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View Full Version : Is there a chart or a formula?


Lisa R.
10-10-2009, 10:21 PM
For figuring out how long to make your tail in a long-tail cast on? When I began knitting, I was taught to wrap the yarn around the needle as many times as your cast-on stitches. Most of the time, that's a good rule of thumb, but if you are knitting something with many stitches to cast on, it's a pain to wrap so many times. On top of that sometimes,I end up with HUGE tails. I don't mind cutting off and wasting a fe inches of extra yarn, but a foot and a half extra (for the 158 stitches I just cast on), is ridiculous!

I figure some of you have a better way!

Jan in CA
10-10-2009, 10:39 PM
When you have a lot of stitches it's really easiest to just use either two skeins or both ends and knot them together leaving about 6 inches to weave in. Then put the knot in the center between your fingers and do the long tail. You can untie the knot and remove the other yarn when you have enough. :thumbsup:

suzeeq
10-10-2009, 10:48 PM
I think if you use half the number of sts, it works. So for 158 st, you'd need about 80", or just over 2 yards.

OffJumpsJack
10-12-2009, 03:23 PM
... on yarn weight, needle size, and tention.

I cast on a fraction of the total (e.g. 16 sts out of the 158) then frog and measure. I then multiply the length used by the fraction I used (10 in this example) and CO for the total needed (i.e. 158.) That way you are measuring with your yarn weight, your needle size, and your own personal tension. All three affect the length of yarn used per stitch. (The stitch used hasn't changed.)

That is how I determine my tail length when I do the invisible, provisional "Judy Becker's magic cast on." And if my tail is too long by "n" inches I can frog and move my starting loop "n" inches closer to the tail end before I start over.

I get all my co stitches with just a 4 to 6 inch tail on my third try (usually by my second try if I am paying close attention to it) and my first try is only a fraction of the total sts I need to CO.

Jan in CA
10-12-2009, 05:51 PM
Holy cow, Jack...it's easier and quicker to use two ends or two skeins. :lol:

suzeeq
10-12-2009, 05:55 PM
I told ya.... he's a math geek.

Mike
10-12-2009, 07:38 PM
My hand to elbow is roughly 40 stitches. Hand to chest for bigger needles.
I don't know how I've come to know this, I just do.

I think I recall someone wrapping a spiral of yarn around the needle for the number of stitches, then adding a bit for good measure. That was the starting point to pinch the yarn at.

suzeeq
10-12-2009, 08:39 PM
Hand to elbow is 40"!!!? Mine is only 17". Maybe you mean fingertip to nosetip?

Jan in CA
10-12-2009, 10:08 PM
Hand to elbow is 40"!!!? Mine is only 17". Maybe you mean fingertip to nosetip?

Yeah, mine is about 16.5" from fingertip to elbow. :think:

Mike
10-13-2009, 06:47 AM
Hand to elbow is 40"!!!? Mine is only 17". Maybe you mean fingertip to nosetip?

STITCHES.
Pull a length of yarn from my hand to my elbow for every 40 stitches I'm casting on in longtail.

suzeeq
10-13-2009, 08:57 AM
Oh, that makes more sense. When I pull out a length from my fingertip to my nose, that's close to a yard, maybe 34", so that's how I measure my yarn.

OffJumpsJack
10-13-2009, 04:19 PM
40 inches?
No, 40 Stitches.

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:
(because men and women measure differently)

The OP did ask if there was a chart or formula. So, I provided a formula. :cool:

The methods you all gave depend on the size of the knitter or the tension the knitter uses. :think:

Math geek, indeed. :sun:

Jan, sometimes there is easy and something better... :) :p :poke:

Lisa R.
10-13-2009, 05:30 PM
For the record, I'm good with easy when better involves math! :teehee: