A challenger appears!

September 2, 2007

Over on Ravelry I’m in a Knit-Along group based on going back through the Harry Potter series and knitting along to diferent themes picked for each book. It’s a really cute idea and since it’s not September, I decided to get moving on my project for the first book. One of the project themes is to try something completely new that you’ve never done before. I’ve never done stranded knitting before, so I decided to use the popular “cut-your-colorwork-teeth” project, the Endpaper Mitts, to learn how to make colorful knitting.

But the Endpapers had more in store for me than just learning to strand…I had to learn an entirely new cast on…the Italian Tubular Cast On….’Okay seriously what the hell kind of moon language is this’ I thought as I clicked the link, figuring it would be no big deal….

I was so very very wrong. The cast on honestly took me about 10 times to figure out. Every time I mastered one stage, I messed up the next and had to start over. I was wondering if it were possible to fire a technique from existing. I eventually got crazy fast at the initial steps of the cast on where you manually tie the yarn around the needles, which I chalk up to being insanly awesome at making friendship bracelets when I was a kid. Even still, it looked really unstable compared to the long tail I’d been making this whole time. But on the plus side, I noticed right away, it used up much less yarn. Then you move in to the 1×1 ribbing and I was convinced there was no way my cast on edge could look like the one in the picture on the site….lo and behold, a respectable faxscimile. But enough test driving, time to move on to the real thing….with black yarn. Goodie goodie gumdrops….

I was so compulsive about getting this started just right, that the Italian Tubular Cast On even managed to make me pause the Heroes DVD I was watching…not much can make me abandon Hiro and Ando’s Excellent Adventure/Bogus Journey, but I was actually starting to like what this cast on was doing for me. The edge it produced is nice and clean, it’s sturdy, stretchy, and uses up *way* less yarn than the Long Tail. After about 3 attempts at perfection, I settled on something that didn’t look like my cat ate it.

When it came down to the colorwork, I think I was so emotionally spent after the cast on that I didn’t sweat it too much. I followed EZ’s advice about colorwork and did the two handed method (one color done English, one done Continental knitting) and got right down to it. I went through a repeat the chart and was amazed to find that there was still something of the ultra pretty design visible in spite of my fumbling. The two handed method is working out great, by the way! The slack from my off hand keeps the work from getting pulled too tight, so both of the colors stand out quite well.

Yarn: Knit Pick Palette in Black and Yellow

Needles: Crystal Palace DPNs sizes 2 and 3.



  1. Dang it, I haven’t seen Heroes in forever! Is it out on DVD yet? Must…rent…

    Nice mitt. 🙂

  2. Very very nice job. I have only just started “dabbling’ in intarsia myself and I didn’t have to tackle a new cast on in addition. Nice work.

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