Note from Sandi: You use different knitting needles for different kinds of knitting, right? So why use the same cast-on all the time for everything? Eunny Jang, editor of Interweave Knits, once again is our guest here on Knitting Daily, to show us how to do an alternative cast-on method--and when to use it! Heeeeerrrrre's Eunny!
We here at Interweave Knits believe that every knitter should have the tools to be their own designer and their own draftsman. We publish patterns in every issue, it’s true, but we don’t believe that knitting should always be about following every single pattern to a "T": Knitting is personal and intimate, and if you can make a modification to a pattern that makes it work better for you, all the better. We’re excited by all the different approaches knitters can (and do!) take to knitting up our patterns – knitting’s got a long history stretching out behind it, and every change, every experiment, adds to the collective store of knitting knowledge.
To that end, Knits is also in the business of stocking your knitting toolkit with information about new techniques and clear-cut explanations of old ones. Knowing what to do, and why, and when, can be just as important as knowing the techniques themselves. Today, we bring you both the what and the why: a video showing you how to do a tubular cast-on, and a detailed look at a design from the Winter issue, with some thoughts on why – and how – you might make one technique choice over another.
View Eunny's tubular cast-on video
(problems viewing this youtube video? View it here)
Why the tubular cast-on?
Emilee Mooney’s Dainty Pinstripes Pullover takes an unusual approach to slip-stitch knitting: Knitted in the round, with narrow horizontal stripes and slipped-stitch columns that form delicate pinstripes, it uses decreases and increases to force the pinstripes along shaping lines. The stripes follow darts and tucks, flaring out from the waist, emphasizing (or creating) an hourglass silhouette. The sweater is knitted in a supple, fluid alpaca/silk blend that drapes and flows: the final result is a decidedly refined, polished sweater that is surprisingly straightforward to knit.
Everyone’s got a favorite cast-on and bind off they use all the time. This time, though, we – and Emilee – suggest using tubular (invisible) cast-ons and bind-offs for this sweater. Why? Because they create beautifully finished, polished edges that have all the elasticity of the ribbing itself. There won’t be any puckering at the edges, as can happen with “hard” cast-ons, and they’ll hold their shape at the neckline and cuffs. Also, it’s very easy to substitute a tubular cast-on when working in 1x1 rib. All in all, a highly recommended choice for this sweater.
Check out our Beyond the Basics from Knits Fall 2008 for step-by-step instructions for invisible cast-ons and bind offs, or take a peek at the video above for a how-to on invisible cast-ons: some of the odder movements might be clearer once you’ve seen them in action.
Try using these edges anywhere you have 1x1 or 2x2 ribbing and want either a very polished, professional look, or extra elasticity, or both! They’re particularly good for neckbands, sleeve cuffs, hat edges, and sock cuffs – anywhere you need real elasticity that needs to both stretch and snap back.
-- Eunny Jang
Editor, Interweave Knits
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What's on Sandi's needles? I really did not intend to get so caught up in Nancy Bush's Leaf and Nupp Shawl (from our new book Knitted Lace of Estonia) that it would push everything else out of the way--but that's what happened. I was travelling this week, and somehow I managed to get six of the fourteen center repeats done in only a week's time. It's so much fun to see the lace pattern growing so quickly...however, now I am in a bit of a pickle. All the women members of my family whom I am visiting are pointedly discussing what color they would like their shawl to be...