Two-Colour Cast On

I used this Two-Colour Cast On to start my Lambton Panes shawl. I chose this cast on to mimic the slipped-stitch garter stripe edging that runs along the top edge of the shawl. After the first two stitches, it is simply a cable cast on, alternating colours. It’s a pretty simple cast on to perform, with pretty results.

What you’ll need: Needles required for the pattern, two colours of yarn.

Instructions:
First, with CC, make a slip knot and place it on the left needle tip.

step-1-slip-knot

Now insert the right needle tip into the slip knot knitwise, wrap with MC (leaving an end to weave in later), pull through and place on the left needle tip.

step-2-second-st
To make the third stitch, insert the right needle tip between the first and second stitches, wrap with CC, pull through and place on the left needle tip. Note: Always grab the next strand from behind the previous strand.

step-3-third-st

Make the subsequent stitches in this manner, inserting the needle between the first two stitches on the left needle tip, wrapping with alternating strands, and placing on the left needle tip. Do this until the required number of stitches have been cast on.

done-all-sts

And that’s all there is to it! You can use this to cast on as many as you need. It’s also a great one to use for the beginning of a two-colour brioche project, or perhaps some corrugated ribbing.

Tubular Cast On Tutorial (for working flat)

The Tubular Cast On is a magical little CO that is nice and stretchy, and blends oh so beautifully into 1×1 ribbing. It is great for starting top-down socks, bottom-up sleeves, hats, and anywhere you need a stretchy edge for ribbing.

finished look1

 

My upcoming release, Jodi’s Sweater, calls for the Tubular CO on the bottom of the back panel. I’ve added this photo tutorial to the back of the pattern for those that might need a little visual help, and I thought I’d share it with you too.

It starts off with scrap yarn and a regular CO (I use long tail) that will be pulled out later. This initial CO creates your knit stitches, and then you will increase by creating the purl stitches. A few rows of slipping and working alternate sts will magically lock everything into place and then you’ll be able to remove the scrap yarn without the whole thing unravelling. See, I said it was magic!

What you’ll need: Scrap yarn, needles required from the pattern for ribbing (or a even a size smaller).

You’ll also need to calculate the number of initial CO sts. Take the number of required sts for the pattern (must be an odd number), subtract 1, divide by 2 (this will give you an even number), and add 1 back on (odd number). For example, my sweater calls for casting on 149 sts, so I will initially CO 75 with my scrap yarn (149-1 = 148, 148 / 2 = 74, 74 + 1 = 75). This will be your initial CO number. If your pattern calls for an even number of sts you could initially CO half the required sts plus 1, then decrease that extra st at a later point.

Abbreviations: CO – Cast On;  K – knit;  M1PL – Make a left-leaning purl stitch by picking up the bar between the next stitch and the previous stitch from front to back, and purling it through the back loop;  RS – Right Side;  sl – slip stitch purlwise;  st(s) – stitch(es);  WS – Wrong Side;  wyif – with yarn in front.

Instructions:

With scrap yarn, and using your favourite cast on, CO your initial CO number.

waste yarn CO

Now switch to the pattern yarn.

Purl 1 row.

Purl 1st row

Increase Row (RS): {K1, M1PL} to last stitch, K1. [you will now have the number of sts called for in the pattern]

Increase Row

Row 3 (WS): {sl1 wyif, K1} to last stitch, sl1 wyif.

After 2 rows of slipping

Row 4 (RS): {K1, sl1 wyif} to last st, K1.

Row 5: Repeat Row 3.

And you’re done! Continue on to the pattern as written. The scrap yarn can be removed at any point after this and the stitches will not unravel.

Have fun with your new CO technique, it’s my favourite!

Pompom Tutorial

I’ve been working on updating the Pippa Toque pattern over the last few days. It was one of my first patterns so it left a bit to be desired, including being worked in a yarn that had been discontinued. I thought it might be a good idea to clean it up a bit, work up a new sample in a current yarn, and put it into my new pattern layout.

I also decided that I didn’t need to include the photo tutorial for the pompom in the pattern. Instead, I’m now going to put the tutorial up here so that it can be accessed by anyone. I can now include a link in my patterns to the tutorial. Easy peasy!

Making a pompom is also easy peasy. Check it out…

starting pompom

Pull a long strand of each colour of yarn from the balls and hold together, laying across your fingers.

winding pompom

Wind around your fingers 15 to 20 times. (If you’re only using one colour you’ll want to do more like 100 wraps).

tying pompom

Cut a 12″ length of yarn. Push one end between your middle two fingers, wrap around the strands at the center and tie very tightly.

uncut pompom

Do not cut off ends of this tie.

cutting pompom

With sharp scissors, cut through the center of the loops on either side of the tie.

untrimmed pompom

The resulting pompom will be a little messy and uneven.

finished pompom

Give it a good fluff and then, using your scissors, give it a trim to make it a nice round ball. Using the long ends of the strand tied around the middle of the pompom, tie the pompom tightly to the top of the hat. Weave in the ends.

Good stuff, eh?