names, or processes, or results?

How much does the process have to change to make it a new cast on?

Well how ever you count—I’ve just learned a NEW cast on.

It’s a single yarn cast on.

As a general rule, I am not a big fan of single yarn cast on’s. But there are times when they are needed and useful

Many single yarn cast on’s the first half (the thumb part) of the different long tail cast on's. (The simple, the simple reversed, the simple twisted, the simple in pairs of simple and reversed)

And while Long tail cast on’s have the disadvantage of being easy to work too tight, most single yarn cast on’s have more problems with getting an even, stitches. Some end up with a cast on that is tight and inelastic, some create edges that are too loose, and worst, many are uneven—and end up looking sloppy!

But this week, a neighbor taught me a new cast on—and it really is different than any other one I’ve seen. It’s called a knotted cast on (or rather the simple knotted cast on.) and it hails from points east. (From? well pick a year—it’s one of those places that has had its borders and political affiliations changed with 2 world wars, and several peace time changes—the knitter defined herself as Jewish—and basically ignored the politics of the place!

This cast on is a bit difficult (5 to 6 on a scale of 1 to 10) but thanks to Lisa and Liz, I think I have worked out all the kinks—


It’s a great cast on for 1 X 1 ribbing –and it is, considering that it is a ‘knotted’ cast on, surprisingly stretchy—and actually suitable for socks or edges that need a good deal of stretch.

It’s pretty, too, making it suitable for an unfinished edge—or for a neck or cuff edge.
(I don’t know of any cast off that would match!)


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