Sunday, November 28, 2010

Casting On

Christmas Knitting is filling almost all of my spare time these days, and my plan for today includes going through all of my finished projects (FOs) and works in progress (WIPs) to compare them to my recipient list and determine what I still need to do and prioritize. This morning, however, I woke up thinking about cast-ons. Last night I asked Si to try on a knitted cap I made a few months ago. He loves the cap but the cast-on (CO) edge is tight, and I agree. This is a problem I've been having and I know it must be the methods I use for casting on, but needed to research.

I put "stretchy cast on" into my google search box this morning and it took me to my oft-visited and recommended learning site, I love this site because it gives you quick little videos of whatever stitch or technique you need to learn, and you can sit and watch that little vid over and over and over in the privacy of your own home without having to admit to a human teacher that you didn't get it the first 4 times they showed you. I re-learned how to knit on this site and I go back whenever I have issues like today.

Lo and behold, there is a whole page of cast-on techniques, and I was able to go through them all at my leisure (although I feel the breath of time on my neck, telling me I must not dawdle) to figure out what I should try. I think the problem is that I've been using the Knitted CO instead of the Long-tail CO, which is stretchier. Those of you who knit - do you know of any other good stretchy COs?

But then I scrolled down and saw the vid for the Provisional CO. I have been sort of doing my own thing for this (a knitted CO with waste yarn), and picking up the live stitches has been a pain in the patootie. After watching the great vid (several times) I am ready to do the honest-to-goodness real-deal Provisional CO - go me! Too bad I didn't know about this last week when I started those lacy fingerless mitts where I did my own version. I spent about an hour picking up those stitches, and it could have been as simple as just knitting off the darn cable! Sigh.

You'd think a life-long librarian would know the importance of doing research before starting a project. Maybe next time?

Speaking of next time, I'll try to take some pics of my projects today . . . but be warned! You will not see any Xmas spoilers! There will be no names given and no complete projects shown, only teasers!


yarmando said...

The stretchiest cast-on I know is "German Twisted." Perfect for socks (if you're absolutely forced to knit them cuff-down). I'll often use this cast-on for hats, but I've learned how to make my regular cast-on (a version of "Long Tail" that uses more thumb and less needle) loose enough for hats, sleeves, etc.

My favorite provisional cast-on uses a crochet hook. I can show them all to you when we're together next.

Yolanda said...

I am gald to have your blog and on good reads also. I am also 46 trying to teach myself to knit and also I love dulcimer music and have one of my on.Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.