11 Mar

tutorial – working Judy’s magic cast on

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

Perhaps you’ve heard about Judy’s Magic Cast On: a truly magic and invisible cast on for toe-up socks. This cast on was first devised by Judy Becker and shared in her article on Knitty. It’s a very clever cast on, as it creates a truly seamless start of your work. As Judy shares in her article, this cast on can be used for a wide range of projects and not just for socks. It can be used for anything that requires knitting in the round and a neat, seamless start.

Since I’m such a fan of this technique, I’m giving you my take on this cast on in this tutorial.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, in the color 128 Lime Green.

Needles: * Addi Lace Circular Needles, in this tutorial I used the 4 mm (US 6) size with a cable length of 100 cm (40 inches). I would like to advise using at least a cable length of 80 cm (32 inches) to facilitate magic loop knitting.

Working Judy’s Magic Cast On step by step

1. This cast on is worked with both the yarn tail and the working yarn. This means, that to start, we need to estimate a sufficient length of yarn tail. One method to do this is to wrap the yarn around your needle once for every stitch to cast on, and then give yourself approx. 15 cm / 6 inches extra so you’ll have enough to weave in later.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Make a slipknot leaving a yarn tail as determined in the previous step and place it around the top needle. Pull to tighten this first loop/cast on stitch. Arrange the yarn in such a way, that the yarn tail is above the top needle and the working yarn is below the bottom needle as pictured.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Now move the yarn tail downwards, under and then over the bottom needle and next underneath the top needle to bring it back to its starting position. You now have cast on a loop on the bottom needle.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Next, take the working yarn and move it under and then over the top needle and next underneath the bottom needle to bring it back to its starting position. You now have cast on a loop on the top needle.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve cast on the required number of stitches. Take care not to tighten these stitches too much, since this will encourage a little bump to form on each side of the cast on stitches. In this picture, a total of 18 stitches, 9 stitches per needle, have been cast on. (And yes, I really should have used a slightly longer yarn tail….)

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Working the first round after the cast on

There are some peculiarities with the first round after the stitches are cast on using Judy’s Magic Cast On. Read on to find out more!

1. Turn the needles so that the bottom needle is now on top and ready to serve as your main (left-hand) needle.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Pull out the other needle to place its stitches on the cable and to use the tip as your working (right-hand) needle to knit into all the stitches on the main needle, magic loop style. Make sure that the yarn tail lies between the working yarn and the main needle. This way you can lock the yarn tail in place once you start knitting.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Knit the stitches on the main (left-hand) needle. If the first stitch loosens up a bit, just tighten it back up by softly pulling the yarn tail.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Next, turn your work so that the working yarn is on the right again.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Pull gently on the left-hand cable loop to pull the needle into the stitches and the former bottom needle is now on top and ready to serve as your main (left-hand) needle.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Likewise, pull out the other needle to place the stitches just worked on the cable, and to use the tip as your working (right-hand) needle to knit into all the stitches on the main needle, magic loop style.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Work the second set of the cast on stitches. Only this time, knit them through the back loop to correct their stitch mount.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The result

Once all the above steps are followed, this is the result. You’re now ready to continue with your knitting in the round (using magic loop) as described in your pattern.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And this is how to work Judy’s Magic Cast On and the first round after casting on!

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21 Feb

tutorial – making a slipknot

making a slipknot - by La Visch Designs

I know, it seems so basic: making a slipknot to start casting on your knitting project. But that’s only because once you know how to do it, it’s easy! And yes, I know it’s possible to start casting on without a slipknot, and that it’s sometimes to be preferred because it doesn’t give that extra knot on your cast-on edge. But that’s not the point here.

Most of the times I still start my knitting projects with a slipknot, even though I know how to do it without. I guess I just like that sturdy start of my cast-on edge! In this post, I’m going to show you how to do make a slipknot around a knitting needle yourself.

Making a slipknot step-by-step

1. Loop the yarn as shown in the picture below.

Making a slipknot - by La Visch Designs

2. Next, arrange the yarn tail in such a way, that you can pull it through the first loop, like this:

Making a slipknot - by La Visch Designs

3. Insert your knitting needle as shown, underneath the arranged bit of yarn tail.

Making a slipknot - by La Visch Designs

4. Now hold both the yarn tail and the yarn going back to the ball of yarn and pull them both to tighten the slipknot around the needle.

Making a slipknot - by La Visch Designs

5. And there you have it: a lovely slipknot around your needle! You’re now ready to start casting on the remaining stitches needed for your project. You can for example use the knitted-on cast-on for this.

Making a slipknot - by La Visch Designs

Of course, it can be hard to visualize the motions needed to realize the above. For that very reason, I’ve also made a short video in which I show you how I make slipknots around my knitting needle. It doesn’t contain a spoken commentary, it’s really only to show you the motions!

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