View Full Version : Help please...

04-30-2007, 09:41 PM
My instructor instructed me to use the cast on which starts with a slip knot, that you knit, pull though and then twist to get another stitch (I believe it is the knit cast on)- and so on....however, a friend had taught me how to cast on the other way where you bring it down around the thumb area and then back up to the top and through- this is very general and appologize for not knowing the exact right words.
Anyway, I can't seem to get the right tension when I do the way the instructor taught me and it always looks funny because my tension is off- yet when I do the other way my friend had taught me- I am able to get the what looks to be the right tension. :shrug:

I am sorry I don't have a pic- what should I do? What is the difference? Why did the instructor show me that form of a cast on.

She has been knitting for well over 40 years- and I being a beginner felt she probably knows what she is doing (obviously), can someone offer some insight? This is very frustrating to me! :wall:

04-30-2007, 09:50 PM
:shrug: My thought is that different cast on's have different uses. Some have more give and are good for the hem of sweater's etc. I would say go with what works for you and then as you get better...practice different cast on's and use them according to the result you want for your project. I initally used a variation of a knitted cast on when I finally was able to teach myself to knit based on what I remembered as a kid. I vaguely remembered a way to cast on with one needle (backwards loop) and once I got ahold of a good book with clear photos, I re-learned the long tail cast on which is what I use 99% of the time. Soooo, I say learn what you can, use what works for you, and just 'cuz your teacher has 40 years on you, you don't have to do it only her way. If she scolds you, then she's not very flexible!

04-30-2007, 10:09 PM
First off, I would use which ever cast on feels comfortable to you.

As you gain experience you fill find things becoming more and more comfortable. If you were in a beginners class I think she would have taught that slipknot method because it is the simplest. She has to teach the class for the lowest level.

The other cast on you mentioned is more elastic and looks better on a finished project.

Most beginner classes just teach the fastest cast on method in order to get you to the point of the class-knitting! :) If you feel comfortable using the other method that your friend taught you, then by all means, do so.

Good Luck

04-30-2007, 10:13 PM
the method your friend taught you is called the long-tail cast on and you can find a video for it here: http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/index.php

i say just stick with that one. u'll be fine. ;) (oh and the other one, the "knitting on" cast on is futher on the page)

04-30-2007, 10:33 PM
There are a LOT of ways to cast on. The techniques page here has videos of lots of different kinds and some opinions on their advantages and disadvantages. Tubular cast-on, for example, can take quite a long time and be very fiddly. On the other hand, it is very stretchy and looks GREAT on ribbing. I often use it, but for a jumper with many stitches I might not want to spend hours on it.
Any way will work to create a row that you can knit from. Here are some of the main points I think people consider when deciding what to use:

-is it difficult or time-consuming to do?
-is it stretchy enough for what you want?
-how tidy or pretty does the edge look?
-will it wear well?
-will it feel nice on the garment?

Long-tail caston aka double cast-on seems quite popular.

For any item you knit, these will differ in importance. For example, you probably don't care if a scarf has a stretchy edge, but for a sock it needs to stretch a lot to get around the calf.
She probably taught you that way because it's easiest and fast to learn. Nobody will tell you it's better. Some people find it better for them, depending on how fussy they are, if they want to bother learning a new way, what they usually knit. Even she, if she is experienced at knitting, would tell you if you asked 'it's not better or worse, but it's what I usually teach new knitters'. Regardless of whether she prefers it for herself and uses it in all her projects or not. It is quite easy and simple IMO and is probably what I would use when teaching someone to knit. I can't think of a situation where it would be the wrong cast-on. If you get a cast-on that you are happy with and works for your item really anything is fine, even the simple backwards loop.
If you find later on that your cast-on is too tight or loose, casting on with a different size needle can help with that without you having to learn a new technique, but leave that for later.

What kind of items are you knitting? If squares, scarves, bags etc. there is very little reason to avoid any particular technique.

