Just in case you've had an unrequited longing to learn the Channel Island cast-on method, I thought you might like to know that I've got a Masterclass article in the latest issue of The Knitter (Issue 73). It's all about different cast-on methods and there will be an article on casting off next month as well.

The Knitter Masterclass1

And while we are on the topic of casting on... I've been asked a few times why it's sometimes "cast on" and other times "cast-on", so I figured I might as well commit the answer to the blog, and save on typing it out again. :) As you might expect, it all comes down to grammar.

If you are instructing someone to cast on a certain number of stitches, cast on is being used as a verb, and as such does not require a hyphen. E.g. Cast on 65 sts.

If you are describing a part of the knitted fabric, such as a cast-on edge, then cast-on is now an adjective, and it's common to hyphenate compound adjectives such as this. E.g. Return to the cast-on stitches and unzip the crochet chain.

Confusion starts when talking about types of cast-on method. E.g. The Channel Island cast-on. In these instances I tend to consider cast-on as an adjective to method, rather than as a noun in its own right. So even if the word method is omitted I hyphenate it.

I'm no grammar specialist, and I'm indebted to Helen Spedding on The Knitter for explaining this to me when I first started on the magazine (after I had just added hyphens to the start of every pattern just before deadline - oops!), but I do love a geek fact, and this seems to fall into that category quite nicely!