Secret Mojo Dumbs It Down for You

October 29, 2006

Hey, don’t be teaching that cast on, peoples!

Filed under: Knitting — secretmojo @ 11:42 am

I ripped my scarf. Since there’s no deadline, I feel great about doing it. It was way too wide (30+ stitches), and revealed, in ragged fashion, a lesson I will share with everyone:

Do not do that reverse-loop cast on thingie.

It’s an easy cast on, which is why beginners like me are lured into it. You begin with a slip knot on your needle, and, by stacking up a row of folded loops, you give yourself strands to knit upon for your first row.

Problem is, the twistiness of the yarn makes the edge inconsistent and the loops drift in a spiral around the needle. It’s impossible to knit above it — especially with Homespun yarn — without creating scragglies. Unfortunately, you’ll realize this only three rows later — unless you’re lucky enough to read this post, which means you’ll realize it now.

Your welcome.

The better, though weirder, cast-on is the “double cast on,” where, using needle-magic, you both knit a row and cast on in one pass. Clever! Elegant! Some brilliant knitter from days gone by devised this technique, and it hurts my brain to imagine what kind of mental process and finger gymnastics they had to go through to invent it. But whomever you are: thanks! Check out a video of the niftiness here.

Anyway, the double cast-on is not that much harder to perform than the reverse ‘e,’ unless you’re talking about children. It gives a solid edge without fuss, and if you’re a beginner, it is the cast on you should learn for any project you’d like to use when finished.

Oh, and stop teaching the reverse e! It’s ugly, hard to knit on, and not worth the simplicity it offers.

Hm. I just realized that anyone curious enough to read this post already knows everything I just said.

Ah well!


1 Comment »

  1. Just want to thank you for keeping at this and say how much I appreciate your clear and comprehensive comments. I missed the Richmond connection in the original Nation article. Really do hope and expect that someday soon we’ll be reading your work, or something comperable, in the RTD. In the meantime, I’m glad we can read it here.

    Comment by joanna "the Baker" smyth — December 21, 2006 @ 4:05 am | Reply

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