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Learn to Knit the Cable Cast-On

 

Today, we're getting crazy with a two-needle cast-on!

Knitting confession time:  How often do you have to unravel your longtail cast-on because your tail wasn't long enough to make all your cast-on loops?  Half the time?  A lot of the time?  Never, because you use a different cast-on method for that very reason?

I have this problem just often enough that I don't keep track of how often it happens.  It's like it's my brain's way of protecting me, because if I had a record of how often I underestimate my yardage it would crush my spirit.  The general rule of thumb is to make a tail that has an inch of yarn for every stitch you cast on.  60 stitches = 60 inches.  But the best of intentions and plans sometimes still have you ripping back and swearing under your breath.  And even if you are one of those rare, magical creatures who can also start out with the perfect amount of yarn, it's always handy to know more than one way to get yourself started.

The cable cast-on kind of lets you knit as you're casting on.  That's the best way I know how to describe it.  As the woman says in the video below, some patterns require you to add stitches to the knitting you're already doing, and this is a fairly discrete way to do it.

I worked on a pattern once that require the cable cast-on for some extra stitches in some increase portion of the project, and doing it was the strangest thing.  I remember laughing a little to myself as I did it because it was just such a strange way to add stitches, and I kept thinking, "This won't work."  But it did!

And for some reason, I remember that little bit of knitting trivia from my past but not what in the world I was working on at the time.

Also, it's mentioned in that video that the cable cast-on isn't super stretchy.  So while you might not want to do this when casting on a hat or a sweater.....well, you know what?  Actually you might want to if you're the type of person with a really loose gauge.  Speaking as someone who regularly knits at least two needles smaller than what a pattern calls for, I've used the cable cast-on just because and my projects have turned out fine.  My biggest hang-up was inserting my right needle between the last stitch and the second to last stitch.

Yes, I know you're supposed to use both hands.  But I was taking pictures because I don't trust my camera with my husband.  My daughter is fine, but not the camera.

Well, that, and then seeing my knitting look like this:

And then sliding the new loop around the last loop back onto the left-hand needle.

 

 Fine, if I compare it to the cast-on method I always use, then it's all very weird.  But I still like it!  It's pretty, quick, and simple.  Plus, I can cast on 10 stitches or 100 and it doesn't matter how much of a tail I have.  And sometimes I just get bored with casting on in my usual way, so it's nice to do something different every now and then.

 
 

  Different cast-ons for different crafters, you know?  I like this method, and I think you will too.

Happy crafting!

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