Thursday, April 07, 2011

Useful cast ons for machine knitting

Ewrap cast on (nice closed edge)
  1. Pull required needles fully forward
  2. Make a slip knot and hang on leftmost needle (rightmost if you are lefthanded)
  3. Wrap the second needle in an anti-clockwise motion, whilst pushing the yarn back against the gate pegs - the motion is exactly like a cursive letter e in handwriting, hence the name. Continue across all needles
  4. Knit across (it will be tight)
  5. Push all needles fully forward, whilst pushing knitting back against gate pegs
  6. Knit across
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 another 5 times
  8. Hang weights - you should now be good to go!
Slip cast on (closed, but not a tidy edge)
  1. Select the needles you want to work on, and pull every other needle fully forward 
  2. Set carriage to SLIP or PART (in both directions if your carriage has that function)
  3. Knit 1 row
  4. Select the needles that were slipped on the last row fully forward
  5. Knit 1 row, cancel SLIP/PART
  6. Pull all needles fully forward, whilst pushing knitting back against gatepegs
  7. Knit 1 row
  8. Repeat steps 5-6 for a few more rows
  9. Hang weights, knit on!
Weaving cast on (untidy closed edge, can be gathered, machines with weaving brushes only)
  1. Select the needles you wish to work on, and use the 1x1 needle pusher to push every other needle fully out.
  2. Thread the carriage and engage the weaving brushes
  3. Hold the LOOSE end of the yarn over the needles and pull it down AT BOTH ENDS, so you have a long loop of yarn over the needles
  4. Knit 1 row carefully - the loop should be knitwoven into the knitting
  5. Push all needles fully forward whilst pushing the knitting against the machine
  6. Knit 1 row
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 for another 6 rows
  8. Hang weights, knit on!
  9. When you remove this from the machine, you can pull on the yarn end and it will gather up the cast on edge.
Crochet or latch-tool cast on (closed edge)
  1. Make a slip loop and place it onto the shaft of the latch tool, below the latch.
  2. Pull all the needles you wish to work on fully forward
  3. Insert the latch tool upwards between needles 1 and 2 (on the left, if you are right-handed)
  4. Catch the yarn in the latch tool and pull a loop through as you pull the latch tool downwards
  5. Insert latch tool between needles 2-3 and repeat
  6. Work to the end of the selected needles, hang the last loop on the last needle
  7. Knit 1 row (it will be tight)
  8. Pull all the needles fully forward, whilst pushing the knitting against the machine
  9. Knit 1 row
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 for another 6 rows
  11. Hang weights, knit on!
  12. This produces a nice edge like the latch-tool cast off edge.
Ravel-cord cast on (open edge, works best on small parts)
  1. Select the needles to knit and knit a row
  2. Hang ravel cord between the needles and the gate pegs, going one gate peg outside the last needle on both ends.
  3. Pull down on the ravel cord with one hand and knit across with the other for a few rows.
  4. Pull the ravel cord out from one end
  5. Hang weights, knit on!
If you want to be able to remove the waste yarn afterwards without a fight, get the knitting established in waste yarn, and then knit 1 row with ravel cord or a smooth shiny cord. Then cast on over the needles as if the cord wasn’t there (or knit straight across if you plan to pick up the cast on later for further treatment, eg hand-knitted rib). When you have finished the knitting, this cord is pulled out and the waste knitting will drop off. You don’t need to finish with ravel cord as you can just unpick the waste yarn, but on the bottom edge, the knitting gets locked on the end of every row so it’s harder to unravel.

See also useful cast offs

1 comment:

Brenda said...

There's another one similar to the slip cast on -- also not tidy -- that's really fast, but great for waste and starting swatches.

Pull EON into work and knit one row. Hang the cast-on comb. Pull the other needles into work and knit another row. Cast-on complete.

This even makes a good edge for hanging a hem when you want to reduce bulk -- you just hang the stitches from the cast on comb that were knit EON.

The other thing I like about this method is that it's easy to use the cast on comb that came with my ribber -- good for Silver Reed knitters who don't have those Brother-style combs.