AC Knitwear Picks: Favourite Cast Ons

If you’ve visited these parts at all this month, it’ll come as absolutely no surprise to hear that the tubular cast on is hands down my favourite. But, of course, other cast ons are available, and the tubular cast on is most suited for ribbing. Behind the scenes at AC Knitwear, we’ve been talking about what each of our favourite cast ons are … here are Jim and Katherine’s picks.

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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!