Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Cast Ons

Just a warning...more Christmas presents shown in this post. I don't, however, reveal all so it's really just a little peek. You may decide if you wish to read on...

I won't tell you exactly what this project is but I wanted to write about it because it is the first time I have done the Turkish (or tubular) cast on.

I took my directions from the TECHknitter. (I love her work.) Her diagrams and pictures are well worth looking at.

I should have actually used her directions for the Turkish cast off for my last pair of socks but they were sort of done under a deadline (it was the last day of Socktober) and I was too lazy at the time to learn something new. But it was the perfect situation as the socks ended in 1x1 ribbing and the top of socks need to be stretchy, which the Turkish cast off is.

But anyway, enough about when I didn't use the technique. I decided to try it on ...well, on this current project. It is a little fiddly, as TECHknitter promises, but it can be done. She also recommends not doing it in the round because she doesn't think it's worth the extra fiddling. Of course, purist that I am, I did it in the round anyway:
Well worth the fiddling!
It's called a tubular cast on because you make a tube out of the stitches. You do a provisional cast on, then knit the stitches as if you were doing double knitting. And then once you've done a couple rows like that, you start knitting all the stitches in a 1x1 ribbing. The knit stitches are the stitches you were knitting on the front side; the purl stitches are the stitches you were knitting on the "back" side, so to speak. End result, you have stitches that continuously roll from front to back and there is no binding thread or chain at the cast on to keep the stitches from stretching.
It is very stretchy, and yet recovers very well so it doesn't stay stretched out.

I will admit that it is more time consuming and takes some concentration, but it is definitely a step in taking one's knitting to the "next level."

Now about the yarn, I bought it because I couldn't resist the colours. A very nice mix of purples and reds. A little more lively than the subtle shading on my Firestarter socks.
It's Fleece Artist Nyoni which is a mix of wool, mohair, nylon and silk. Fleece Artist is a Nova Scotia company so I have to admit I'm biased toward them, but they do make some really nice stuff. It's been a pleasure working with this yarn.

And another yarn I couldn't resist taking home with me is this ball of madelinetosh tosh DK (colourway terrarium):
I was making something else with this. Another project in which to use the Turkish cast on. After a few inches, I realized it wasn't working so I frogged it all. I was too demoralized to do the Turkish cast on again and used my dependable cable cast on. I kept at it even though it became obvious that the cable cast on was not nearly as good.

Then about half way done the project, I realized I was reading the chart wrong; I had to frog 3/4 of what I had done.

I reknit it using the right chart and got back to the same point again. It then became very obvious that it was way way too big. Time to frog again. But by then I was so angry I threw it across the room, much to Troy's surprise. I thought it was a perfectly logical reaction given the circumstances.

Both these projects were in time outs at that point. (I won't get into it, but the first project had its own hurdles.) I have since sorted out the first project and it is humming along again. Once it is taken care of, I think I will be up to the task of attempting the second project for the fourth time. This time I will take the pattern recommendations on needle sizes with a large grain of salt. And I will read the right chart. And I will use the Turkish cast on.

And I will hope it all works out. Troy doesn't like it when double pointed needles are flying across the room.

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