23 July 2016

Tubular Cast-On in the Round

I've already stated that for reversible lace, I like the tubular Italian cast-on. I have discovered, however, that it is not the easiest cast-on to work in the round. It is very easy to introduce an unintentional twist! Could there be an easier way?

This alternative is not as fast and requires waste yarn. However, I think it is easier to work. And it creates the same tubular structure as Italian cast-on.
  • Cast-on auxiliary yarn using whatever cast-on you like and casting on one stitch for each knit-purl pair you want for your project. In other words, cast on half as many stitches as you intend to have.
  • Work several rows back and forth to create the auxiliary yarn tab. You can work in garter or stockinette, as you prefer. Since the tab is what keeps the work from twisting, please don't skimp on it. I would work at least five rows, maybe more.
  • I like to work one row of a separate thin and slippery waste yarn. That way I can reuse the auxiliary yarn tab in another project because I don't have to cut it from the skein.
  • Knit across using the project yarn.
  • Fold the strip around so you can join to create a tube.
  • You have the knits for your knit-purl pairs. Now you need to work a round to create the purls. Work a round alternating slip 1 purwise with yarn in back, purl 1 in the running thread between the stitches.
  • Since I like to weave in my tail, I work it in as "shadow wraps" or "twin" stitches or "doppelgänger" stitches before I get to the end of the round.
  • Work one round of 1×1 ribbing.
  • Now you are ready to start your reversible lace pattern!
  • I typically establish about an inch or two of fabric before I remove the waste yarn row. I can unravel the auxiliary tab and reuse that yarn. If you unpick the slippery waste yarn, you can reuse that, too.

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