November 04, 2002

Don't you just love new projects?

Thank heavens for kitschy television programming. Last Monday rendered a woefully B-ish yet wonderfully nostalgic double whammy blast from the 80s: Staying Alive and Flashdance, back to back. Four straight hours of reliving poofy hair, shiny pink lipstick and ripped sweatshirts. Just like yours truly wore in the 80s (why, God, why?) because I wanted to be hip in highschool. Yes, I cringe at the memory.

But I'm offing on a tangent...that double feature provided four straight hours of enjoyable non-stop knitting time, which were spent starting a new project: a cabled and ribbed sweater for my husband. Did I mention that this will be the first sweater I've ever knit for Monsieur Le Hubby? Moreover, he picked it out himself from Phildar's Hommes Fall/Winter catalog for 2002 (very fabby, by the way) and came with me to the yarn store to choose the color. Spiffiness factor on that is quite high, I think.

Anyway, this sweater is in a heathery-gray worsted wool called Pegase, knit on 4mms circulars (although I'm knitting flat, not in the round) and I've used my very favorite cast-on technique for the bottom edge: the stockinette tubular cast-on for double rib, as illustrated in Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook. Similar to casting on in kitchener rib for 2x2 rib as described by Katharina Buss in Big Book of Knitting, but stitches aren't crossed. I did try Katharina Buss's technique, but felt that first row of ribbing didn't slant as much when I used Montse Stanley's method, which I highly recommend. And now I've got an "invisible" foundation row that blends in with the ribbing. Oh, how fancy!

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4 comments to this entry:

How did you think of trying different ways of casting on for this (and other) projects? Did the patterns call for it, or did you think of it from seeing it illustrated in the reference books you mentioned? I just finished Theresa's vinter lue hat pattern from knitty, and she specified a knitting-on cast on for part of it--it looks (and behaves) so much better. Such a little thing, but it makes such a difference. So, how do you know when to use different methods?
I always, always use long-tail cast on, but I know there are all these other methods, I'll have to try them seriously some day. Merci pour le blog en francais!! Her Regia sock is beautiful - tapered, eh?
Oh dear. You've just reminded me of a long-forgotten '80's accessory I actually had several pairs of: Leg warmers! May same never be knit by me in this lifetime! Your highly spiffy hubby's sweater looks tres handsome so far!
Leg warmers! Oy, I wore those. In neon colors. I'm such a slave to fashion. Re choosing a cast-on, it mostly depends on how the yarn behaves and how I want the bottom edge to look. There are many types of cast-on methods, and I only know and/or use about 1/4 of them. For example, the two-tail is a good all-rounder, and I use it for bulky or thick wools. The tubular is the one I almost always use for ribbing, and I discovered that it existed when I went into the yarn shop one day and the store owner taught me how to do it for 1x1 rib, using a provisional foundation row in a contrast color. Later, I learned by myself how to do it in the main yarn, and for 2x2 rib, when I got my reference books. For lacy edges or hems, I use the loop cast-on (it's the one my husband taught me - and the only one he knows - when I started knitting), which can also be used for adding on stitches to the end of rows. I've also used the cable cast-on for adding on stitches at the end of rows. But my new favorite cast-on for adding on stitches at the end of rows (I use it for toys) is the twisted loop cast on. It's not as loose as the loop or cable-cast on. Something else I've done and really liked is double hems - knitting a few rows of stockinette stitch and then folding it up inside to create a hem. I've done it in picot edge for a baby cardigan, and a regular one with purl stitches for a little hooded vest I made for my son once. I want to try more of those as an alternative to ribbing.

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