For now just use whatever technique you find easiect and prefer, I promise there won't be any difference you are capable of noticing yet!!! (sorry) both of those techniques described could be done in such a way that they were stretchy or tight enough or would work for any item.

Regarding tension, that is just practice. The more you knit, the more even your tension will get. And you can practice to make your tension tighter or looser too if you want to.

The short version is don't worry and do it however you like it will turn out fine.


04-30-2007, 10:49 PM
Sarah, I so appreciate that response because I feel very frustrated as I had said, and it is makingit more difficult for me. I may ask her on our next lesson about the other one again, and she what she says. She is a great instructor and I feel she has gone out of the way for our private lessons, and I feel comfortable talking to her about my knitting. But thank you for that response.


04-30-2007, 11:20 PM
A co-worker asked me last week to show her how to knit (she crochets, but nothing complicated) and I showed her the knitted cast on, even though I use mostly long tail myself. I did it because - it starts with a slip knot like she's used to with crochet, and it's like knitting so I thought that would get her used to the motions faster. I showed her purl too, after a few rows of garter stitch and she's happily going wherever it takes her. She purled a row that should have been knit during the stockinette section and asked me if that's what she did that produced it so she could do it again.


04-30-2007, 11:36 PM
If she disagrees with us... she is wrong, if she tells you this is the only way. It is entirely possible for someone to be a great knitter, to have knitted for forty years, making jumpers socks gloves baby clothes lace and complicated things like jumpers with tricky fiddly little patterns but still only know one cast-on, the one she taught you. And her knitted things would have turned out fine. If you find that one easiest you might never care about learning another one.
It sounds like the way she does it, when you use it, gives you a result that you are not too happy with. In that case use whichever one you prefer. It will not affect the finished item, they will both give you stitches on the needles that you can knit from! And a lot of any unevenness you see will disappear after a few rows, or after the item's been used and washed.
Every person on this forum will agree with me that there are many different ways and the knitted caston is not BETTER than long-tail. Many people will prefer long-tail for themselves for some reasons, many will prefer knitted cast-on for other reasons and only use that one.

If you are interested in seeing another easy fast beginner's cast-on have a look at the backwards loop cast-on video on this site, I think it's the easiest but have hardly used it myself, some people say it's not easy to knit from it evenly. If you have a method that you are reasonably happy with for now, forget about the backwards loop I just mentioned.

If you don't like one particular method like what the instructor showed you there is nothing wrong with you, you are not going to be bad at knitting, I promise. It sounds to me like she chose a fairly basic way of casting on that was similar to actual knitting. it's not wrong to use that way.

P.S. one day in the future you may knit a pattern that asks you to cast on in the middle of the row or after you have started knitting, in that case you will be glad you are familiar with some single-strand castons!

05-01-2007, 12:25 AM
Yeah, backwards loop is a little more difficult to knit into, but I don't like it because the loops get smaller when you do knit it and there's enough loose yarn to make another couple stitches with it. I suppose as the initial cast on, that doesn't matter as you can always pull on the tail to tighten it up, but for COs for armholes or something, it's not so good.


05-01-2007, 07:37 AM
If i'm starting a new project with a "standard" cast on, I use the long tail cast on exclusively. it's stretchier and it's more even for me.

but i learned the knitted on cast on first.

I think the knitted on cast on might be easier to teach a beginner because it's almost the exact same movements as the knit stitch. less for them to remember.

05-01-2007, 09:48 PM
I never learned how to cast on.

I've been knitting for 35+ years and I STILL don't know how to cast on!

Someone just showed me how to knit while in the middle of something. So I had to figure it out on my own. I have my own, bizarre way of "purling on." It's my version of a cast on. It was the only way to get to where I wanted to go - which was KNITTING.

Whatever gets you there, sweetheart. That's all that matters.
Mercedes-benz 200 specifications (http://www.mercedes-wiki.com/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_200)

05-01-2007, 09:56 PM
Ummm... I start with a slip knot when doing the long tail cast on........ works fine for me