A Cautionary Tale

Just because I spend much of my time fixing everyone else’s goof-ups doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to me.
I am a fan of the provisional cast on and use it quite frequently. If you are not familiar with this term, it is a temporary cast on worked with waste yarn. The purpose is to later place the beginning stitches back onto a needle to either continue knitting, or to be bound off so the beginning and ending edges are identical.
Placing stitches back on the needle from a provisional cast on is no big deal for me, but this latest project about ate my lunch. After working the provisional cast on I switched to the main yarn and purled one row before starting the stitch pattern.
Feeling brilliant for thinking to purl a row before beginning the stitch pattern (which would be the equivalent to the row created by a typical cast on), I took off knitting on my project. Only problem – the first row of the pattern included decreases and double decreases.
If you already figured out why my not-so-brilliant idea totally went south, go ahead and laugh…and yes, I should have known better.
But if you’re wondering why things went so wrong, let me explain. One thing you need to realize about knitting is the stitches that are sitting on the needle are not completed stitches. A stitch is not technically complete until it is worked on the following row and no longer sits on the needle.decrease
For example, when you work a decrease it manipulates the stitches from the previous row. So when you see one stitch lying on top of another this is not the row where the decrease was worked. The decrease row is actually the following row.
So even though I worked one plain purl row with my working yarn before starting my stitch pattern, I was actually manipulating the stitches on the very first row. Have you ever tried to pick up stitches from a provisional cast on that have been worked into a decrease, or worse a double decrease. Talk about a nightmare!
I was only one skein into my project and in hindsight would have been better off to start over. But I’m stubborn and eventually prevailed. I have been so busy with “stuff” that I’ve had very little knitting/TV time. This is what happens when you’re in a hurry and distracted by what’s going on at Downton Abbey. It obviously affected my brain function!
Provisional Cast On
Don’t be afraid to use a provisional cast on, the lesson to be learned is to look before you leap! There are numerous cool ways to do a provisional cast on, however just about any basic cast on is provisional if done with a waste yarn.
Speaking of cool provisional cast ons, this Saturday I’ll be teaching a Flash Class on the Crochet Cast On. One really neat feature of this cast on is that you can work the provisional cast on over the cable of a second needle, eliminating the need to go back and place the provisional stitches back on the needle.
KatnissIn addition, Lori will be here on Saturday teaching a class on this really cool Katniss Cowl.
It starts with a Crochet Cast On, and features a fun herringbone pattern.
Katniss Cowl class starts at 10am, Flash Class at 1pm.
And don’t forget the Spring Yarn Tasting tomorrow night from 4 to 8. We have awesome door prizes, delicious foods, and gorgeous yarns.
We still have a few spots left so sign up today!

1 Comment

  • donnajmiller

    09.03.2014 at 21:49 Reply

    you know this makes all of feel better, don’t you????? The yarn tasting was so much fun. I know it is a lot of work for you. Marilyn and I always enjoy it, thanks so much!

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