All knitters have questions about the best way to do things, why different things happen while they are knitting, how to fix knitting mistakes and more. Here is this weeks questions posed by a new knitter.
Question from Brenda Buckley - Can you tell me how to cast on using the long tail method?
Answer - Leave a long tail on the slip knot. I've seen several ways to guesstimate how long the tail needs to be. One good way is to cast on a small number of stitches, 10 for example, then unravel to find out how much yarn is required for that number of stitches and work out the amount of yarn needed for the total number of stitches. Another good way to avoid this problem is by using two balls of yarn, or both ends of the same ball of yarn, joined at the slip knot. Just cast on one extra stitch and unknot the slip knot when you're finished casting on. You'll only need one needle for this method. Make a slip knot and place it on the needle. Grab both ends of the yarn in your hand and secure with your fingers. Then insert your thumb and forefinger between the strands of yarn and pull the needle downwards, creating a V shape with the yarn, like so..
Holding the needle in your right hand, bring the tip up through the loop on your thumb...
Then down through the loop on your finger, grabbing the yarn...
And pulling it down through the loop on your thumb...
let the loop of yarn on your thumb slip off. Bring your thumb back under the loose strand of yarn to tighten the stitch on the needle.
Repeat for each stitch to be cast on.
This type of cast on is quite sturdy, but does have a tendency to be too tight. I often use a larger needle than the one that I'll be knitting with or two needles held together. The long-tail cast on leaves a row of purl bumps, so if you'll be knitting in stockinette stitch, begin with a wrong side row.
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