I have a serious case of startitis right now: I seem to want to cast on for every single pattern I see lately. (Well, perhaps not ALL of them. When I saw your Halloween photos of knitted and crocheted wigs and mohawks and smurfs, I admit that I didn't feel the need to make myself a nice pink mohawk. I do have SOME self-restraint.)
I want to make the aran slippers from Knits Gifts 2008 for my mom. I want to make socks for my husband. But mostly, I'm swooning over the scarves and stoles and shawls in Nancy Bush's new book, Knitted Lace of Estonia. Now, I don't want to say too much about the book right now, because next week we will have some special goodies for you related to the book's release. But I have to tell you: The laces in this book are exquisite; so if you are the type who needs to belong to Lace Knitters Anonymous, well....just give up and go buy the book and then go straight to your support meeting. It's that good. I spent two weeks solid just flipping back and forth amongst the photos to try to decide which one to make. The question very quickly became not "Should I make one?" but "Which one should I make first?"
Let me acknowledge that it is pure insanity to start an Estonian shawl during the holidays. I mean, I am traveling, and there are meetings, and I have shopping and baking and cleaning and more meetings and then there's this little gig I have called Knitting Daily that I have to look after now and then. Do you see time in there for knitting an intricate lace shawl? I don't.
So I tricked myself. I said, Sandi, let's just do the cast-on. I mean, today we have a great video from the editor of Interweave Knits, Eunny Jang, on provisional cast-ons (below), which is the exact cast-on I need for the Leaf and Nubb Shawl. (I have tormented you with a photo of the shawl here. I know. Take a deep breath and call your support group RIGHT NOW.) It won't hurt to practice the cast-on, even though I already know it really well. I might learn something new. Plus, I would then have a cool photo for the blog today. So, a little blue waste yarn and a few dozen stitches later, and there were all my stitches neatly on the needle.
Pretty soon, I had myself talked into just a few more rows of the shawl. They are only garter stitch, those first few. Not so hard. And after all, it's my duty to try out techniques and patterns for you, my faithful Knitting Daily readers. Right? I mean, How will I know what to say about the glory of the stitch pattern, the brillance of the instructions, if I have not personally tested them my very own self?
Such is the way we knitters find justification for casting on a new project even in the face of Reason and Holiday Madness.
Above, you can see the photo of my fledgling shawl. The blue yarn is the waste yarn of the provisional crochet cast-on, which is the first technique Eunny shows you at the beginning of this video!
Three Ways to Do Provisional Cast-Ons
Today, Eunny shows us three different ways to do provisional cast-ons. Many knitters find these cast-ons to be challenging to learn from a book (especially since they involved extra bits like waste yarn and a crochet hook), but they are crystal clear once you have seen them done!
(problems viewing this youtube video? View it here)
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(NOTE: The provisional cast-on video shown above is a Knitting Daily exclusive and is not included on the KD TV Series 100 DVD.)
What's on Sandi's needles? No second sock syndrome here. I'm part-way through the second sock I am knitting for Nicholas, a Nancy Bush pattern from Knitting On The Road. (I'm knitting Denmark. No, not the entire country of Denmark, just the sock called Denmark.)