My New Year resolution list includes learning something new each month. This is a driving factor in my knitting and crocheting life.
As you work through the process of learning how to knit and creating your first scarf, you fall in love with the rhythm of working the yarn and needles together to create with your own hands. This can become a bit flat if you never add new skills to your repertoire.
There are so many things to learn too! There are a vast number of knitting stitches, cast- ons , cast- offs and so on. This vastness can be overwhelming. As part of working through my list of things to accomplish this year I began by looking to knit new items by following Knit A Longs (or KALs) as they are called. This is a great way of working on something that you may have never done before and they usually add in different techniques to keep them interesting for all levels of knitters.
While working on a Mystery KAL in Ravelry I came to understand that there are far more cast- on methods than I realized. When I searched Wikipedia for the number of cast- on methods that exist, it returned a list of 15 methods.
There are probably many more than that and while I have heard of many of them, I admittedly have tried very few. I decided that I will share my learning as I work through the various cast on methods and the purpose or use for that particular cast- on.
CAST-ON METHOD #1
LONG TAIL CAST-ON this can also be known as;
Index Finger Cast-on
These and more names can be found at a wonderfully informative site called About those names
All accounts of this cast-on technique that I have found agree that this creates a very neat, uniform edge that is quite sturdy and easy to knit from. I have listed this method first in my series since it is my go-to cast-on and works quite well for almost all knitting.
This cast-on requires the use of one hand (typically the left) to cast the stitches on and the other to hold and manipulate the needle.
It also requires a long “tail” or length of yarn that will be used to create the stitches but once the cast-on is done is no longer a working piece of yarn.
The length of “tail” that you will need can be determined many different ways. The way that seems to be the most accurate is to use a tape measure and allow one stitch per inch of yarn. If you have to cast on 20 stitches then you would need 20 inches of yarn. I usually make sure I have at least 5 inches in addition to that to allow for stitches that may be loose and/or the extra needed for weaving.
You can also use the length of your arm from the shoulder to wear the index finger and thumb pinch together. Mine is 25 inches therefore if I pull a length of yarn along my arm I have 25 inches of yarn, this is helpful for those large number cast-ons.
Once you have determined how long your tail should be then it’s time to cast-on. You will hold the knitting needle in your right hand and the yarn will be worked using the left hand.
If you prefer – view my video tutorial on how to do this method Long Tail Caston
Create the anchor stitch that you will work from to make the rest of your cast- on stitches. This is called a slip knot. The slip knot is easily made by holding your yarn in your left hand with your palm facing you and your fingers pointed to the right. The end of the yarn should go off the top of your hand and the yarn that connects to your ball should come off the bottom. Using the unconnected end, wrap the yarn around your fingers once and tuck the yarn you used to wrap your fingers through the yarn at the back of your hand from left to right, pulling through just a loop.
Next insert your needle through the loop, pointed end first, from right to left.
Pull your yarn snuggly up to the needle.
To start the cast-on the “tail” or end of the yarn will go over the top of your thumb and the “working” yarn will go over you index finger. Loosely hold on to each piece of the yarn with your middle and ring finger against the palm of your hand.
Keeping the index finger of your right hand on the slip knot, to keep it from moving, insert the tip of the needle from bottom to top under the yarn on the outside of your thumb. Now scoop the yarn from your index finger with the tip of the needle from outside to inside.
Once the yarn is picked up from the thumb and index finger bring the needle through the opening between yarn strands around your thumb.
Next let the yarn slip from your thumb and finger while still holding it to your palm. Cinch the loop up against your needle and you have cast on your first stitch.
I hope you were able to follow the steps of this tutorial. I will gladly answer any questions or give help if needed.
Update! I have completed the video .. see above in this post to view it !