|5: Casting On
Before you start to cast on, if you are
using yarn that has been purchased as a ball, find the centre of the
ball and gently pull out the end of the yarn. Then knit with that
end instead of the end on the outside of the ball. The yarn will
feed out easily and the ball stays in one place instead of rolling
around. You will really notice a difference if you are knitting with
two or more colours. The balls sit obediently where you put them
instead of tangling with each other. If the thread at the centre is
difficult to find, pull out the smallest amount possible and then
locate the centre end [pic 1].
1: Ready to go!
At the risk of boring you, I will say again
that you must remember to leave a long end in case you need to use
that thread when you come to make up the garment.
A hand knitted garment is usually started at the band, hem, bottom,
or basque. Whatever it is called, it is important that the cast-on
row should not be too tight or too loose. If the row is too tight,
the shape of the band will be distorted. The cast-on stitches will
be smaller than the stitches making up the pattern stitch or rib
used for the band, and these stitches above the cast-on row will
gather and distort. The stretch will be limited by the tightness of
the cast-on row, and as the garment is being worn, the tight row
could break because there will be extra strain. When the cast-on row
is too loose, the band could stretch and the edge will be uneven and
lumpy. The ideal cast-on row should allow the band to stretch, but
then snap back into place without remaining stretched.
If you find it hard to cast on loosely, but evenly, try using a
needle one size larger for that row than the size you intend to use
for the rest of the band [pic 2].
2: Top: Cast on row is too tight...
Middle: Cast on row is loose and untidy...
Bottom: Cast on row is just right!
(sounds like Papa, Momma & Baby Bear!)