The warmer weather and then the snow the next day brought me an unexpected gift...a spring cold. Actually, I probably caught it at my piano lesson. That is what I get for hanging out at a place where there are kids waiting. Colds make me stupid so I hope this blog makes sense.
Not many lessons arrived for review which was a good thing. I can't say that I am at my best! I still am on track for having the Basics course revised by April 1st. I am not making major changes. I am just adding links to this blog so students don't have to search for them and clarifying a few things. Any student who has taken the class while I have been teaching it can request a copy by email. I just need your names. Wait until April, however, as it is well known my record keeping skills leave much to be desired.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Last week the tip was about the standard long tail cast on. If you aren't familiar with that cast on you may want to check out that post first before proceeding. This is a variant of that cast on which produces a bumpy edge on. Why would you ever want to use this? Think about ribbing where you have knit and purl stitches next to each other. Most knitters prefer to have the smooth side of the cast on for knit stitches and the bumpy side for purl stitches. This variant allows you to accomplish this.
The next two photos show ribbing where the long tail cast was used. There is a question in the Basics class which asks the students to indicate which side they prefer. The majority prefer that the smooth side be used.
When the bumpy side is selected there is a purl stitch below the knit stitch which is a bit distracting to many.
If you use the long tail variant, you can avoid this. (I realize that this is starting to sound like one of those discussion about how many angels fit on the head of a pin but what can I say, I notice this type of detail.)
This photo shows the result of this variant used for the entire cast on.
To use this in ribbing you would alternate the long tail cast on with the variant. This photograph shows K2P2 ribbing where this has been done.
Long Tail Cast On Variant
There will not be a salon this weekend. I like my friends too much to expose them to this cold. I'm not up to completely disinfecting the house quite yet.
The extra yarn arrived from Blue Sky Alpaca. They have been FABULOUS. I screwed up and didn't completely think through how much yarn I needed. They were so gracious in sending extra yarn. The yarn is perfect for this project. I should have finished all of them but I took the gray hat apart several times to get it just right. The same thing happened with the first mitten. I am glad I had the time to get them just the way I wanted them. I am doing lots of videos for them as the pattern will have links to them. The magazine should be digital by the next issue if everything goes to plan. I obviously did the videos with the purple colorway.
I have been too sick to look for buttons yet but I should have them completely finished by early next week. (Look no snow! There was an inch or so there on Monday.)
I have the linen yarn from Shibui to do the wasp wing tunic and the yarn for the Baby and Boy sized argyle vests from KnitPicks. I was waiting for yarn to to the Confident Beginner Design (a new feature for the magazine). The company (who shall remain nameless) who handles the yarn never got back to us and so when the managing editor called yesterday she found out that they select who they will allow to use their yarns. If the managing editor hadn't followed up on this, I'd be waiting for the yarn forever. Needless to say, I will NEVER use that yarn in any project I ever design. This is the first time I've heard of a company saying something like that. Oh well, I selected a FAR better yarn from Juniper Moon Farm who were delighted to ship it off today. Thank you! We are doing a lot of alpaca in the fall issue as the photo shoot is at an alpaca farm.
I have seen that cast-on in a few places, but am not sure if it has a consensus name either.
I have noticed it only works for ribbing greater than k1, p1 (at least for me). Despite trying many cast-ons, I'm yet to find a method that looks good in 1x1 ribbing that I can execute in a reasonable time and at a reasonable tension.
I have seen many other knitters achieve good results with tubular cast-ons, but my attempts were tight and messy (not sure how I managed both).
I always learn from reading your posts,
Sarah (in Australia)