Sunday, November 07, 2010
Learning: I-Cord Cast-on
I started the Skulls and Flowers Mittens today, which meant learning a new cast-on method: the I-Cord Cast-On. It's pretty simple, but it took a few tries to get the right tension and rhythm going. It produces a nice finished, non-curling edge - I think it would be great for any item using stockinette stitch in the body, which tends to curl on the edges. Here's the method I used (from the pattern above):
1. Cast on 3 stitches.
2. 1 KFB (knit into the front & back of the first stitch), k2 (4 stitches on right
3. Slip 3 stitches onto left needle. (Leaving one on the right needle.)
4. 1 KFB (knit into the front & back of the first stitch), k2 (5 stitches on right
5. Keep repeating steps 2 & 3 until you have the required number of stitches on
the right needle for your project.
Another method (slightly different Step 3) is illustrated in this video tutorial here.
One suggestion I would make is to use straight needles for the cast-on (if you have the same size), and transfer the stitches to the DPNs for joining/knitting in the round when you are done. This will allow the knob at the end of the straight needle to hold your stitches on the needle, instead of periodically having to transfer them to another DPN for space as you go on.
As you can see, I got the hang of it pretty well. However, there was good news and bad news... Good news: I got the hang of the cast-on and was able to work it smoothly. Bad news: It quickly became clear that my yarn choice will not work for the mittens. The yarn is labeled "worsted", but to my eye looked thinner than typical worsted I have worked with ... NOT! I was way off gauge, and need to find another yarn to work with for the mittens. The store I originally went to (Hartsdale Fabrics) has a relatively small yarn section (it's not their main business), featuring mostly worsted weight and thicker yarns. The thinner yarns they do have are almost entirely in baby/pastel colors... Not what I want for this project. So I will probably head off to another LYS (Flying Fingers)later today for a fingering weight yarn.
I really do like the Elsebeth Lavold Cool Wool, though, and I think it would be great for another color stranding project.
Meanwhile, I continued practicing while I had my skinny caramel latte and pumpkin bread at Starbucks this morning. (Yum!)
I also made a crochet flower for the headband I am working on. The cute knitting bag pictured is from Knitty Gritty Thoughts Etsy shop.