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Cast on with Eunny!

Oct 6, 2010

Do you ever feel like your hopes and dreams begin with a cast-on?

I know, that's a little bit over the top, but I do get really excited when I'm about to cast on a new project. I can't wait to feel how the yarn will knit up, try different types of needles—will the yarn work better with bamboo needles, hardwood needs, or metal needles?—and I love thinking about the pattern itself and any changes I might want to make so my project will fit me perfectly.

So for me, casting on brings up that wonderful feeling of new beginnings, and yes, hopes and dreams.

But what about the mechanics of the cast-on itself? So many of us use the long-tail cast-on as our default (unless the pattern we're working on calls for a specific cast-on). But, as with most things in knitting, there are many different ways to work the cast-on.

    
Eunny Jang doing one of the things she does best: knitting!
I have my favorites: the Old Norwegian for cuff-down socks, the Turkish for toe-up socks, the crochet method when I need a provisional cast-on, and the long-tail for almost everything else.

I thought I had a good supply of cast-on techniques in my knitting arsenal, but when I viewed Eunny Jang's new knitting workshop Getting Started Knitting, Basics and Beyond with Eunny Jang, I realized I was wrong (which happens a lot when I'm looking at resources from Eunny!).

You know how the long-tail cast-on has a wrong side and a right side? There are purl bumps on one side and smoother looking stitches on the other side. The problem is that most patterns are written so that row 1, the row you do immediately after you cast on, is the right side of your fabric, leaving the purl bumps on the right side, and row 2 is the wrong side, leaving the nicer looking stitches from your cast-on on the back of the work. Lots of knitters simply make row 1 the wrong side of the work, which is a fine solution with 9 out of 10 patterns. Other knitters really don't care and just leave the purl bumps as is on the front of the work.

I admit I fall into the latter category, and the only time this problem has really seemed like a problem is when I'm working ribbing. What I learned from Eunny is that there's a version of the long-tail cast-on that results in a ribbed cast-on. And it's easy once you get the hang of it.

So, say your sweater starts with a K2/P2 rib. With Eunny's method you cast on two stitches using the regular long-tail technique, and then cast on two stitches using the long-tail technique done backward, starting with the yarn that's wrapped around the back of your pointer finger instead of the yarn that's wrapped about your thumb.

I know—clear as mud. That's why we have a video tutorial for you!



This is just one of many, many techniques that you'll learn from Getting Started Knitting. In just over 2 1/2 hours, Eunny demos techniques from casting on to binding off, and shares information from all corners of the knitting world. This DVD isn't just for beginners, either. There are all kinds of advanced tips and tricks (like the cast-on demonstrated above!) to take your knitting from good to great.

I can't recommend Getting Started Knitting, Basics and Beyond highly enough. I know you'll love it.

Cheers,

 


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Comments

BexaidaC wrote
on Oct 19, 2010 11:51 AM

Hi I really like this tip,Wiil try it soon.

Now as for the regular cast I happen to like the using different colors  to make a statement stitch on the edge if the garment being made had lots of linear style edgewise. But this tip cast on makes the stitch cohesive throughout. Each wiil have  it 's own place in my work

Thanks

deLadyBex

AndreaW wrote
on Oct 17, 2010 4:05 PM

Hi ...interesting concept...thanks!!!  I don't often use the long tail cast on...but will keep it in mind for future.

For "bcp1961/ Bernie" ...I think the afghan you're referring to is the "Babette Blanket"...check it out here:

shop.knittingdaily.com/.../Babette-Blanket.html

Hope this solves your problem..... Andrea

CarolH@38 wrote
on Oct 7, 2010 1:44 PM

Thank you so much for helping us make our knits look better.

SusanH@37 wrote
on Oct 7, 2010 10:01 AM

Linda,

This pattern from knitty.com

www.knitty.com/.../PATTduck.php

has links to the Turkish cast on and Judy's Magic Cast On.

