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How to Become an "Expert Knitter"   *Buy this book on CD for offline reading!

table of contents » chapter 14 (of 29)

14: Casting Off

Eventually you will be casting off
. The second last stitch on the right needle will be slipped over the last stitch knitted, then you knit another stitch from the left needle and repeat the sequence to the end of the row. As you are slipping stitches over other stitches, it is very easy to tighten the stitches and this can be a problem [pic 1].

When casting-off, it’s all too easy to make the slipped stitch too tight.

Casting off occurs at the beginning of an armhole, the neck, the shoulder, the top of a sleeve, a cuff or when you have finished the piece you have knitted.

To be able to work a pliable seam involving the cast-off row, make sure that when you have finished this important row, it has a certain amount of stretch in it. Quite often, knitters cast off too tightly, and the resulting edge is distorted because it doesn’t have as much width as the row of stitches below the cast-off row [pic 2,3,4].

This tight cast-off row will cause problems when joining the garment.

3: (left) Two tight cast-off edges distort the shape when joined.
4: (right) Ironing doesn’t even help.

When this is the shoulder seam, the neck can be pulled out of shape, the top of the sleeve may pull into a point, the shoulder seam stitches will look cramped, or the fabric around the shoulder area may balloon [pic 5].

5: The distorted seams pull added knitting (such as a sleeve top or a rib edge) out of shape.
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