A blog on technique: casting on.
This blog will lead to a few follow ups on hats, a subject I meant to cover in February. That intention was derailed by personal issues but I’m returning to it. Hats are top on many loom knitters to do lists. They’re quick, fun, easy, and useful. Who could ask for more?
But to begin, I want to discuss techniques. This blog, and the next four issues, will provide 3 patterns and techniques to make your own toppers. Let’s start with the bottom.
The bottom of your piece helps define it. What cast on do you use to start a loom knit project? I made 3 hats – starting with an e-wrap, a u-wrap, and a crochet cast on. Here’s how they shaped up, bottoms wise. All of these hats were made on a 36 peg Knifty Knitter loom. I used 4 skeins of yarn and had plenty left over. Also, I used a loom hook and a yarn needle. Each hat took me about an hour working leisurely.
I wrapped all the pegs of the loom and then e-wrapped all the pegs, knitting off the bottom loops. I kept working in knit, with e-wraps for 5 more rounds, purled 1 round, and knit 6 more rounds. Then I took a picture of my bottom. With the larger pegs of the Knifty Knitter loom the foundation is a chain of loose oval loops. I didn’t want such loose work on a hat. My nephew would immediately stick his fingers through the holes and easily rip it.
I placed the stitches from round 1 up on the pegs and knitted them off. This made a new bottom (as well as a short brim). Now I have loose arches for my bottom. Since I like the brim I left it.
I decided to add bobbles and a stripe to this hat. The pattern will be in the next blog.
We will set this hat aside and start on one with a crochet cast on. I cast onto peg 1, then reached down into the loop for the working yarn, drawing it up onto peg 2. I reached down that loop and pulled up the working yarn, placing it onto peg 3. This process goes as far as you want it – I finished the round to the end. Then I began u-wrapping for my next levels. This creates a crochet like bottom, with a base and two posts. It makes the bottom look lacy. I used it for a baby hat.
Finally, I went to my 3rd hat. I wrapped all the pegs, then lay the working yarn across the tops of the pegs to lift the bottom loops over it. This makes a tighter knit than the e-wrap. This makes a tight chain – two parallel lines all around.
I didn’t try the drawstring method because I wanted to make hats from the bottom up. It would work, I believe, from the top down. I will try to make a separate post for that. For now, I have three hats started. The bottoms are shaping up nicely…
In my next blog I’ll finish up hat number 1.
I am an office worker by day but a writer and crafter in my free time. My books can be found on Amazon in print or on Kindle.