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yclept djinnj
tubular cast-on 
28th-Nov-2007 03:13 pm
yarny goodness
With no wasted yarn. But with waste yarn, unless you're like me and can cast on 100st with 6" of a yarn tail. But I don't recommend that as it's a bit cramped working the first two rows. ;)

Do not fear the tubular cast-on. It's ridiculously easy.

Tubular cast-on: Provisionally cast on the necessary number of stitches. Work in tubular stitch for as many rows as directed. Tubular stitch is (k1, slip 1 wyif) to the end, or in my preference, (slip 1 wyif, k1) to the end.

I show it worked with waste yarn first, and with a tail second. I've done it both ways, but really it's simplest just to use waste yarn because it's the easiest to remove, unless you happen to not have any around. Hey, it could happen! What if you run out the door with needles and yarn and cast-on away from home? You never know when you might just want to use a tubular cast-on instead of something else.

Some points:
1) This is IDENTICAL to my method of provisionally casting on. What makes it a tubular cast-on is working tubular stitch for a multiple of 2 rows.

2) I show this working with the yarn in my left hand, and when I do a tiny bit of ribbing, I work Combined rather than Continental. Sorry English knitters, but I couldn't face having to bring the yarn forward and back constantly. It's not that hard to translate tubular stitch, though. The whole point of bringing the yarn to the front is so the yarn doesn't cross behind the slipped stitch which when flipped over would reveal a bar in front of the slipped stitch. Which leads me to the next point.

3) Tubular stitch is a kind of double knitting. Yep, it is. Half the stitches are worked per pass, which is why it has to be worked in a multiple of 2. It can be worked for as little as 2 rows, but it has to be worked for at least those 2 rows before the waste yarn is removed. Only after 2 rows of tubular stitch are all the stitches knit and thus secured. In the video, I work 4r of tubular stitch so the pattern shows up better.

4) I start the tubular stitch with a sl1 wyif (= slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front). I do this because of the way I start the CO. If you switched it so the first stitch cast on was before the waste yarn instead of behind it, you could start with a k1 like everyone else does. Anyway, this means the tubular stitch repeat is (sl1 wyif, k1) repeated to the end. This also means if one switches to k1p1 ribbing after casting on this way, it starts on a purl stitch rather than a knit.

5) A tubular cast-on can be worked in the round very easily. Don't let anyone tell you it can't; I've done it. All you have to do is work a round of (sl1 wyif, k1) and alternate it with a round of (p1, sl1 wyib).

6) Tubular stitch is always wide and loose, so work it up on a smaller needle than the body of the knitting, unless you want it to be really loose and flare out for some reason.
28th-Nov-2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
A QUESTION FOR YOU. I've been doing more knitting, and taught myself to knit continental, and am working on a sweater, and it's coming on real nice - but my stitches where I switch from knit to purl are always really loose, even when I pull them as tight as I can. Is there any way at all to fix this? Or am I doomed forever?
29th-Nov-2007 12:04 am (UTC)
You mean switching back and forth on the same row, like when working ribbing? Hm, are you bringing the yarn between the needle tips when you switch them back and forth, or are you bringing them over the tips? If you bring them over the tips, you'll have an extra loop of yarn (a yarn over, actually), on the needle. If that yo is worked, it adds a stitch. If it's dropped, it will make your stitches looser.

The other thing is that in Continental, the purl stitch can be marginally longer than the knit stitch because the yarn has to travel farther to go around the needle. If your knitting is very tight, the difference between the knits and the purls will be exaggerated because you can't use your tension to compensate. Basically, work the knit stitches slightly looser than the purl stitches. It shouldn't be a huge problem, however, and should go away as you get better at controlling tension.
29th-Nov-2007 02:19 am (UTC)
the surreal thing is that it's silent except for the rooster crowing.

I had never heard of the tubular stitch. Wow, I've got some catching up to do.
29th-Nov-2007 03:58 am (UTC)
Heh, yeah, I don't talk on my knitting videos. I don't see the point of it. :D

Tubular casting on is great for all sorts of things. I've been using it a lot recently, as the version I do is perfect for going into k1p1 ribbing with a smoothly finished edge. I know there are ways of doing it for k2p2 ribbing, but I haven't gotten around to figuring it out for my method. It could be as simple as just working it (sl2 wyif, k2), but I haven't swatched to check and make sure it works.
29th-Nov-2007 11:03 am (UTC)
The best part to me seems to be that you don't get that cinching action from the cast-on row.

So then after you do the two rows of the tubular stitch, you'd p where you sl'd the last time you worked that side. Ok. I can do this.
29th-Nov-2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Indeed! This cast-on is frequently used for socks for just that reason.

And switching over to ribbing should be pretty self evident. Instead of slipping, one works the stitch as it appears on the needle.
20th-Dec-2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so jealous that your cat is well-enough behaved that she didn't chase your yarn at the end.

Out of curiosity - have you ever heard of using the tubular cast-on as a sock toe?
22nd-Dec-2007 01:26 am (UTC)
Heh, what was not in the clip was her chewing through the yarn at one point. She's bad about yarn when it's dangling like that.

If you kept it double knitting and didn't seal it off , it would work. I think I've seen a version of it in the past, actually. I just can't remember what it's called. Personally, I'd probably work a figure-8 cast-on for a toe up sock (usually I work cuff down), which is what I do for mittens. It's structurally identical as this sort of tubular cast-on, without any of the potential gauge distortion from working it double knit, and also with no slipping involved, which also means not having to split it to more needles after finishing the tubular stitch.
22nd-Dec-2007 05:56 am (UTC)
Huh. I'm almost surprised there's a version of socks like that, since it's so loose. And you can only make really boring socks that way. Still, it's a nifty cast-on. Thanks for sharing!
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