Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My Dear Brenda,

My Dear Brenda,
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your (and my!) beloved contintental (long-tail) cast on. In fact, ever since you taught me how to cast on this way, it is very rare that I use another kind of cast on. Occasionally in the middle of a piece if I have to cast on at the beginning of a row, I'll use the backward loop method. Don't misread me! I love my long-tail!

However, Saturday at the store, Nicole was talking about different ways to cast on, and she mentioned that she didn't like the long-tail method. She doesn't like how you have to measure the yarn first in order to avoid having too much or too little yarn to cast on with. (I told her, of course, that the delight is in the mystery! If you don't measure, sometimes you have the joy of casting on two or three times before you have the right amount of yarn! What fun!) She mentioned that she prefers the knitted cast on, where you can leave a short tail and don't have to measure. She also thinks it creates a neater cast on edge.

Knittinghelp.com provides us with the following. (Click the link for the whole scoop.)

Here is a picture of a long-tail (continental) cast on edge. Beautiful.

Here is a picture of a knitted-on cast on edge. I must confess, I prefer the look of the long-tail cast on. The difference is indeed subtle.

And in lieu of this subtle difference, I must confess that I favor the long-tail method. It is wicked fast to do. The knitted cast on is not. The long-tail method not only leaves you with a nice edge, but it also gives you your first knitted row. The knitted cast on does not. The long-tail method has numerous names. (Continental being one, double cast on being another.) The knitted cast on is simply the knitted cast on. I would cast my vote for the long-tail.

So you see, my dear Brenda, that all I meant by my list yesterday was that I was reintroduced to the knitted cast on, not that I prefer it. And as I am willing to tolerate much craziness (*cough*crochet*cough*), I cannot deny Nicole her preference for the knitted cast on.

I am glad you like the yarn for my shawl, my dear Brenda. I cannot wait for you to see it and touch it in person. You will be so proud! I am eagerly anticipating my birthday packages, and I think you should keep an eye out for the postman as well!

Until next time, knit with confidence and style!

Yours with pointy sticks and a cherry on top,
Brooke T.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Dear Brooke,
I know that you love our long-tail cast on. I was outraged that someone would malign our beloved cast on method.

I too think the long-tail provides the neatest cast-on and it's not excessively bulky. And it's fun!

Ok. I admit it. I feel really smart when I use the continental cast-on.

Until we meet again,
Brenda ltb.