Cast-on tension

jennSeptember 27, 2007

I'm having trouble keeping the same tension on all my cast-on stitches. I usually use the long-tail CO method which I like a lot, but I always seem to end up with some stitches looser than others and others too tight. I saw a video that said that the cast-on stitches should be loose enough so as to be able to grab them at the bottom and have some space showing through below the needle.

I'm considering casting on a larger needle then switching to the smaller one I'd use for the rest of the project.

My knitted stitches aren't too tight now that I just let each stitch slip to the right needle, but the cast-ons are difficult for me.

Anyone have any other ideas, or am I just being too perfectionistic?

Jen

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donna_loomis

Jen, there's nothing wrong with wanting your stitches to be uniform. But don't obsess about it. It kind of depends on a couple of things. Will your cast on edge be the true edge, or will you be coming back by to do an edging? If so, nobody will notice that your cast on edge is less than perfect. If it's truly going to be the edge you'll want to pay more attention to the uniformity. But if it's a garter edge, I think that won't show as much imperfection either. Maybe the long-tail cast on (as much as you like it) isn't the cast on for you. Give something else a try and see what you think. Time will make your stitches more uniform, though. Just keep on knitting.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 11:01PM
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Carol_Ann

Donna pretty much said it all. I used a long-tail cast on a lot, too, mainly because it's easy for me and fast :) I ran into problems because I was going too fast, however -- when I slowed down and paid more attention, my casting on got more uniform and less tight. I try to place them the same distance apart as I add each one (push them together once they're on a few stitches) and just gently tighten the yarn for each stitch. Also, as mentioned, experience is going to make a difference. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless your cast-on stitches are so tight that they pull in the knitting at the bottom.

As I mention in another thread, there are several good articles about casting on at knitty.com -- you can search their site for lots of good information.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:27AM
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threejsmom

It is a good idea to cast on over a larger needle to give a more elastic edge that won't pull in. Using a larger needle means you can snug it up for evenness and not worry it's too tight. If you want an even edge, the cable caston is slower but you may be able to get uniformity with less attention.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 1:28PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

Try using the larger needle for now. I advise that when you cast on, you think of snuggling the new stitch barely enough to lightly hug the needle and cozy it up to the previous cast on. No tugging. You need room in that stitch to slip the other needle into it as you knit.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 4:22PM
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jenn

Thanks everyone. I'm going a bit slower which helps a lot.
Jen

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 10:57PM
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ginaginagina

As with all knitting, the more you do it, the more uniform you will become. I would just practice casting on, all by itself! Just do it when you're watching TV, endlessly, and you'll probably get to where you want to be, in terms of even stitches. The larger needle for casting on is a great idea-- you can cast on tighter that way, which will be more uniform, and then when you go to the smaller ones for the actual knitting, you'll be fine. The other technique I was taught umpteen years ago, is to cast onto 2 needles-- meaning, hold the 2 together, as if they were one, and then after casting on, slide one out. But I think using a much larger needle may be easier and do the same trick.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:22AM
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