When beginning a fair isle garment I have found that the most suitable method for casting on is the cable-edge cast-on. This technique produces a firm, elastic edge and best of all, you don’t have to figure out how much yarn you need for the cast on. Have you ever spent a length of time casting on using the long tail method and run out of yarn before you got all those stitches cast on? I have. No worries with the cable edge cast-on!
Just in case you are drawing a blank, the cable cast on is done by inserting the right hand needle between two stitches on the left hand needle and pulling a loop through. The loop is then put on the left hand needle as a new stitch.
Cable Cast On
After casting on the number of stitches needed with the cable cast on I come face to face with the words that inevitably make my heart sink, the words that cause dread, the words that elevate my blood pressure and increase my pulse rate. Of course I’m speaking in jest but, nonetheless, I approach this part of the pattern with extreme seriousness. The pattern instructions I’m speaking of?
“Place a marker at the beginning of the round and making sure cast on edge is not twisted, join and begin working in the round.”
Trust me, you DO NOT want to twist those stitches, especially when you have 308 stitches on your circular needles! I’ve been there more than once and, unfortunately, I usually don’t figure it out until after I’ve knit a few rounds. I have paid the price of making this mistake so many times that I enforces my own safeguards to prevent it.
Working on a flat padded surface, I very carefully untwist and straighten the stitches pinning periodically to the surface. This insures they don’t twist up on me when I’m not looking. It is a tedious process but well worth it to me!
Next Rosemarkie progress report – a corrugated rib and a fair isle swatch.