Friday, 29 May 2015

Italian Cast On Tutorial. (Or tubular cast on)

     When I first came to Italy in the seventies I was already a fairly proficient knitter but here I discovered new ways of doing things.
     Apart from the different way of holding the needles which I will talk about in a future post, I also found that my neighbour used a different cast on method which I thought was better for many projects. This cast on gives a tubular cast on which is far stretchier and also pleasing to the eye!

     This way of casting on is excellent when making topdown sweaters or socks where you need an elastic stretchy edge. If knitting in the round I usually start flat and then join on the third row!

This is how she taught me to cast on with some waste yarn.
Let's say that I need a knitted piece with 40sts:

     Cast on half the stitches + one stitch  with waste yarn. For this example I need 40 sts so I cast on 20 + 1sts =  21sts.

With the working yarn  work as follows :
Row 1) *Knit one stitch, Yarn over, (that is bring the yarn to the front and pass back over the needle to the back), repeat from * to last stitch, K1. ( 41sts on needle).

Row 2) *Slip the first stitch purlwise with the yarn in front, Move the yarn to the back of work,  knit the yarn over. Repeat from * until you reach the last stitch, S1 purlwise.

Row 3)* K1, S1 purlwise, repeat from * to last stitch, K1.

Row 4) * S1 purlwise, K1, repeat from * to last st, S1 purlwise.

Now work in K1, P1, rib as usual. (Or change to stitch required)  If, as in this swatch, you have one stitch more than you need purl 2 together at the end to get the correct stitch count.
 At the end of work carefully undo the waste yarn. You have a neat double knitted edge.

In my next post I will continue this swatch to show you how to do a sewn bind off which matches the cast on.

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