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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Knit-On Cast-On

Congratulations on your mastery of the best of the first operations essential to the ancient and honorable craft of knitting.  The virtues of the long-tail cast-on are several:  it’s easy to knit or purl into, it’s reasonably elastic, and it gives a neat, finished edge.   For most projects it’s the cast-on of choice.

Still, you may meet instructions or circumstances where the knit-on cast-on is required.  This method is particularly useful if you’re casting on to extend the top edge of an already knitted piece; for instance, to make a t-shirt sleeve.  (The knit-on part becomes the top of the T, extending out from an existing block of knitting.)      

It’s also possible to begin a piece this way.  It’s easy, fast, and intuitive—a cinch to make—although it produces a beginning edge that looks rather “loopy” and can occasionally give too much stretch.

To begin the knit-on from scratch:

Make a slip knot.

Knit one stitch into the slip knot.

Draw that stitch out into a loop.

Place the loop on the needle to the right of the slip knot.  Two stitches now on needle.

Knit into the stitch you just created, draw out the loop, and place the loop on the needle to the right of the previous stitch.  Three stitches now on needle.

Proceed in this manner.  You're knitting. 
See?  One loop through another.

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