Like, Tubular Man

I've started working on a new hat. It calls for a special cast on, the double rib tubular cast on. Casting on in any way other than the standard long tail causes me a bit of stress. I have to get out one or two books and read up on the method and then try it a couple of times before it really takes.

Ysolda, who designed the hat I'm making, luckily has instructions for this cast on method. I tried to follow the instructions in The Knitter's Handbook and I just couldn't make sense of it. Even Ysolda's Long Tail Tubular Cast On left me scratching my head.

Luckily, she also has instructions for a Stocking Stitch Tubular Cast On for 2x2 Rib which is "a bit time consuming but probably the easiest method." Me liked the sound of that! So far it's taken me two tries, but I think this is going to work.

Ysolda does a much better job at walking you through the steps than I could. But to sum up, you use some waste yarn to cast on 1/2 the number of stitches you want to end up with. Then you stitch 4 rows in your project yarn. Rip out the waste yarn and pick up those live stitches on the bottom. You then have 4 rows of stockinette on two needles. Then the fun really begins. You take a third needle and stitch off of one needle, then the other. Alternating purl and knit so you end up with the rib. This gives you a double thick little tube at the end.

Stocking Stitch Tubular Cast On Detail

The beauty of this cast on is it makes the edge much more stretchy. Which is exactly what you want for the edge of a hat. The standard long tail cast on tends to be rather tight, at least how I stitch it.

The only trouble I'm having is that this is really, really tight. Maybe it's the yarn I'm using (Debbie Bliss Stella) and it is really to thick for the size 5 needles. I'm not sure. But it's so tight that I snapped the tips off a set of new double points that I got just for this project. I was not amused. I stopped at ImagiKnit yesterday and picked up some addi double pointed needles and I'm loving those. And I don't think I could break these metal suckers if I tried.

Stocking Stitch Tubular Cast On

I've just completed the second row. I'm starting to get the hang of stitching on 4 needles. Though it does feel a bit like I have a porcupine in my hands. Things are starting to loosen up a bit, which is good. I do like the feel of the yarn (it's hard not to like 60% Silk, 20% Rayon, 20% Cotton) and I love the color.


  • One woman's adventure with yarn, fabric and needles.

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This page contains a single entry by Chiara published on July 25, 2008 8:22 AM.

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