Jan 20, 2009

casting on

I'm one of those people that has short lived obsessions. I will fixate on something, research it to death for a few weeks and then get over it, never to reference the information again.

Example. I decided a few weeks back that I needed a new notebook to carry in my hand bag. I toyed briefly with reviving my old filofax as I love all its little dividers and the range of accessories is endless. Its a Bally one and really lovely in soft green leather, but its just too bulky, so with much regret, it went back in the drawer.

From there I decided that rather than a diary style affair, I just needed a notebook. Something with a nice cover, nice and thick quality paper that could be easily torn out as required. So much nicer than scrambling around my bag for an old receipt or something to write a note on.

In the end, I found just what I was looking for in Finki's Store on Etsy. It was duly purchased and I spent the next week rushing to the letterbox every day anxiously awaiting its arrival. I've had it about three weeks now and have I used it? Nup. Have I written something on the back of a fuel discount docket? Yup.

I'm digressing from the original point of this post. My latest obsession is a knitting related one so if that is not your thing, you might wish to leave at this point.

Still here? Okay, I'm assuming you're a knitter.

My latest obsession is the many and varied ways in which one can cast on.

I already knew the basic long tail cast on (shown left) which I think may be the most common type used by most knitters and can be worked either via the thumb method or single handedly.

What I was not aware of are the myriad of variations of long tail, the favourite of which and my new overall favourite style of casting on is called Twisted German Cast On, aka Norweigian or Twisted Norweigian or just Twisted. It gives a really nice edge which is stretchy yet substantial. Great for hats or socks.

Cable Cast On is another nice one, so named for its twisted appearance when looked at from underneath the needle. A much firmer cast on without much give (although Knitting Help says it is stretchy - I knit tightly so it might just be me), its not much good for hats, but would be good for a washcloth or blanket. Perhaps even the edges of a jumper. It has a definite right and wrong side, so I wouldn't use it for a scarf or anything reversible.

There's your basic knitted cast on, which like long tail, has a long and complex tree of descendents, most of which I had never seen, let alone attempted.

Most of these techniques can be seen via KnittingHelp (supplier of the images in this post). I haven't imbedded any videos in here as it would take forever to load the post, however, a quick search of You Tube will bring you to these, plus many more.

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