Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cast-On Alternative

Hello all.

The Zephyrgals have been awesome to inform us the pattern calls for a backward loop cast-on, so it will be stretchy to create the boat-neck line of the pattern. As mentioned, when you do a loop cast-on, it's really only 1/2 a cast-on, and has to be followed by a row, in this case, the first purl row.

But what if you are having trouble with the backward loop method? I, for example, despite having knit since the seventies (Oh. My. God), have tried many a cast-on, but my backward loop's ALWAYS look like doggy poo. Uneven, loose, ugly.

Here's an alternative you may want to try. It's called the "German cast-on" by Montse Stanley in her Knitter's Handbook.

To start, you will be using a long tail, so leave a tail at least three times the circumference/width you will be casting on. Make a slip knot for your starting loop at this point in the yarn.

Proceed as in the diagram, with the white yarn the long tail, and the blue yarn as the yarn attached to the skein.

Repeat the swoopy black arrow motion for each stitch.

When you have finished casting on all your stitches, you will then JOIN the round, without the purl row in the pattern. Just join the round, like you normally would, and begin. Here's my start:

And here's how it looks several rows into the lace pattern:

Stretchy, yummy, good. I love it when a plan comes together.


Blogger Katie said...

Thank you for the help! I don't see where the pattern calls for the backward loop cast-on. My copy just says "cast on" without any further instruction. I did a long-tail and it seems to be working fine so far. But I'm a somewhat loose (but consistent) caster-on-er.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Liz K. said...

I also just used a long-tail cast on, did the purl row, joined, and knit along my merry way. I tried on the sweater yesterday, and the neck was plenty stretchy, but now I'm wondering if it was really a boatneck shape -- I don't remember!

5:48 AM  
Blogger Oblivia said...

Great tips, HEJ. I'll definitely keep this in mind for when I do another one.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I used the longtail cast on the first time and then used the backwards loop after I re-cast on. It does seem to be slightly strechier than the longtail, but only slightly. That result may be also be unique to me. Lots of things seem to be.

It is a much bigger pain in the ass to knit into than the longtail cast on is, that's for sure.

6:58 AM  
Blogger KellyHL said...

Wow Jenny, you are my new knitting hero. :) I think I'm going again...cross your fingers for me. :)

7:05 AM  
Blogger Erica B. said...

When I did mine, I used the long-tail cast-on method and mine is a perfect boatneck. I've seen a lot of the finished ones with very tight necks, not sure what they did but I knew I didn't want mine to be like that. Here's the post:

9:22 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

I did the long-tail cast-on too. I scoured the pattern to see if it says to use the backward loop cast-on and nothing. Kinda sad. If I had known my neckline could have turned out better and I am too far into it to go back...I guess I will just have to make another one. ;)

9:53 AM  
Blogger KellyHL said...

Hey, is this the same as the Old Norwegian cast-on? There's a video of the Old Norwegian on (same link as the one to the backward loop over on the sidebar), and it looks similar.

1:01 PM  
Blogger High Energy Jenny said...

Hey Kelly - I can't see the Norweigian cast-on video on my computer. ;-( But I bet there are many different names for the same thing...

8:22 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I just did a plain old knitted cast on, followed by a purl row and the neck is fine - not tight at all and a nice boatneck. Luck maybe!

11:50 PM  

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