25 Jul

tutorial – circular cast-on

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Casting-on for knitting in the round is usually a rather fiddly business. The circular cast-on method in this tutorial, unfortunately, isn’t any different in that respect. Still, when wanting the cast-on for a project knitted flat and in the round, this method gives a very nice and invisible start.

I think it’s ideal for things like top-down hats, center-out blankets or shawls, and the like. It’s pretty similar to the idea of starting a project with a magic ring in crochet. A big plus is that the ring can be tightened to close up the starting hole, once you’re well underway and past that fiddly starting stage.

In this tutorial I used a circular needle in the magic loop way, but (of course) double pointed needles (dpn’s) can also be used for the small-circumference start.

Materials

Besides yarn and circular knitting needles (or dpn’s), it’s also a good idea to use stitch markers to denote the corner stitches. I didn’t use them in this tutorial and it shows in the end result! If using circular needles, make sure the cable is long enough to do magic loop. In my experience, 80 cm / 32 inches or longer is needed for that.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The circular cast-on step-by-step

1. Make an overhand knot in your yarn as shown below in the picture.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Next, position your knitting needle as shown underneath the strand of your that goes to the ball of yarn.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Now insert the needle in the circle of yarn, yarn over and pull the loop through the circle. This makes a new stitch as shown below.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Now, yarn over again…

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. …. and (as in step 3) again insert the needle in the circle of yarn, yarn over and pull the loop through the circle. This makes a new stitch as shown below.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as needed. In this example, I repeated another 2 times to get to a total of 8 stitches on my needle.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Now you can pull on the yarn tail to tighten up the cast-on circle. Don’t worry if it loosens up, later on, you can always tighten it again.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. And now you can start knitting according to your pattern! This may also be a good time to insert any stitch markers needed, for the correct placement of the increases. In this example, I didn’t, which shows in the wonky placement of the yarn overs in the picture below. Still, the cast-on itself in the center can be seen pretty well, so there it is!

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

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29 Mar

the knitted on cast-on

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The knitted on cast-on is a very strong and reasonably stretchy cast on to start your knitting project with. It’s the cast on I use most often because it is just so easy to do. Personally, I wouldn’t use it for a knitting project that would be blocked heavily. For all other applications, though, it makes a very nice edge. Think for example of edges of garments, non-lace blankets etc.

This particular method is also great for the beginner knitter because it is basically the knit stitch that is used to cast on. In this post, I’ll show you how to do it!

The knitted on cast-on step by step

1. Take a length of yarn from your ball of yarn.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Make a slip knot….

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. ….and insert the needle into the upper loop and tighten the slip knot onto the needle. This is the first stitch. Make sure to leave enough on the tail of the yarn to weave in later.

It is also possible not to use a slip knot and just loop the yarn around the needle for your first stitch, thus avoiding the knit in the corner of your work. For the sake of this tutorial, however, I’m going with the slip knot version.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Take your second needle and insert the tip into the stitch with the needle under your main needle. Insert at an angle so your needles cross as pictured.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Hold the crossed needles together, take the yarn connected to your ball and wrap it around the bottom needle: go around, and then over. Depending on your knitting style this can be done with either your left or your right hand. The end result is however always the yarn wrapped around the needle as pictured.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Take the bottom needle and bring it back through the stitch pulling the yarn with it in a loop.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Now transfer the new loop from the bottom needle to the other needle and tighten the yarn. You have now cast on a stitch!

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Repeat steps 4-7 until you have reached the desired amount of stitches on your needle.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And that is all there is to it! The knitted on cast-on looks like this after a few more stitches have been cast on.

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02 Nov

tutorial: knitting a bobble cast-on

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

In the series of decorative ways to cast-on a knitting project, I present here the bobble cast-on method. You’re probably already familiar with bobbles as a way to give an interesting 3D texture to your knitting. I used it myself for that purpose in my Moerbei shawl design. It is also possible to make bobbles right on the cast-on edge. Officially, the bobble cast-on is not a “real” cast-on method, because you already cast-on and knit a row before you start the actual bobbles. However, this should not spoil the fun!

To be honest, the only difference between regular bobbles and the bobbles with a bobble cast-on, is that they are knit on the edge of the work. There are many different types of bobbles possible for this application, however, you want a reasonably “fat” bobble for the best result.

