When I learned to knit as a child, over thirty years ago, I was taught the basic cast on with two strands, held in the left hand over thumb and index finger forming a Y, and I used that one for everything. Many years later I found other ways of casting on that will create different edges than my standard one. Now, as a designer, I’m using many different types of casting on and casting off to create exactly the edge I want for that particular design. That also means that you who are knitting my designs need to know these techniques or will have to learn them. So, under the title Technique, I will publish some of the different techniques I use, as and aid to the knitters of my design.
Today’s technique is crocheted cast on. It is very similar to a chained cast off and as such very useful for a scarf where you knit from one end to the other and wants the ends to look the same. I used it in my Guinevere shawl. It is a one stranded cast on and you need a crochet hook of the same size (or slightly larger) as the knitting needle.
First, make a slip not on the crochet hook. Take the knitting needle in the left hand and the crochet hook in the right.
Place the long strand under the knitting needle.
Catch the long strand with the crochet hook.
Make one chain loop.
Again, place the strand under the needle and proceed with next chain loop. When you have reached the acquired number of stitches minus one, place the loop from the crochet hook on the knitting needle. It will form the last stitch needed.
Take care that you do not crochet to fast or else the chain will pull the edge of the knitting together. If so, then use a larger crochet hook.
When looking at new techniques a knitting handbook can be invaluable and I recommend every knitter, both beginners and experienced ones, to have one. My personal favourite is The Handknitter’s Handbook by Montse Stanley. Not only for the fantastic range of techniques presented but also for the fact that I learned to knit in Swedish and now I’m publishing patterns in English. It helps a lot for me to find the correct terms so that you will understand my patterns.