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Old 04-30-2009, 02:03 PM   #1
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Alternative to Cable Cast On
Hello all. I am working on an afghan that requires different types of knitting in each square. The current square is very plain, but there are evergreen trees that are knit individually then sewn on. The pattern calls for a cable cast on to add stitches mid pattern to enlarge the tree and then subsequent decreases. This increase and decrease is repeated four times for each tree. My problem is that I find the cable cast on to be near impossible, especially mid pattern. I typically use the thumb cast on, but for this purpose the stitches just aren't knitting up correctly. Is there an alternative to the cable cast on that won't leave me with the droopy stitches the thumb cast on does?

Thanks in advance!


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Old 04-30-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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By the thumb method are you meaning the backward loop, where you just fold the yarn over itself to make a loop and then put the loop on the right hand needle? I use that a lot for a few stitches like you say. Some people say they have trouble with "droopy stitches" as you are saying (I don't, and don't know what I do differently from others). Here is an entry in Techknitter's blog about how she solves the problem with the backward loop. LINK I'm afraid if you are having trouble doing the cable cast on, you might also have trouble with this (I'm guessing you are having some sort of space issue.)

The only other way that I know of to add the stitches would be a regular knitted cast on which is just like the cable cast on but instead of knitting between the first two stitches at the end of the needle, you knit right into the end stitch. I don't know why that would be any easier to do though.

I'd use the backward loop. Although I actually make mine the opposite to what TechKnitter shows, so maybe mine is a forward loop. :-) I don't know that that makes any difference and it works just the same.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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How do you do a cable cast on?

You insert your needle knitwise BETWEEN the first two stitches and make a knit, then slip it back to the left needle. Little different from doing a knit stitch.
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:15 PM   #4
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I had a problem with big loops after I knit the cast on row too! So I tried the Long tail method and it doesn't do that at all. I have been permanently converted! The video on this sight was great!
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:27 PM   #5
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Merigold - Sorry, the "thumb" I'm referring to is the backward loop. In all actuality it's not really the cast on that's the problem, it's the next knitted row directly following the cast on. The stitches are awkward and droopy in the first row after I add more stitches. I was curious to know if the cable cast on would "cure" the problem of droopy stitches in the first row following the cast on of extra stitches or if there was another way altogether to avoid both the cable cast on and the eventual droopy stitches. Does that make any sense? This afghan is going to give me a knitting crazy attack!

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Old 05-01-2009, 05:20 PM   #6
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Yep, try another CO, it's the backward loop that makes the sts difficult to knit into and makes them loopy. The cable CO does not do this, it gives a firm edge without being tight. You should look at the CO videos to see how it's done, it's not difficult. Put your slip knot on the needle, then knit into it but put the new st on the left needle. Don't pull the yarn tight. Then insert the right needle (not just the tip) between the 2 sts, wrap the yarn loosely and put this new stitch on the left needle. Don't pull the yarn. The trick is to keep it fairly loose or your sts will be too tight.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:07 PM   #7
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Alright! I will practice the cable cast on with a new set of needles and some spare yarn. After I master it I'll apply it to my pattern. Thank you very much for your help.
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