In short an instruction for such a bobble would be as follows:

Bobble of 5 stitches: Work [k1, yo, k1 , yo, k1] all in the same st. Turn work, p1, p1 tbl, p1, p1 tbl, p1. Turn and k5. Turn work, and p5. Turn work, k5, * pass second st on the right hand needle over the first stitch; rep from * until 1 st remains – 1 bobble made.

Below I’ll show you step by step how this looks when used at the cast-on edge of your knitting.

Knitting a bobble cast-on step by step

1. Cast-on the required number of stitches, here I used a multiple of 4 + 1 + 2×2 edge stitches for both sides of the work. The 4 stitches consist of 1 stitch for every bobble and 3 stitches distance between each bobble. To cast-on I used the knitted-on method, but any other method would work.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

2. Purl 1 row and turn the work.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

3. Knit 2 stitches for the edge to the side.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

4. Work [k1, yo, k1 , yo, k1] all in the next stitch, without sliding it off prematurely. You now have 7 stitches on the right hand needle, we will knit the bobble over 5 of them.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

5. Turn work, p1, p1 tbl, p1, p1 tbl, p1. The “p tbl” stitches are worked to close up the yo’s of the previous row. This will make the outside surface of the resulting bobble smoother, this may require some practice!

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

6. Again turn your work and knit 5 stitches.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

7. Next, turn work and purl 5 stitches.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

8. Turn work again and knit 5 stitches.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

9. Now pass the second stitch on the right hand needle over the first stitch, repeat this until only 1 of the 5 bobble stitches remains. There are now only 3 stitches left on your right hand needle. You have now created one bobble! You can push it out a bit to the right side of the work to show it to its best advantage.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

10. Next knit the 3 stitches which I had chosen as the distance between the bobbles.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

11. Repeat steps 4 to 10 until only 3 stitches remain on the left hand needle.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

12. Repeat steps 4 to 9 once more for the last bobble and finish with knit 2 for the second set of edge stitches.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

With this your bobble cast-on is finished!

This is how it looks after a few more rows in stockinette have been knit.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Pretty, isn’t it?

Stay tuned for the tutorial on the matching bobble bind-off!

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28 Sep

tutorial: knitting an i-cord cast-on

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Lately I have all sorts of methods to cast on my knitting projects on my mind. Some I have already shared with you, think for example of the folded hem, the two-color cast-on, the picot cast-on, the provisional crochet cast-on and of course the Latvian twist. In this post I want to show you how to knit an i-cord cast-on.

I-cord is usually knit over 3 to 5 stitches. In this example I’m going to make an i-cord cast-on based on 3 stitches. In short the instruction would be as follows:

I-cord CO: Cast-on 4 sts. k4, sl 4 sts just worked back to the LH needle, * kfb in next st, k3, sl 4 sts just worked back to the LH needle; rep from * until the desired number of sts has been achieved, plus 3 sts. Next: (k2tog) twice, sl 2 st back to LH needle, k2tog.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on step by step

1. Cast on 4 stitches, in this example I used the knitting-on method.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Knit 4 stitches

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Slip the 4 newly knitted stitches back to the left hand needle one by one.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Knit the next stitch in front loop and then in the back loop before sliding the off the stitch juste worked. Tighten your yarn a bit.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Knit 3 stitches.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Slip 4 stitches back to the left hand needle one by one.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 until you have the desired number of stitches plus 3.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Knit 2 stitches together, twice.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. Slip 2 stitches back to the left needle.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

10. Knit these 2 stitches together.

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Now your cast-on is ready and you can start the rest of your project!
This is how it looks at the front and back of the piece:

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Knitting the i-cord cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Notes

For a less “rounded” corner, you can also choose to omit steps 8 to 10. In the last repeat of step 6, slip only 3 stitches back to the left hand needle and bind these off.

To use this cast-on method for a project knitted in the round, you can also choose to omit steps 8 to 10. In the last repeat of step 6, slip only 3 stitches back to the left hand needle instead of 4 stitches and place those on a bit of waste yarn. Afterwards you can then graft these stitches together with the starting stitches for a seamless connection of the i-cord edge.

This cast-on method also has a matching bind-off!

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29 Jun

tutorial: a two-color cast-on

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

Perhaps you have seen them, those beautiful patterns by Nancy Marchant or Stephen West. Both designers often use two-color knitting in the brioche technique.

To be able to start such a two-color project, you would of course need a two-color cast-on. The “two-color brioche cast-on”, also known as the “two-color Italian cast-on” is of course an obvious choice. However, this particular cast-on method fights me all the way!

