Get the Perfect Edge: Tubular Cast-Ons, Part 3

In “Get the Perfect Edge: Tubular Cast-Ons” Part 1 and Part 2, we considered the folded, yarnover, and make-one methods for tubular cast-ons. Here we go with Part 3! We are exploring tubular cast-ons that begin with the Italian cast-on method and then eight rows/rounds of double knitting. As in the previous methods, the number of rows/rounds of double knitting can be varied as desired.


Tubular Cast-on for K1, P1 Rib in Rows

Italian Method (odd number of sts)

Using the Italian method (see glossary), cast on an odd number of stitches, ending with a purl stitch (Step 2). Turn the work, preserving the twist between the tail and working yarn, then work as follows:

Row 1 (RS) *K1, sl 1 pwise wyf; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 2 (WS) *Sl 1 pwise wyf, k1; rep from * to last st, sl 1 pwise wyf.
Rep Rows 1 and 2 three more times. Work in k1, p1 rib to desired length for swatch, then BO all sts.

tubular cast-ons

In the swatch below, the purl stitches (the thumb strand) were worked in light gray. Although it can be difficult to recognize as you work the cast-on, you can now see the classic stockinette stitch interlacing of the stitches that form the foundation row. The sweep and scoop of the needle interlocks and secures the strands as if one were knitted atop the other. Now, we’ll look at how to work the Italian cast-on over an even number of stitches to create a tubular cast-on in the round.

 

tubular cast-ons

Tubular Cast-on for P1, K1 Rib in the Round

Italian Method (even number of sts)

With a double-pointed needle and using the Italian method, cast on an even number of stitches, ending with a knit stitch (Step 1). Divide stitches evenly over three or four double-pointed needles and join in the round, then work as follows:

Rnd 1 *Sl 1 pwise wyf, k1; rep from * to end.
Rnd 2 *P1, sl 1 pwise wyb; rep from * to end.
Rep Rnds 1 and 2 three more times. Work in p1, k1 rib to desired length for swatch, then BO all sts.

 

Tubular Cast-on for K1, P1 Rib in the Round

Italian Method (even number of sts)

With a double-pointed needle and using the Italian method, cast on an even number of stitches, beginning with a purl stitch (Step 2) after the slipknot and ending with a purl stitch. Divide stitches evenly over three or four double-pointed needles and join in the round, then work as follows:

Rnd 1 *K1, sl 1 pwise wyf; rep from * to end.
Rnd 2 *Sl 1 pwise wyb, p1; rep from * to end.
Rep Rnds 1 and 2 three more times. Work in k1, p1 rib to desired length for swatch, then BO all sts.

Tubular cast-ons are most often used in combination with ribbing and brioche stitch, where the gauge and stitch patterns are similar to those of the cast-on. However, virtually any stitch pattern can be substituted for the rib patterns used in these swatches. Use the methods described in this series to get close to what you want, then rearrange the stitches on the needles or work increases or decreases to transition into your chosen stitch pattern. Be aware of gauge differences between the cast-on and the stitch pattern you choose: the more they differ, the more they will fight each other. Use decreases or increases to ease those transitions.

With the techniques covered in this series, you have a solid foundation for understanding the inner workings of other tubular cast-on methods you may run across, as well as a bag of tricks that will allow you to manipulate a tubular edge for your own creations. I hope you are now inspired to explore these techniques and their variations to discover the perfect edge for your next project.


Larissa Gibson explores her interest in the details of textile construction as a technical editor for Interweave Knits and other knitting publications.


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