Long-tail cast on for tight knitters

A view of how the bottom loops are looser

A while back, I wrote about a method to make the bottom loopy edge of long-tail cast-on looser. I haven’t ended up using it much, though I do think there are circumstances where it might be the best option. But a little while afterward, someone taught me a trick: after casting on each stitch, set your right fingertip down on the needle to ensure that there will be plenty of space between each stitch. The further apart the stitches are cast on, the stretchier the cast on will be.

Here’s why:

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Disappearing loop as a flat knitting cast-on for shawls

Disappearing loop as a flat knitting cast-on for shawls

I wrote recently about a start for a top-down triangular shawl I’d come up with, but there’s another that I’ve used in several shawl designs (most of them not yet published): modified disappearing loop. You can see it in use in Sycamore Creek.

Disappearing loop is generally used as the center of a shawl or something else to be worked in the round from the center outward. However, there’s no reason it can’t be used in cases where you need to cast on a small number of stitches for a shawl to be worked flat.

Here’s how.

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Flip-flop cast-on, part 2: lace

Flip-flop cast-on used with lace

Well, I tried the flip-flop cast-on with two lace swatches.

The first swatch was in laceweight yarn, and I confirmed to myself that I need new glasses: I couldn’t see where to pick up the stitches along the cast-on edge. This difficulty might or might not apply for you.

The second swatch was in sportweight yarn, and that went much better. I used the Cat’s Paw Shetland lace panels from the first Barbara Walker Treasury. This swatch was knit from the cast on in two directions, and the lace pattern isn’t offset by half a stitch.

More details of this experiment below.

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Flip-flop cast-on

Flip-flop cast-on: a cast-on that allows for knitting that is mirrored from top to bottom.

This is still an experiment, and probably I should use it in something other than a swatch before putting it out there, but I think it looks promising. Feedback is welcome!

This is for everyone who’d prefer to have a provisional cast-on which allows knitting in the other direction without having the stitches offset by half a stitch. you might call it a jogless cast-on. I have only tried it in this bulky yarn so far; I hope that it would work well as the cast on for a rectangular lace stole worked from the center outward. I will try knitting a lace swatch with it next week and see how that goes.

This is an idea I’ve had in the back of my mind for over a year, and I’ve finally gotten around to trying it. I don’t know if anyone else has invented it; please let me know if you’ve seen it anywhere! It’s not in the books I can access.

Thanks to Naomi (aka nerdartist) for the name, which was inspired by the way the two strands at the bottom edge are flipped back and forth.

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A start for a top-down triangle shawl

One of the difficulties of knitting a triangle shawl with a two-stitch garter selvedge from the center of the long edge outward is making a smooth transition along the center. The difficulty is that the stitches of a provisional cast-on that go up are offset by half a stitch from the ones that go down.

A solution to this came to mind based on a traditional technique described by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts in Ethnic Socks & Stockings.

I am reasonably certain that I’m not the first person to come up with this shawl start. Nonetheless, here it is. I hope you find it useful. (It will be of most use to knitters who are already familiar with triangle shawls.)

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Scalloped cast on, merged with a foundation base chain.

scalloped cast on combined with foundation base chain.

I found this in my list of blog post drafts. I started writing it three years ago, when I could still do crochet and when I was playing with foundation base chains and a lot of knitting cast-ons. (Stupid wrists. No, please don’t make any suggestions.)

Anyway, I’m going to post it as an extra post this week for crocheters. I can’t stand to either leave it in my draft posts or to delete it, because I think it’s beautiful. Be warned: I have a sneaking feeling there’s something wrong, or at least highly cryptic, about the instructions, but I can’t crochet to double check. It might be enough to get a skilled crocheter started?

Notes that I wrote just before posting this are written in italic.

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More on multiple yarnovers

Multiple yarnovers, and how to treat them like a cast-on.

I’ve been considering multiple yarnovers some more, and also talking them over with some friends on Ravelry. (Thanks to you for helping clarify my thoughts, if you’re reading this.) The doily in the featured image is my variation on Auge, which was the first time I’d encountered this technique. (direct link to original pattern)

I previously wrote about them in “Of double yarnovers and lark’s heads”.

I’ve since realized that one key way to make it easier to  deal with multiple yarnovers in a row is to drop them all off the needle and work with the loose strand of yarn instead. (Having a little slack makes it easier to get the needle into the stitches.) If it’s not the sort of double yarnover that really requires a (k1, p1) to be worked into it, I pick up the thread and twist it as if working a “make 1”, and then I knit (or purl it). Then I pick up the thread again, twist, and work the resulting stitch, repeating the maneuver until I’ve worked as many stitches as I made yarnovers.

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