Fortunately, I also found another two-color cast-on method, which gives an elastic result. This method is for me a lot easier to use. In this post I will show you how this alternative two-color cast-on technique is done.

Two-color cast-on step-by-step

1. Start by making a slipknot holding both colors of yarn together to make the first stitch on the needle. Make sure you leave about 15 cm (6 inch) of yarn at the beginning, shorter lengths I find a bit tricky to weave in correctly.

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Place the tip of the right needle between the two loops on the needle, make a yarn over with color 1 and pull up a loop.

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Put this loop twisted on the left hand needle.

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Now place the tip of the right needle between the front two stitches on the left hand needle, make a yarn over with color 2 and again pull up a loop.

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Again put this loop twisted on the left hand needle.

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

Repeat steps 2 to 5, alternating the two colors, until the required number of stitches has been cast-on. The slipknot that you started with, can now be dropped. This way you avoid a very noticeable knot in your work.

Now you are ready to start your two-colored knitting project!

Two-color cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

This cast-on is not only useful for brioche projects. It also lends itself very nicely for starting double-knitting projects. I also sometimes use it just to have a nice two-tone edge to my project, because I find it very decorative on its own.

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06 Mar

tutorial: picot cast-on

Working a picot cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Casting on your knitting project using either the thumb method, knitting-on, the long-tail cast-on or a similar method is of course perfectly fine. But sometimes using a cast-on that is just a little more decorative can be so much more fun. In this post I want to show you how to work a picot cast-on. There are various ways to do a picot CO, all giving slightly different results, this is just one possible variation.

In this example, I am using needles size 4 mm (US #6) and a generic worsted weight acrylic yarn.

Picot cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

Picot cast-on step by step

1. Cast-on 3 stitches with any preferred method, in this example I have used the cable cast-on. However, the long-tail or thumb method, or another method can also be used.

Picot cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Insert the left needle into the second stitch on the right needle and pass this stitch over the first stitch.

Picot cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Insert the left needle again in the second stitch on the right needle and pass it over the first stitch. from the initial 3 stitches you had CO, there is now only 1 left and 1 picot has been completed.

Picot cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Repeat steps 1 / m 3 as often as desired for your project. The result will look something like this:

Picot cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. You can then continue to knit in any pattern desired. In this example, I knitted a few rows in stockinette stitch, this will however not always be the best choice because of rolling of the fabric.

Picot cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs

What you need to consider with this casting-on method, is that you are actually casting-on three times the number of stitches that you will eventually need. This means that also three times the usual amount of yarn is needed. Good to know if you like to use the long-tail cast-on!

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06 Oct

garter tab cast on tutorial

Knitting a garter tab cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Many top-down shawl patterns start with a garter tab cast on. Why? Because it creates a lovely seamless start of any shawl. See for example the start of my Zomer Zilt shawl, pictured above, you almost can’t see where the cast on is! Yes, it can be a bit fiddly to work, especially when working with very skinny yarn. However, don’t let that deter you from knitting patterns that use this cast on: with the below step-by-step instructions and tips you are sure to master this technique.

In this example I used the garter tab instructions as used in Zomer Zilt:

Cast on 2 sts and knit 12 rows. Turn work 90 degrees, then pick up and knit 6 sts from the garter stitch ridges along the long edge. Pick up and knit 2 sts along the cast on edge. (10 sts).

The garter tab cast on step by step

1. Cast on two stitches using your preferred cast-on method. In this example, I’m using the knitted on cast-on.

Garter tab cast on tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Place markers in each of every CO stitch, this will make it easier to pick them up later on.

Garter tab cast on tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Work twelve rows in garter stitch (knit every row). This will give you 6 ridges to work into in the following steps. Then turn your work – still on the right-hand needle – 90 degrees clockwise.

Garter tab cast on tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Using your left-hand needle pick up one stitch in each of the garter ridges along the edge, for a total of 6 stitches. In the picture the purl bumps are picked up, but you could also pick up from the legs of the knit stitches instead. You now have 8 stitches on your right hand needle.

Garter tab cast on tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Turn your work 90 degrees clockwise again and pick up the two marked stitches along the cast-on edge. These stitches can be a tad hard to see, but because we marked them in step 2 this really isn’t an issue.

Garter tab cast on tutorial by La Visch Designs

There you have it: a garter tab cast on! There are now 10 stitches: 2 stitches on either end which will become the garter edge stitches, and 6 stitches in the middle which will become the body of your shawl. You are now ready to start the rest of your pattern!

Garter tab cast on tutorial by La Visch Designs

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