Knitting

Learning to rib and stretch

As mentioned earlier, I’m planning to knit a jumper for my 1 year old nephew. Wanting to become more practiced and proficient in knitting, I learned a variety of basic cast ons and offs as seen in my post ‘Learning the basics‘. But for a jumper these just won’t do! For one thing, the pattern starts with a ribbed design and for the best possible outcome I would need to use a ribbed cast on. For another thing, jumpers need a bit of stretch around all openings to make them easier to put on and take off. Therefore, I would also need to learn stretchy cast-ons.

So back to Craftsy I went…

These are my samples of ribbed cast ons and cast offs. I think they look quite good (for first attempts) and they naturally have a bit more stretch to them than the traditional varieties. In order they are:

  • Long tail rib cast on; Traditional ribbed cast off
  • Alternating cable cast on; Russian cast off
  • Tubular cast on; Tubular cast off
  • Italian tubular cast on, Italian tubular cast off

My favourite by far to do is the Italian tubular method. It is extremely quick and easy, so hopefully I can make it look neater with a bit more practice. The best looking, in my opinion, is the tubular method but it does require more time and effort (and waste yarn). The main problem with both of these is that they only work for 1×1 ribs, where the pattern I will be following starts with a 2×2 rib.

Oh, I was so happy with the first two until I saw what the tubular looks like. Woe is me! But onward and upward – maybe one of the stretchy methods would work. The following images depict:

  • German twisted cast on; Sewn cast off
  • Estonian cast on; Icelandic cast off
  • Jeny’s stretchy slip knot cast on; Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy cast off
  • Italian cast on; Icelandic cast off

Once again, I really like the Italian method. The Icelandic was done twice because it was my favourite cast off and there were only 3 different stretchy cast offs so I had to repeat. I seriously do not like Jeny’s methods at all! To me, they were difficult and messy and just plain frustrating and not fun. And why does she spell her name that way?

Alas! None of these are designed for ribbing. I shall have to see if there’s a method that adapts the tubular (or Italian tubular) for a 2×2 rib, and will also be nice and stretchy.

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