Erja Hoberg wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 11:54 PM

Easy and decentlooking. Simple things make rib looking so much better. Thanks for sharing that Eunny and Katherine!

on Oct 6, 2010 3:35 PM

To see other types of cast-ons demonstrated, go to www.YouTube.com and enter the name of the cast-on in the search box. I swear they have a video for everything! It's a really great resource, especially if you're a visual learner like I am.

Kathleen

on Oct 6, 2010 3:34 PM

Hi Dorothy,

So sorry to misrepresent the cast-on technique. I should have said the "cast-on that Eunny's demonstrating"!

Thanks for straightening me out, and thanks for this invaluable cast-on method. I love it!

Kathleen

DorothyT wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 2:02 PM

The knit/purl cast on is a great technique. If you look back you'll see that it was published in an article I wrote for Interweave Knits way back in 1996 of thereabouts. The editor of Knitting Daily should not be calling it "Eunny's method," especially since it was published in the very same magazine. Calling it "Eunny's method" is inaccurate.

Thanks,

Dorothy T. Ratigan

MinaC wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 1:40 PM

 I never thought of doing it backwards like that. :)    Sadly our local PBS station doesn't carry Knitting Daily, and I can't really afford the videos right now, even if they are fully worth the price.  But the workshop dvd Basics and Beyond is doable, so I'm wondering is that a possible beginning to more workshop videos planned for the future?

 I'm really hoping so.

OmaB wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 12:41 PM

It is simple except to remember how from time to time.  Embed it in the mind, but how!

Sincerely

Oma B

Helene RL wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 12:18 PM

Maybe I'm doing the same thing as Eunny is describing (it's hard for me to tell because I hold my yarn in my right hand, English-style, when I cast on), but when I cast on, whether with the long tail, cable, or "knitted" cast on, I purl cast the rib stitches that will be purled on the right side (that is, I purl those stitches), and knit cast on the to be knitted stitches. This works for K1P1 ribbing too.

Jesusan wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 11:51 AM

I love the video - long tail cast on finally makes sense to me.  I'm curious to know if there is a resource for all the different kinds of cast-ons mentioned, like the toe-up sock cast-on.

lcphelps wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 10:23 AM

In the intro to this article you mention some different methods of casting on that you use for different type patterens.  I am not familiar with many different methods and would like to know about them,.  In particular the Turkish cast on that you mentioned you use for toe-up socks since I am interested in toe-up sock knitting.  Can you please let me know where I can find out about how to do these different methods of casting on?  Thank you.

Linda Phelps

lc_ph_elps@hotmail,.com

Sandragram wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 10:02 AM

 Just the way  Eunny holds her yarn here is how I knit, off my left hand . If I am knitting with two colors or more  I knit off my thumb and my finger... The back of my Fair Isle is almost as lovely as the front as I weave every stitch on the back.....  

This cast on is new to me though, I had no idea how we could cast on purlwise. Thanks ever so much.

~~Sandra in Central Saskatchewan Canada

bcp1961 wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 9:16 AM

I love this cast-on tip! Well done Eunny!

btw:  In the video above there is a throw on Eunny's couch, I've been trying to remember the name of the pattern for that throw - it's very popular but I just can't recall it... does any one know what it is called?

Bernie

Kelpie wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 8:50 AM

That's great. I've been annoyed by the purl bumps in the past. I'm going to assume that you can do the whole cast-on with the reverse method too. That would be useful.

Jenn

kerrfla wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 8:43 AM

I watched the segment today (10/6/10) concerning cross-stitching of some kind on wire mesh (screen).  I cannot find anything on line about it.  Was I just seeing things or can someone direct me to the information?  

mygrayne wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 7:51 AM

I learned the long-tail cast on from my left-handed mother, but my right-handed grandmother taught me to knit. So I never have the problem of the purl bumps on the wrong side of my work. In fact, until now, I never realized that this was a problem!

Leslie

RobynB wrote
on Oct 6, 2010 7:49 AM

Looks beautiful,.  When I tried this I found when doing the first row after cast on that it is easier and looks best to knit into the back of the knit stitches.  Thanks for sharing Eunny and Katherine!!

Robyn