Techniques

Toe Up Socks: Judy’s Magic Cast On

When knitting socks toe-up you need to be mindful of how you start and end your socks.  Your cast on needs to allow you to have a small circular stitch count – which you then increase to form your toe, and the bind off needs to be stretchy so that you can get your sock on over your heel!  I’m going to do a series of blog posts on these items and others, aimed at socks specifically, but that can come in handy in other knitting as well.

This post will concern the cast on.  One of my favorite cast ons for starting toe-up socks is Judy’s Magic Cast On. It is indeed magical!

Here is a video showing how to work this cast on:

Another great use for this cast on is as a provisional cast on.  If you work the bottom stitches over a second circular needle and then leave the needle in place – or replace it with waste yarn- you can then go back and knit from those stitches in the opposite direction with no visible line in the knitting.

I hope this has been helpful!

Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Techniques

Picot Cast Ons

Today I’m going to talk about a cast on technique – the Picot Cast On!  You may or may not have heard of this one, or maybe you’ve heard of it and haven’t done it before.  Or maybe you use it all the time – in which case I’ll bore you with this post. 😀  It’s one of those ‘specialty’ cast ons  that can be used in certain situations to really add that perfect finishing touch to a knitted item.

I’ve used it at the cast on edges of socks, that are knit cuff down of course , when I wanted a really pretty ‘frilly’ edge.  (Note: there is a corresponding bind off if you’re knitting them toe up – but that’s a topic for another blog post!)  I have a sock pattern coming out in the Spring that this cast on was perfect for, so I figured I’d do a quick blog post demonstrating the technique.

You’ll need to know how to do the ‘knitted cast on’ for this.  To do the knitted cast on, you make a slip knot, and then knit into it.  You then slip the stitch just made back onto the left needle.  That’s it – keep going for the required number of cast on stitches.  This is used in the Picot cast on, because for it you cast on a certain number of stitches and then bind off a certain number.

Here’s a video I made demonstrating:

 

You can do any number of cast on stitches and any number of bind off stitches.  Fewer cast on stitches before binding off will give you smaller picots, and more cast on stitches (and bind off stitches) will give you larger picots.  It all depends on your weight of yarn, and the desired look you are going for.

(Also, in the video I mention the fact that you get an odd number of stitches, but that may change based on your ratio of casted on stitches to bound off stitches.)

This edge has a good bit of stretch to it, and it looks very pretty on hems of baby sweaters, cuffs of lacy socks, and anywhere you want a pretty frilly edge (that has some stretch).

I hope this post was helpful – and that you’ll maybe try out a Picot Cast On sometime!

Happy Knitting!