Search This Blog

Monday, April 11, 2011

The English Long-Tail Cast-On

Here’s a real treasure of a cast-on.  Basically, the left hand makes a loop that the right hand knits into.  This produces a neat, tailored edge that is double on both sides and appears as if the first row has already been knittedUse this method where you want a firm, heavy, handsome edge that can take a lot of stretch.

It requires an agile left hand.  Try this:  Curl your left forefinger into the very base of your thumb.  Nestle it at that little webbed spot where your thumb joins your hand.  Now slowly sweep that left forefinger along the side of your thumb that houses the thumbnail.  Pretend you’re trying to wipe something off of that knuckle-side of your thumb.  Wipe all the way to the thumbnail.

If you can perform that action, you can do the English long-tail cast-on.  Ready?

This method consumes yarn from the tail in the same way and to the same amount as the first long-tail method we worked.  We’re going to cast on twenty stitches, so grasp the loose end of your yarn in your left hand and pull toward your left elbow.  There.  That’s how much you’ll need.

For now, grab both sides of that spot with the pinky and the ring finger of each hand.  

Bring your right hand toward you and wrap the yarn around your extended left thumb, wrapping away from your chest, toward the palm of your left hand.

Now bring your left forefinger down over the yarn.  Make that wiping motion toward your thumbnail, catching the yarn in a loop that laps over your forefinger.  

Holding a needle in your right hand, place the needle into this loop as if to knit.   

With your right hand, wrap the long end of the yarn around the needle and actually knit a stitch.  (You’ll need to give a slight tug with the left hand to snug the yarn up.  Not too tight, now.)

From here on, the right needle holds the stitches, the right hand wraps the yarn around the needle.

With your left forefinger, snag the taut yarn again.  Curl forefinger toward base of thumb, wipe toward thumbnail, and hold finger up with yarn wrapped over it.  Knit into this stitch just as you knitted into the first one. 
When you finish twenty stitches, compare the results with the regular long-tail cast-on.  With the English long-tail cast-on, basically that first stitch (the loop around your left forefinger) has already been knitted into.  Notice that this produces a foundation row that shows two ridges on both sides, whereas the regular long-tail displays two ridges on only one side.  

Tomorrow, the provisional cast-on.

How are you doing with all these cast-ons?  How am I doing with all these explanations?


No comments:

Post a Comment