Thursday, May 29, 2008

Long Tail Cast On

When my grandma taught me how to knit ages and ages ago, she taught me the long-tail cast on. But it was nothing like the method you see in the books--that one took me years to figure out, and it didn't click until I learned how to knit Continental style.

The way my grandma taught me is more suited to the English style of knitting. It involves wrapping a single loop of yarn around your left thumb, then knitting that loop like you would if it were a regular stitch on a needle. It's not as fast as the classic textbook method, but it might be easier to visualize how it works. If you struggle with the long-tail cast on, hopefully this will help.

There's also a good video of this method at

Wednesday, May 07, 2008



Just like what felt like MILLIONS of other people, I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this past weekend. It was my first time, and I think I did pretty well. I stayed within my budget, and got most of the things I wanted. And that's fine with me--I can't get it all or I wouldn't have anything else to look forward to!

I went to the Ravelry meetup on Saturday, and got a button, but my name was on the missing page of M's, so I didn't get a cool Ravatar Sticker to put on the button.
Mary-Heather and Me!
I got a picture with Mary-Heather, and I posed with Jess and Casey, too, but that picture seems to have never actually happened. Oh well...

I'm lucky enough to have an aunt and uncle who live ten miles away from the Howard County Fairgrounds, so I got to stay in a lovely home with a very gracious host and hostess and eat home-cooked meals instead of a big impersonal hotel. I carpooled with someone who got into one of the pre-festival workshops, so while she went to class, I got to hang out with my aunt and uncle. My aunt and I went shopping, did some quilting, I started teaching her how to knit, and I just basically relaxed.

Here's what followed me home from Saturday:

A Spinners Control Card and an Inch Gauge/Diz from Carolina Homespun (no pictures, sorry).

I finally caved and signed up for a subscription to Interweave Knits. I've been meaning to for quite a while--especially because I always seem to end up buying the issues individually, anyway!)

Tess Designer Yarns--Superwash Merino Laceweight
Some GORGEOUS laceweight yarn from Tess' Designer Yarns

Colinette JitterbugCarrie's Sock Yarn
Some souvenir sock yarn (purchased at a great little yarn store during the week, not at the festival itself): Colinette Jitterbug and Araucania Ranco Multi. Both of these are much brighter than my photos show (especially the Jitterbug--it's quite loud, actually).

Louet Painted Wool Top--ToffeeIMG_0975IMG_0973IMG_0972
And what I really came for--lots of great fiber! (It doesn't look like a lot in these photos, but I think it's more than double what I had before.)

I started spinning up the Louet fiber. It's practically spinning itself! Most of the time, I tend to spin sockweight or laceweight yarn, so I'm really trying hard to do something a little bigger; I think this one might turn out more like a sport weight. It's so soft! I think I'll have to order some more.