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Disapointment and Lace Knitting from Rowan

I had always imagined that you needed to be ‘ahead of the game’ to design for Rowan so I was a little disapointed at Marie Wallins design which in essence is a circular shawl with sleeves in —that is the clever bit –but come on Marie how about starting the circle properly and traditionally instead of having seams up it seems to defeat the object and the grace of it.Doing the cast on for onlt 4 stitches is easy and easily taught I wrote an article on this very subject in Lets Knit  a few months ago .Having to knit lace and change tension (as we all do) when we go from knit to purl is damaging to lace I feel when it is avoidable .see article enclosed below

Knitting Lace                        More of the mysteries unravelled

   Casting on, to knit that piece of lace you admire so much is often the first stumbling block, but it need not be.

 The main problem is finding the correct cast on for the garment, any stitches worked with openwork pattern will always stretch more than the same number worked in garter or stockinette stitch ,

you have to have elasticity between the edge and the garment.

 A lot of lace knitting is clever enough to avoid a cast on edge in its construction but for the times  that is not an option we will look at easy clever ways to manage this.

Invisible cast on

All invisible cast on’s give the same effect they expose the purl bumps n a row and make them ‘live’stitches. 

1. Attach working yarn to needle with a slip knot, hold a piece of waste yarn next to your needle and then wrap the working yarn over the two in a series of figure –eight overs 

Pic 1

pic 1
pic 1


 2 Hold your needle in the right hand tension and spread the yarns the waste yarn to the thumb and working yarn to index finger (see picture2 )


3 Dip the needle under the waste yarn, take the working yarn from the back bring it under your waste yarn and bring needle back to position you started and you have made 1 stitch.


4. Now tilt the needle and get the working yarn from over the waste yarn bring back to starting position 2nd stitch made.

 Repeat these steps until you have the correct number of stitches, turn work over, pull waste yarn straight and arrange stitches on needle.

Leave stitches attached to waste yarn until instructed to use these cast on edge stitches

Crochet cast on version 1

 1 crochet a chain using same size hook as needle used and when done cut yarn and feed through last loop and pull tight ,put  a knot in this end to remind you which way to start unravelling waste yarn when it is time .


2 look at this chain at the front, you see the v shapes but turn it over and the back will show a series of bumps across the loops , starting from the end with knot put needle through the bump see pic




Catch  a strand of working yarn and pull through the bump to cast on 1 stitch, pick up 2nd stitch in same way  and continue  until all stitches are cast on



Crochet cast on version 2

1. Using the same size hook as your knitting needle

 2. Make slip knot with waste yarn and place on crochet hook held in right hand with working end of waste yarn behind the knitting needle in your left hand .

 3. Catch the yarn with the hook from in front of the needle and pull it through the loop on the hook to cast on one stitch, move working yarn back under needle to catch the next loop.







4. Move working end of waste yarn behind needle and repeat 2 and 3 until correct number of stitches are cast on .cut waste yarn ,pull end through last loop and pull tight ,put  a knot in this end to remind you which way to start unravelling waste yarn when it is time .

Pick up these stitches by undoing the last loop (remember the knot)pull on the chain to open it and transfer stitches one at a time to knitting needle


Circular cast on—Emily Ocker’s Circular Beginnings

 this method gives a ‘doughnut ‘ type of a sturdy strong centre, stitches are worked over a double thickness of looped yarn which  is hardly noticed after blocking .

 1. make a loop of yarn, with the working end in front pass crochet hook through and pull it through the loop, grap yarn once more and pull this through the loop on your hook  you now have 1 stitch made.



emily ocker cast on
emily ocker cast on


 2. leave this stitch on the hook and repeat the above until the correct number of stitches are on the hook.

  Now transfer these stitches to dpn‘s or onto a small circular needle depending on the number of stitches



emily ocker cast on for lace knitting
emily ocker cast on for lace knitting


   You can see the little doughnut in the centre, this does block flat.




  ©Written by Chrissie Day 2007

 Practise Stitching

 Working from the chart in part 1 of lace knitting and using a soft yarn  


One Reply to “Disapointment and Lace Knitting from Rowan”

  1. Like your Emily Ocker cast on – I will try it.

    I’ve also found it useful for casting on for a lace edge used to “knit off” the body of a shawl is to cast straight on to my stitch holder, and knit into the back of the stitches. Leave the holder there, ready to join the lace edge when you get all around the project and back to the beginning.

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