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Old 05-13-2014, 05:33 PM   #11
DogCatMom
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Just saw this question, and thought I had answered it somewhere else here at KnittingHelp. BUT...my post was on the one and only group I'm currently active on at Ravelry. This is what I said over there:

Originally Posted by DogCatMom
For reasons having to do with the way several people required me to learn the long-tail cast-on, which insistence, combined with my inability to figure the silly thing out, delayed my learning to knit for about eight years (because if you really don’t know anything about the field and each and every person trying to teach you requires the LTCO, it seems to be the only cast-on in town), I do not use the LTCO for any of my personal projects. I’ve made a point of learning many other COs to use in my personal knitting, and love each and every one of them.

However, I’ve now signed up for TKGA’s Master Hand Knitting Program, Level 1. TKGA seems to be another member of the LTCO denomination, just like my prior would-be teachers. I will turn in the very best LTCO I can generate on each swatch/piece where it’s required, because (as we used to say when I lived in the South), “dem’s da rools”! When in Rome, etc., etc. (And nobody held a weapon to my head to force me to join the program, ya know….)

I have received latitude as to whether the LTCO is required or forbidden to have an initial knot, however. ;-)
I have no idea how so many knitters became so enamored of this godforsaken cast-on, up to and including The Knitting Guild Association. It doesn't stretch, it requires a huge amount of guessing on the part of beginners, and it relates in absolutely no way to either the knit or purl stitch, which said beginners are normally busy struggling to master. It's an unnecessary barrier to actual knitting. If even one of the people I asked help of had told me I could use the knit stitch itself in a special way to make a cast-on, I would have been knitting at least eight--perhaps even more--years sooner.

To any beginners reading this and having trouble with the LTCO: look up the "knitted cast on," sometimes also called the "knitted-on cast on." Your knowledge of the slip knot (just to get started) and the knit stitch will be sufficient to start any rectangular/square/flat piece of work.

From there, you'll be able to learn the Cable Cast On, the Backwards Loop Cast On (denigrated by some on this very website, but very handy in a hurry!), and others. When you want to work in the round, there will be a whole host of cast-ons for you to choose from, none of them as lacking in stretch as the LTCO.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DogCatMom View Post
Just saw this question, and thought I had answered it somewhere else here at KnittingHelp. BUT...my post was on the one and only group I'm currently active on at Ravelry. This is what I said over there:



I have no idea how so many knitters became so enamored of this godforsaken cast-on, up to and including The Knitting Guild Association. It doesn't stretch, it requires a huge amount of guessing on the part of beginners, and it relates in absolutely no way to either the knit or purl stitch, which said beginners are normally busy struggling to master. It's an unnecessary barrier to actual knitting. If even one of the people I asked help of had told me I could use the knit stitch itself in a special way to make a cast-on, I would have been knitting at least eight--perhaps even more--years sooner.

To any beginners reading this and having trouble with the LTCO: look up the "knitted cast on," sometimes also called the "knitted-on cast on." Your knowledge of the slip knot (just to get started) and the knit stitch will be sufficient to start any rectangular/square/flat piece of work.

From there, you'll be able to learn the Cable Cast On, the Backwards Loop Cast On (denigrated by some on this very website, but very handy in a hurry!), and others. When you want to work in the round, there will be a whole host of cast-ons for you to choose from, none of them as lacking in stretch as the LTCO.
At the risk of sounding argumentative or critical, because I'm not intending either: In my various attempts to learn knitting from printed materials as I knew no knitters to teach me, the knitted cast on was always featured and I didn't encounter the LTCO at all until my later attempts. I've not got a problem with the backward loop cast on if it works for you, it's your knitting after all and whatever works...but I do wonder if there isn't more than one method that is referred to as backward loop. For me it is always messy, loose, and sloppy, but someone (I don't remember who) said it was tight. I'd like to see video or written instructions just to clear it up for myself. I'm so glad you finally found an alternative cast on. I respect your knitting choices just as I'm sure you respect others' choices. I am thankful there are no knitting police!
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GrumpyGramma View Post
At the risk of sounding argumentative or critical, because I'm not intending either: In my various attempts to learn knitting from printed materials as I knew no knitters to teach me, the knitted cast on was always featured and I didn't encounter the LTCO at all until my later attempts. I've not got a problem with the backward loop cast on if it works for you, it's your knitting after all and whatever works...but I do wonder if there isn't more than one method that is referred to as backward loop. For me it is always messy, loose, and sloppy, but someone (I don't remember who) said it was tight. I'd like to see video or written instructions just to clear it up for myself. I'm so glad you finally found an alternative cast on. I respect your knitting choices just as I'm sure you respect others' choices. I am thankful there are no knitting police!
No argumentative intent assumed; all friends!

My attempts at the LTCO were from personal (i.e., in-person) demos and many, many, many videos on YouTube/Yahoo/wherever. I became very adept at stop-action clicking of the mouse and trying to hold in my memory what I had just viewed so that I could attempt to duplicate it, then re-clicking the mouse for another 4 to 6 seconds. No go.

As for attempting to duplicate what I saw in person...? Also no go. Many times. At no time did anyone recommend that I look for a book; following their (implicit) lead, I figured that knitting books were full of patterns for those who already knew how to knit.

