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Old 03-30-2011, 05:20 PM   #1
tothaisland
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Length of cast on yarn
I was beginning a new project and I am a new knitter. I have always had someone else start my cast on, so I have never had to figure out how to measure the length of yarn needed to cast on with. Is there a formula out there that helps you? Does the thickness or thinness of the yarn make a difference? (as in lace weight or bulky?) Also, I read something about wrapping the yarn around your needle a certain number of times. What does that measure? Once I'm no longer a new newbie, maybe I won't have soooo many questions!
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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Welcome and don't worry about questions! That's how we learn.

Which cast on are you doing? It sounds like you are doing long tail cast on. After you've done this for awhile you can estimate pretty well, but it is hard at first to figure out how much yarn you'll need. The wrap method works pretty well. You wrap whatever yarn you're using around the needle 10 times..that is about how much each cast on stitch takes. After I do this then I estimate how long that is, add another few inches just to be safe and start casting on. It doesn't always work and then you have to start over.

One way to not have to do this is use either two skeins or the inside and outside of the same skein, knot them together and then start the cast on. You can't run out that way. When you are done you can cut one yarn and knit with the other.

You could also just do a knitted cast on and not worry about any of this at least until you're more comfortable with knitting.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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There are all sorts of ways of doing this. You can wrap the yarn around the needle or around both needles, and consider each wrap a stitches' worth. Actually it's easiest to do 10 wraps and then undo the wraps, measure the yarn, and scale up for your number of cast on sts. This method compensates for bulky or fine yarn because you're wrapping around large or small needles.
Alternatively, you can measure out 1-2" per st and that works pretty well. There's nothing more frustrating than getting to the end of a long tail cast on and running out of yarn. So disappointing!
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:59 AM   #4
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Unless it says to start with a certain length yarn tail, I always go with about a finger's length. That gives enough to weave in ends okay without wasting too much. There's lots of cast-on methods, but the basic ones all involve grabbing a loop of yarn and sticking it onto the left needle. If you're wary of casting on for the first time, try the 2-needle method as it's Just like the knit stitch except you put the loop you make onto the left needle.
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