On the third Monday of the month a group of enthusiastic knitters meet in the Resource Room at the Duxbury Free Library. From 6:00 - 8:00 you can find knitters of various skill levels with yarn between their fingers. We would love you to join us. If you can't, follow us here!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Let's Start at the Beginning.

All the good books usually have a good beginning. All the old houses that are still standing usually have a good foundation, and all the knitting projects that don't look home-made have a good cast-on. 

At the last Monday Night Knitting I discovered that some people were having trouble with their cast-on. So, as Julie Andrews would say,  . . . well she would sing it, but you really don't want me to start singing . . . "Let's Start at the Very Beginning. A Very Good Place to Start."

The easiest cast-on to start with is the cabled cast-on. It will give a nice stable edge and is fine for most projects.

But done incorrectly . . . EEKS! 
Here is a swatch of it. See how loopy the bottom is!! In fact, it's so loopy it relaxes into the first row of knitting. 

Here's what NOT to do . . . after you have placed the second stitch on the needle, don't just knit into the first loop . . . insert the needle behind the entire stitch.

Take a look.

First start out with a basic slip knot for your first stitch.

Insert the right hand needle into the stitch as if you were going to knit it.

Wrap the yarn around the right needle as if you were going to knit it . . . 

. . . then pull the yarn through. 
Pull it through far enough 
that you can insert the left 
needle into the loop just 
created on the right needle.

Slide the stitch off the right needle and keep it on the left needle.

There you go . . . you have cast on 2 stitches. 

When you go to create the third stitch, insert the right needle between the first and second stitch.

I know it's not a glamorous shot . . . I need a manicure and my band-aid is showing . . . but I was willing to suffer through it to make sure you could see where to put the right hand needle

Then go ahead and pull the yarn through and place the loop on the left needle.

That's where some of my Monday night ladies made their mistake. They only inserted into the front loop . . . . resulting in the loose cast-on. 

Here's what it will look like if it's done this way.


On one side you will see a 'line',

On the other side it will look almost like a row of garter stitch.

Whichever side you choose to make visible on the public side of your garment is your choice . . . YOU are the knitter after all! 

Pick whichever one you like the best. Just make sure you pick the same side for all the pieces of your project.

There you have it. A good beginning. There are many other ways to cast on . . . but I'll save them for another day since sometimes simple is all you need. 

It's kind of like 'Once Upon a Time'. How can a story start any better? Can't you just see the prince, the princess and the dewy eyed looks they are giving each other? (Can you tell I just saw Cinderella?!).

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

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