Mystery House

The Great Circular Cast On Odyssey

At one point yesterday afternoon, I was positive that I’d never get it, that my Anniversary Mystery Shawl was doomed before it even got started.  In well over 20 years of knitting, this is the most ridiculously impossible thing I’ve tried.  And no, I’m not a newbie to circular knitting.  I’ve done it oodles of times.  Just not quite like this.

Let’s see…just how many different cast ons did I try?

1. Regular old long tail
2. Magic loop
3. Belly button
4. Lighter circular
5. Emily Ocker’s (sort of–I hated the whole crochet hook thing and didn’t get far)
6. Two circulars
7. Crochet chain
8. Judy’s magic

Eight.  Many times each (except for numbers 5 and 7, which at least had the courtesy to prove impossible on the first try).   As I noted yesterday, laceweight, size 10 needles and tiny diameter circular cast ons really don’t get along very well.  The Lighter Circular cast on came so close, but ultimately still left me with funky, ugly, tangled stitches.

So, how did I get this?

Victorious Circular Cast On
Don’t scoff at that silly little wee thing.  That’s an afternoon’s work!  (And yes, I know it’s on two needles.  The third will be making an appearance again soon.  At this stage, it actually helps to have the knitting on two needles as much as possible.)

The cast on is my own bastardized version, of course.  Frustrated and headachy, I decided to go back to my roots.  The good old long tail cast on — with a couple of little tweaks.  Here’s how:

I cast on as tightly as I could, and then knit the first row through the back loops so that it formed a nice, tight base.  Then I did an extra row of plain knitting before the increase row.  And I couldn’t hold the needles up, as I usually do.  The minute I did, the knitting squiggled all around like a bucket of live eels and became twisted and weird, and eventually slipped off the needles entirely.  No, I had to lay the needles down on a small pillow and move them as little as possible.  (These little pillows with messages on them that my FIL keeps giving me are coming in handy!)

Cast On on Pillow

Miraculously, it worked!  I’m calling it Miss T’s Stubborn Circular Cast On.

I’m now going to attempt to knit the next few rows without screwing the whole thing up.  I mean, if I drop these stitches…well, you don’t want to know.  Keep your fingers crossed.


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  1. * Cheryl S. says:

    My fingers are crossed. Just tell that stupid yarn that resistance is futile! It must submit! You wouldn’t happen to be a Taurus, would you?

    Posted 10 years ago
  2. * deb says:

    See – you did it!!!

    Posted 10 years ago
  3. * Chris says:

    Have you tried the i-cord cast on? I have notes for that somewhere…

    Posted 10 years ago
  4. * bezzie says:

    Or “Miss T’s Nine Lives Cast On”.

    Posted 10 years ago
  5. * Guinifer says:

    Wiley little critter, isn’t it? Kind of like me trying to comment on your blog yesterday. Would. Not. Work. But here I am today! HI!

    Posted 10 years ago
  6. * Kelly says:

    …or maybe you’re a Borg…
    Nice job, and I love the name you’ve given it!

    Posted 10 years ago
  7. * Ann says:

    Oh, I like the pillow idea! I’m going to try that when I do mine. Although after hearing your tale of woe I’m not sure I want to try!

    Posted 10 years ago
  8. * olga says:

    Have you tried the Tazmania backward jump on cast have you? No? ‘cuz I think you just invented it .

    Posted 10 years ago
  9. * Jeanne says:

    Stay strong! And document the details of that cast on! I like the name.

    Posted 10 years ago
  10. * bellamoden says:

    You’re determined. Maybe a lot more than me 🙂

    Posted 10 years ago

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