KAL Tutorial: Infinite Long-Tail CO

It’s kickoff day for the Neckwear Knit-a-Long with Knitter’s Pride!

Here’s the awesome plan!

WHERE
Join the fun by sharing your photos in the Knitter’s Pride Ravelry Group and on Instagram using the hashtag: #kpchauKAL

PRIZES!
Prize #1 Buy a pattern
Purchase any neckwear pattern using the coupon code neckwearKAL15 by July 31 and you’ll be entered to win a Nova Platina Deluxe Needle Set!

Prize #2 Post to Instagram
Post a photo on Instagram of your KAL progress using #KPchauKAL and you’ll be entered to win a Marblz Fixed Circular knitting needle. We’ll choose a winner on Friday, July 31.

Prize #3 Start a project page on Ravelry
Start a project page and use the tag KPchauKAL and you’ll be entered to win a Marblz Fixed Circular needle. We’ll choose a winner on Friday, August 14th.

Prize #4 Finish Your Project
Post a photo of your finished project by August 21, 2015 in the Ravelry KAL thread and you’ll be entered to win a Eucalan Gift Pack.

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I’ll be knitting Just Enough Ruffles Light in this gorgeous Mountain Colors yarn gradient set, and I have a few tutorials to help you out as you knit.

If you’re not knitting this particular pattern and have an issue, feel free to post questions here on the blog or in the Ravelry thread – there are lots of helpful knitters there who just might help you out a little faster than I can!

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Today we’ll be covering a really valuable method of working the Long-Tail Cast-on – an Infinite Long-tail cast-on! Lots of people love the traditional long-tail CO (myself included) but it can be a bit of bear to figure out how long of a tail to pull out of the ball, especially when working a CO of several hundred stitches. Working from both ends of a ball is a great solution – you never have to estimate how long of a tail and come up short (or way too long).

You’ll need a center pull ball of yarn – don’t worry, if you don’t have a ball winder, you can always wind a center pull ball by hand! If you’re using two different skeins of yarn, you can also use one tail from each ball. You can even use two different colours for a contrasting edge if you’re feeling fancy!

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Pull out the ends of the ball (in this case it’s one from the inside, one from the outside) and hold them together to make a slipknot.

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I usually count this doubled slipknot as the first cast-on stitch, though you can also choose to take it off the needle at the end of the first row of knitting, if you’re making something delicate where the doubled yarn will be apparent.

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Put the doubled slipknot on your needles and tighten it up – I’m using the US 4 / 3.5mm tip and longest cord from my Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina set.

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There are lots of long-tail cast-on videos out there I’m sure, so I’m just going to go through a little quickly! The two ends of the ball will now become your two tails. If you want to knit your project from the center of the ball, make sure that the strand coming from the *outside* of the ball is over your thumb. Create a ‘slingshot’ with the two tails.

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Bring your needle up through the thumb loop from the outside…

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Up and over the inside index finger loop…

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And draw through the center of the thumb loop.

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Take your thumb out of the loop and use it to snug up the stitch. You don’t want to tighten too much when you cast on, because it can produce a rigid, inflexible edge.

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Sometimes the yarn can get a bit tangled when working this cast-on over a large number of stitches, or in very twisty yarn. Don’t worry too much about it, just let go of the tails every once in awhile to allow the twist to equalize itself.

You could also use this method of pulling from both ends of the ball to do a number of other types of long-tail cast-ons, like the German Twisted Cast-on or the Austrian Long-tail Cast-on.

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I like to place markers in as I go, every 25 or 50 stitches depending on how many I need in total. Just slip the stitch marker onto the right needle and keep casting on!

When you’re finished, cut the strand of yarn that was over your thumb – in this case, it’s the strand on the right of the photo above. Leave a few inches of tail for weaving in.

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And that’s it! You can cast on 40, 100, 200+ stitches with this Infinite Long-Tail Cast-on and never have to worry about running out of yarn!

Don’t forget to use the Ravelry coupon code neckwearKAL15 for 25% all my neckwear patterns before July 31 to be entered to win an awesome interchangeable needle set!

See you in the Knit-a-long thread :)

Neckwear KAL: Yarn!

Have you joined the Neckwear Knit-a-long yet? I’m so happy that people have joined, especially those that have never seen my patterns before! There’s lots of yarn eye candy in the thread, so I thought I would share mine.

I’ll be knitting Just Enough Ruffles Light in Mountain Colors Perspectives, a red to purple gradient kit.

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Isn’t it gorgeous? The yarn base is called “Crazyfoot”, and it’s 5 mini skeins of 90 yards each. 90% superwash merino, 10% nylon, and a nice high twist. Since I have more yardage than the pattern calls for (which is 395), I’m going to add a few rows here and there. I’ll blog about the mods I’m making as I’m doing it :)

I decided to wind all the yarn into a larger ball to keep the nice gradient from accidentally getting mixed up. I joined the mini skeins using just a slipknot, so that when I get to the colour changes I can undo it and join the yarn properly.

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Gradients are all the rage right now, aren’t they? No wonder, they look so nice in a cake! Since the yarn has fairly high twist, I wound the yarn so that I’ll work from the outside in – just as a precaution against tangles.

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I did keep the first colour, the brightest red, as a separate center-pull ball so I can demonstrate how to work a long-tail cast on from both ends – no estimating how long of a tail you need and ending up way short or long! Look for that tutorial post on Friday, when the KAL officially kicks off – or sign up in the sidebar for email blog notifications so you can get the posts right in your inbox.

Use the Ravelry code “neckwearKAL15″ to save 25% on all my neckwear patterns AND be entered to win a set of Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina Interchangeable needles! Coupon ends July 31, 2015.

Tiny Garden, July 13

Thanks to everyone who has joined the Knitter’s Pride Neckwear KAL! Reminder that ALL my neckwear patterns are 25% off until July 31 using the Ravelry coupon neckwearKAL15!

It’s been awhile since my last garden update, though if you follow me on Instagram there are lots of updates there. Our zucchini plant started out so strong…

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We were so excited to harvest the first zucchini I’ve ever grown in a container!

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But then of course, a critter dive-bombed into the (completely enclosed! even the top!) container and mucked around, knocking off flowers and taking bites out of zucchini :( So sad. I think there’ll be more, but geez, what more can we do to keep them out? I’m thinking Sriracha along the railing…

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The cucumber is doing well and we’ve had 2 so far.

The tomatoes are going BONKERS! I can’t wait! One of the plants looks a bit poorly, but it still has green and fruit on top, so we’ll just have to see what happens.

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The tomatoes are so tall, they’re a great screen from the street while we’re on the porch, ha. The peas need to come out, but I’m not sure what to plant in their place. Beans? More chard? Hmmm.