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Jen Arnall-Culliford - Clever Cast-Ons

  • The Risk Factory 20 New Mart Rd Edinburgh, EH14 1RJ UK (map)

Are you stuck in a rut, using the same cast on for everything? This class will teach you some new tricks for your casting on toolbox. You will learn three cast-on methods - each with a number of practical applications. First up is the magical tubular cast on. This technique enables your ribbing stitches to grow out of nowhere, and is immensely satisfying to do. The second technique is the pinhole (or Emily Ocker's circular) cast on. Used for starting the centre of projects worked in the round, you'll learn how to cast on, as well as how to get started with those fiddly first few rounds. This cast on is great for the toes of toe-up socks, or the crowns of top-down hats, as well as working blanket squares from the centre out. Finally, you will get to grips with Judy's Magic Cast On (JMCO) - a highly intuitive cast on, which is both quick to work and versatile. JMCO is perfect for the toes of toe-up socks, or the base of a pocket or bag, as well as a handy provisional cast on.

Level: Intermediate onwards

Skills needed: Need to know how to knit, purl and work in the round.
- Should be comfortable working with small circumferences (so things like the toe of a sock or the top of a mitten).
- Basic increases and decreases (M1, kfb, k2tog, ssk, p2tog for example).

Materials to bring: Smooth yarn in a solid colour, and needles of a suitable size to match your yarn. Anything between 4ply (US fingering) and aran weight would be suitable.
- Smooth waste yarn of a similar thickness to your main yarn.
- 2 sets of circular needles in a size suitable for your yarn.
- 1 set of double-pointed needles in a size suitable for your yarn.

Any "homework"?: Make a swatch as follows:
Using waste yarn and needles of a suitable size, cast on 10 sts.
Starting with a knit row, work 5 rows in stocking stitch (thus ending with a knit row).
Change to your main yarn.
Starting with a purl row, work 4 further rows in stocking stitch (thus ending with a knit row).
Either leave your stitches on your needles, or slip them to waste yarn. Leave a good length of yarn (at least 2m) attached to the swatch.

Class size: 15