I love the joyful feeling that comes from learning something new. There’s a real satisfaction in delving into a completely new technique, and emerging some hours later feeling like you’ve got it. But there’s a special rush that comes from learning a new tip or trick that builds on previous knowledge, that you can almost immediately grasp, and that leaves you wondering hey, why didn’t I think of that? I had just that sort of light bulb moment when learning how to work the two-colour long-tail cast on for the Bramen Cowl by Nancy Marchant, this month’s Boost Your Knitting pattern.
A simple knot to join your two colours is all it takes, and away you’ll go, casting on beautiful, tidy stitches formed of two colours. If you already use long-tail cast ons, you’ll find it an absolute breeze! And even if you’ve never tried a long-tail cast on, Jen’s video will have you motoring along in no time!
This cast on is great for patterns, like the Bramen Cowl, that feature tuck stitches. It also works well for brioche knitting and double knitting, and I think could add a fun decorative edge for striped or even colourwork projects.
But it’s got another use, which has endeared it to me even more! Typically, when working a long-tail cast on, you have to guess-timate how long a tail you’ll need to cast on all your stitches. Nothing’s more frustrating than getting to stitch 225 out of 235 and realizing your tail is too short! (And, on the other hand, I hate having a mega long tail that wastes precious yarn!) Using two strands of yarn in the same colour — either pulling from two yarn balls or from either end of the same ball — you can use the two-colour long-tail cast on to execute a lovely single-coloured cast-on edge, no tail guesswork required!
Cast ons for the Bramen Cowl (and other patterns featuring tuck stitches) are springing up everywhere over on the Boost Your Knitting March Knitalong thread on Ravelry — if you need any help with yours, or just want to join in the fun, do pop over and say hello!