Posted on June 21, 2004 at 4:02 pm

Yesterday at approximately 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Margene and I did a simultaneous casting on for our Lace Along Projects.  It was a universal moment, two projects linked by the magic of the internet and the shared desire to make holes in our knitting.  Maybe you felt it too?

I had been contemplating the provisional cast-on all week, all 121 stitches of it, and dreading the amount of time it usually takes me to do it, laboriously wrapping the yarn around a carrier.  I do what the Vogue knitting book calls an "Open Cast-On" because I have never been happy with picking up stitches out of a crochet chain. I have never seen anyone do an open cast-on, so I have learned form the pictures I’ve seen in books.  There has to be a trick to it, but I end up wrapping the knitting yarn in a figure eight around the carrier yarn and the needle, and it leaves me with tangled yarn and a nagging resentment that no one ever taught me how to do anything beyond the basic stitches.  Who knew there were so many ways to cast-on?  And why didn’t I ever learn a few of them besides the long-tail?  And then I realize that I’m just feeling sorry for myself. 

But then it occured to me that if I treated the carrier yarn as something fixed and under tension, like a clothesline, then wrapping could become a mere dipping and picking up the knitting yarn from one side of the carrier yarn to the other like this: one

LeavesSuddenly I don’t need three hands to do this!  And it went very quickly.  I am so pleased.  I finished two repeats of the Trailing Leaf pattern, which gives me one complete leaf to show you, if you can see it.  What this is supposed to be is two leaves on a center stem, pointing at a forty five degree angle, more or less, but don’t get out your protractor yet.  It is a kick to see the pattern form, almost like a game.  I’m gonna go make some more.