Very often, instructions for a cast on begin by telling you to "make a slip knot and place it on the needle," providing the first stitch from which to cast additional stitches, as shown in the photo above.
But did you know you don't necessarily always have to start with a slip knot? The next time you begin a new knitting project, try simply looping the end of the yarn over the needle. I almost always use this technique when casting on in long-tail, by starting with the tail end of the yarn in front and the ball end yarn in the back.
Loop the yarn around your fingers as you normally do for long-tail method, hold it down snug over and around the needle,
add a twist, then make the first cast on stitch and proceed as usual.
This photo below shows how the loop stitch (on the right) and the first cast on stitch (on the left) look.
Looping the first stitch instead of using a knot is just one tiny way to finesse your knitting; however, looping the first stitch does not work equally well for all methods so you will want to experiment to see where you like it.
Speaking of getting loopy, awesome St. Louis, Missouri yarn shop The Loopy Ewe is holding Camp Loopy, a fun KAL version of knitting 'summer camp' with various challenges and rewards. Some of the Loopy Groopies on Ravelry have chosen to make Sothia for one of their Camp Loopy projects. Camp runs until July 15th, so there's still time to sign up and join this fun adventure.
Many thanks to everyone for the abundant well-wishes and congratulations on my first 'blogiversary' post last week, and thanks for all my new Ravelry 'friends' too!
That post outlines the free knitting pattern and yarn give-away contest I am holding all month to celebrate my first year of blogging including some of my patterns, like my newest shawlette pattern Sothia. It's easy to enter, just leave a comment to any post between now and then, and the contest will remain open through July 21st, 2011. I look forward to hearing from you!
My sister and her family recently visited from far, far away, and since it's been a few months since we've seen each other, we had a lot of catching up to do.
One day during that all-too-short week, we packed into cars and drove over to Beavercreek, Ohio to meet up with my cousin and tour some local tourist sites, mainly centering around the inventors of flight, Dayton brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright.
The national sites and museums offer a fascinating look at the amazing accomplishment of these men, who were acquaintances of my grandmother!
The Wrights' first endeavors included printing and bicycle building.
Inspiration for knitting and crochet is all around, if you look for it, even at a historic site...
Take a little time, wherever you are, to really 'see' your surroundings and you will likely find all sorts of shapes, textures, colors and lines to inspire you.