Ironically enough, after seeing someone else cast on in April 2011 using the Backwards Loop CO, which finally broke the LTCO ice (yes, I was staggered/enraged/stunned etc.), I said to myself that I was going to knit NOW, [ahem] d*mmit, and checked out a book from the Juvenile shelves of our local library.

Know what cast-on that book recommended?

==> Backwards Loop!

Pretty sure I've written that story somewhere around here at KH....will take a look and edit this post if I find it.

Not sure what "other" methods there are for the BLCO, nor your preferred learning style, but the method shown in Amy's (silent) video here is the one I've been using. LionBrand has schematics here, as well as an incredibly annoying video (0:57 to show how to make the first loop!). Series of still photos with written instructions found here.

If you prefer to learn from a book, I'll look through mine (now I have a pretty good reference library, but then...?) for a couple of suggestions.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DogCatMom View Post
No argumentative intent assumed; all friends!

My attempts at the LTCO were from personal (i.e., in-person) demos and many, many, many videos on YouTube/Yahoo/wherever. I became very adept at stop-action clicking of the mouse and trying to hold in my memory what I had just viewed so that I could attempt to duplicate it, then re-clicking the mouse for another 4 to 6 seconds. No go.

As for attempting to duplicate what I saw in person...? Also no go. Many times. At no time did anyone recommend that I look for a book; following their (implicit) lead, I figured that knitting books were full of patterns for those who already knew how to knit.

Ironically enough, after seeing someone else cast on in April 2011 using the Backwards Loop CO, which finally broke the LTCO ice (yes, I was staggered/enraged/stunned etc.), I said to myself that I was going to knit NOW, [ahem] d*mmit, and checked out a book from the Juvenile shelves of our local library.

Know what cast-on that book recommended?

==> Backwards Loop!

Pretty sure I've written that story somewhere around here at KH....will take a look and edit this post if I find it.

Not sure what "other" methods there are for the BLCO, nor your preferred learning style, but the method shown in Amy's (silent) video here is the one I've been using. LionBrand has schematics here, as well as an incredibly annoying video (0:57 to show how to make the first loop!). Series of still photos with written instructions found here.

If you prefer to learn from a book, I'll look through mine (now I have a pretty good reference library, but then...?) for a couple of suggestions.
Thank you. I didn't think you'd take my questions for other than what they were intended, I guess I wanted to be sure that nobody else would either.

IMO your story is worth reposting simply because so many things can be so hard to grasp and it's different things for different people. I'm really just curious if we're talking about the same cast on and I watched Amy's (not silent ) video just to be sure - it's the same. I just found out that k2tog tbl is a great left leaning decrease and can't see any reason not to use it in lieu of ssk or Improved ssk (another of Amy's great videos). There are a lot of great knitting secrets floating around in plain site.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:52 PM   #15
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I think what it all comes down to is doing what works for you the same as knitting method. There is no right or wrong way, no better way.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:31 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by GrumpyGramma View Post
Thank you. I didn't think you'd take my questions for other than what they were intended, I guess I wanted to be sure that nobody else would either.

IMO your story is worth reposting simply because so many things can be so hard to grasp and it's different things for different people. I'm really just curious if we're talking about the same cast on and I watched Amy's (not silent ) video just to be sure - it's the same. I just found out that k2tog tbl is a great left leaning decrease and can't see any reason not to use it in lieu of ssk or Improved ssk (another of Amy's great videos). There are a lot of great knitting secrets floating around in plain site.
(1) Thank you for the note re. sound! "Someone" had turned off the sound on my computer, unbeknownst to me....wonder who???

(2) The full story about the ice-breaking BLCO is on this thread here at KH.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:43 AM   #17
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well now i feel like i should have taken the bat away from the dead horse, but, i *DID* ask, so... always interesting hearing others' horror stories of learning to knit. there just seem to be knitting skills i cannot get my hands and brain to do, yet, but i haven't given up on it either, yet. ok, everybody back to their projects...
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by GrumpyGramma View Post
I just found out that k2tog tbl is a great left leaning decrease and can't see any reason not to use it in lieu of ssk or Improved ssk....
Sweet! And now I've learned this and am excited to test it out
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:44 PM   #19
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I only use German Twisted cast on for mittens, gloves, and hats because it stretches. On dishcloths and scarves, you may want both edges to match. I use a LTCO. I bind it off the regular way except I purl the stitches rather than knit them. That way your cast on and cast off match and the bind off doesn't flare out.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by GrumpyGramma View Post
I just found out that k2tog tbl is a great left leaning decrease and can't see any reason not to use it in lieu of ssk or Improved ssk (another of Amy's great videos). There are a lot of great knitting secrets floating around in plain site.
GG, I dunno if ssk works the same way in your knitting method (continental, I believe) but the ssk in Portuguese is slip 2 kwise, k2tog tbl. All the slipped stitches do is make the stitches lay flatter. Be nice if slipped stitches could do the same for my tummy.

My southern version of what you've been saying is: Try it all out and pick whatever works the easiest way and looks the same for you, y'all. So much in knitting is "po-tay-toe" or "po-tah-toe." Spuds is spuds.

That might be a good blog post, y'know?
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