Friday, August 22, 2008

Casting On in the Middle

I love knitting in the round - little tiny circles spiraling out into great big circles! Starting in the middle opens up a world of possibilities - pentagons, octagons, umpteen-a-gons, not to mention spheres and eggs and octopi and all manner of seamless toys. But how exactly do you get started?

Here are some great tutorials that other folks have done:

Emily Orcker's Circular Cast-On from Bagatell
(a crochet cast-on)

Fleegle's Blog - Simple Ring Beginning for Circular Shawls
(a really elegant ring made with one knitting needle)

And the line-art wizardry of TechKnitting(tm):
Casting on From the Middle - Disappearing Loop Method

And here's how I like to do it - you may notice it gives the same result as TechKnitting's method, but I go about it a little differently. You'll need two double-pointed needles and a tapestry needle.

1) Make a slip knot and secure it to one dpn, leaving a generous tail 6 or 7 inches long.

2) Hold a second dpn parallel to the first. Wrap the yarn under the bottom dpn, then over the top one, making a figure-eight.

3) Continue figure-eight-ing until the top needle has the desired number of stitches plus one extra.

4) Thread the tail through a tapestry needle. Holding the working yarn in place, carefully slip the bottom needle free from the stitches.

5) Drop the slip knot off the left side of the dpn and thread the tail through the empty loops from right to left using the tapestry needle.

6) Gently tug the slip knot to undo it.

7) Distribute the stitches over the desired number of dpns and begin working in the round. After you've worked five or six rounds, pull the tail snug. Reinforce it by threading it through the loops a couple times.

The result:


Gina said...

I don't knit enough these days to easily make anything without referring to even the most basic instructions, but I still enjoy thinking about the things I'll make. LOL!

Thank you for this tutorial. When things slow down, I definitely intend to knit some lace, a new venture for me since it's thread and not yarn, so beginnings such as this to choose from will come in handy.

:-) Gina

Anonymous said...

Thanks Daniel, you sensed my need for input, bless you


Jeri said...

If you want a really tight beginning, use a tapestry needle as the other DPN,then thread it with the tail yarn. Make sure hole of needle is going in the opposite direction of the wraps.When wraps are done, thread tail into hole,pull the needle through, and voila!

Dani said...

THANK YOU! I have been using EO cast on, and it works, but I haven't loved it. I tried your method today and from the 1st practice version, it gave me exactly the results I was looking for.