Howdy, friends. Today's post is a bit knitterisch.
Over on the Ravelry, I tend to get a lot of questions in my message box. Mainly they're questions that at first blush seem to be questions about my specific pattern designs, but upon reflection, many are really turn out to be general and interesting knitting questions. Like, what in the hell does PSSO stand for? And I don't understand what you mean by "set-in sleeve."
So even though there are a lot of incredible sources for knitting tips and advice out there, I figured what the heck, I'll add another. Starting today, and happening every... oh... once in a while, I'm going to post a knitting tip or trick. I hope that some of y'all will jump in and add your two (or three) cents to the topics, because I know there is a wealth of knitting expertise out there among you, and I want to know your tricks, too!
Today's knit tip topic: Casting on a bazillion stitches.
Casting on a bazillion stitches is very difficult for me, for two reasons: one, I don't have that much patience, and two, I can't count past twenty without losing my place. So I use stitch markers to help me find my way. It goes like this:
Cast on 20 stitches, put on a stitch marker. Cast on 20 stitches, put on a stitch marker... and so on until you reach your desired extremely large number of stitches. Instead of counting stitches, you can count markers, and then just multiply by twenty (yes, this involves math. Sorry I didn't warn you first).
I used to be very frugal and cast on something like 50 stitches at a time, because I didn't have that many stitch markers. Then I discovered the greatest and cheapest stitch markers in the world: Scünci hair elastics. They come 24 or more to a pack in a rainbow of colors, for 1/10 the price of dedicated stitch markers. They're also soft & flexible, which I find nicer to work with than the rigid plastic things that cost ten times as much.
Of course, you can cast on 50 stitches at a time if you want to and you can count that high. Or if you are counting-challenged like me, you can cast on 10 or even 5 stitches per marker. There are no rules in the world of hair elastic cast-ons!
This technique has been used more than I would like this week. First I had to cast on the 336 lovely stitches you see above, but after knitting for about 6 inches of sweater, I checked my gauge and found that the gnawing "this looks too big" feeling in my stomach was right, as always. So I ripped it all out and cast on the more appropriate 248 stitches last night. I should have made a much bigger gauge swatch - but I guess that's a topic for another post.