Cast On

Newly cast-on purple project

I cast on the purple thing last night. It’s flying along now – I’ve done almost 10cm. But I wanted to show you it in its newly cast-on state, because I love that. Just a few rows done, the pattern barely discernible – it’s such a hopeful little ribbon of knitting.

(See what I posed it on for the photo? Do you? Gosh, I am witty.)

I used a cabled cast-on, for a nice stable edge – I don’t want it too stretchy.

My grandmother taught me to cast on like her, by knitting into the last stitch and putting the new loop back on the left-hand needle. (The cabled cast-on is very similar but makes a nicer edge, if you ask me.) This was circa 1980, when I was five or six. My grandmother didn’t tell me that hers was only one of several methods – in fact, I’m not sure if she realised.

I’d been knitting for decades before I found out that there was more than one way to cast on. I must be seriously conservative when it comes to my craft methods, because the only other cast-ons I’ve tried are provisional (which I used for Down in the Woods) and tubular (which I’m madly in love with, though I’m not entirely convinced that my feelings are requited).

When I think about it, the cable cast-on has more or less replaced my grandmother’s way (which is known as the “knit cast-on”, incidentally) as my default Here I Am Starting To Knit Something position.

So there’s a tiny little goal for the rest of 2009: explore casting on. What’s your favourite method?

4 thoughts on “Cast On

  1. I tend to start with the long tail cast on now. I did a cable cast on once, but didn’t memorise it. I’ve never tried the tubular. I’ve done a provisional by wrapping the yarn around a needle, then knitting into that, but haven’t finished the item yet.

    Julius Caesar, yes? But I don’t get it 🙁

    I love the heart like look of the photo though.

    1. I’ve never tried a long tail cast on, though it seems to be very popular. I mostly do the provisional by crocheting around the needle then knitting straight into the loops – you can “unzip” the crochet very easily at the end.

      Re Julius Caesar, it’s nothing more than a reference to the imperial purple colour. I’d been reading about dyeing and colour rules in Women’s Work.
      I am officially Too Clever By Half, as you know!

      Glad you like the heart – it’s entirely deliberate 🙂

  2. I love love love the tubular cast on for ribbedy things, and will go so far as to do tubular cast offs to match it. A long-tail cast on is my work horse, go-to cast on for just knitting a thing without much thought. I am currently using a provisional cast on for the hexigons for a blanket, as I have not yet decided how I will connect them.

    1. I must give the long-tail cast-on a try. The prospect of running out of tail has put me off in the past, but that’s a bit silly, really!

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