Saturday, February 6, 2010


I'll admit to being highly intimidated when it comes to learning new cast-on techniques. After all, the one I've been using works. Funny thing is, it's apparently not even called what I thought it was called. I thought it was the thumb method but apparently it's actually the single cast-on or backward-loop cast-on. Seems like back when I learned it many years ago, they called it the thumb method, though I could be mistaken. Maybe they've just developed the craft a lot more, or found a lot more from around the globe thanks to the Internet. There wasn't a lot of information on it at the time. Now, Better Homes and Gardens has updated their site, which is the one I originally learned from. I see they still don't mention Continental vs. English. But I digress.

I saw a cool video awhile back that showed how to cast on in 2 colors for a knitted braid edging. In this case, it was to help with a hat pattern they were selling on the same site. I liked the hat, but at the time I figured I was seriously not ready to attempt it. I had never seen anyone move yarn around that way with even one color, let alone two. I guess that's what happens when you teach yourself to knit from a 2-dimensional image.

Recently, however, while looking up who knows what, I came across a site called Knitting Help that has videos for several cast-on techniques. I haven't watched all of them, but the cool thing is that for the more complex cast-ons, they have videos for both Continental and English knitting styles. I'm always pleased to see that, since I knit in the Continental style. But I digress again. I watched the video for the long-tail cast-on and actually managed to do it. Boo-yah.

Then, of course, I remembered that hat video with the cool braided edge, and recalled the yarn manipulation for the cast-on looking very similar. Unfortunately, I hadn't bookmarked the video, apparently thinking I just would never be able to do it. But, being who I am, I hunted that puppy down. It's on the Knit Whits site and was posted to their Facebook page, which is where I saw it. I knew it was one of the ones I read most frequently, and they are one of the top two. For inquiring minds, the other is Knitting Daily (Interweave Press).

Having located the video, I was surprised to realize that apparently, by "awhile back," I meant September of 2008. Wow. I can't believe it's been that long. In re-watching the video, now that I've learned the long-tail cast-on, I totally get it, and am determined to try it. Not today, but soon, before I forget (or before yet another year goes by). I have since bookmarked the page so I can buy the downloadable hat pattern, which I still very much like.

I hate to post blog entries with no pictures, so here's a pic of a mini my Hubby painted for me, that I used in probably the first D&D game I played with him serving as DM:

Her name is Shadow (though the mini is officially called "Therese" by Reaper Minis), and she is guarding the yarn with both weapons, so watch out for that sneak attack.


  1. Yeah, I only recently learned the long-tail cast on myself. It's a cool one, and I like how much stretchier it is than the knit-on.

  2. I rather like that the end is pretty much already tucked in once you're done. I've not tried the knit-on, though I might try it and some of the others once I've watched the videos. Learning from a 2D pic is juusst not gonna do it for me. When I first learned the single CO, it took me an hour to interpret the pic well enough to get yarn on the needle, so that's a big reason why I've not ventured into other CO's until very recently. My cats, on the other hand, can CO half a skein of yarn on the legs of a chair with no trouble at all....