Figuring Out Instructions

When I can't figure them out I usually just ignore them ant my projects turn out just fine. But when I need a break I set my mind to to the puzzle if devine intervention hasn't enlightened me already. Sound familiar?

So when the Pattern says "Multiple of 8 Sts + 5"

I cast on 45 stitches, One edge uses two stitches for the border and the other edge uses 3, I'm left with 40 stitches for the body. Which if I want to modify I can by working within the multiple of 8 Sts. Correct?

Second question. Long Tail Cast On: As I understand it when using the LT you do not need to do the first row of your pattern if it calls for row one to be a purl? Am I right on this or am I a little off? Plus.... what to you guys think of LT.. I'm not sold on it and sometimes wish I hadn't used it.


CLABBERS's picture

Hi Gnosis,
From what I can see, you should be okay doing anything you want with the multiples of 8, as long as you have those extra 5 stitches to accommodate the border. I'm wondering, however, why there isn't a +6 instead of 5 so that your borders are the same.

I'm not sure about the Long Tail Cast On question. My best guess is that the LT cast on is typically a knit row, not a purl row. If you skip the first purl row, you will end up having a two-row garter stitch. That may help reduce curling if you are doing stockinette stitch, but can't speak to other stitches. You can, however, cast on using a long tail purl cast on.

Here's a video that discusses both knitted and purled cast ons. Purling your cast ons is a bit trickier, but it looks fairly straightforward.

Long Tail Purl Cast On

I like the long tail cast on because it's so fast, but I really dislike wasting the yarn if I miscalculate how much I'll need to cast on and I don't like ripping it out to save a foot or two of yarn, but I do it. I have tried wrapping the yarn around the needle to approximate a cast on stitch, but it's usually much longer than I need.

Hope my thoughts help.


Gnosis's picture

Hi, Isn't that border of +5 strange? I thought so also but it works because of the turn. 3 at the start ... two at the end then turn and do three gives you 5 on the ends of each row AND a kind of "hash mark" edging that is a little different.

CLABBERS's picture

That makes sense. I marvel at those who can come up with such interesting things. If I have learned nothing else from the guys on this Web site, it's to trust the long as the patterns come from reliable sources. I'm anxious to see what you are working on.

cacunn's picture

It is my understanding that you are correct. The pattern is an 8 stitch repeat with 5 stitch border. It would be increased in increasing the patterns 8 stitches. However, I think MMario is our local expert and his answer would be the deciding factor.

As for the Long Tailed Cast On being the first row I have always been confused by this. In my reading I have seen both the cast-on as first row and cast-on not counted as a row. I believe the correct answer is be consistent. If you always count it or not count it then the row count for all pieces in the project will be the same.

I await other opinions. I have been told the with my opinion and a dollar you could by a 24 cent cup of coffee. However, it would still taste like a 25 cent cup of coffee.

cacunn's picture

Mark if you do not want to waste yarn on the LTCO I have heard that you should cast on using both end of the ball of yarn. Tie the working end of the yarn (center strand for center pull ball) and the other end (outside of a center pull ball). Cast-on as normal. when completed cut the nonworking strand leaving a tail long enough to weave in.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks, Chris!
I'll give that a try, it sounds interesting.

HuskerChub's picture

For the long tail cast on question. When you are doing the cast on you are actually casting on AND knitting the first row. MOST people, unless REALLY anal do not look at it that way and consider it a cast on. I would guess that 99% of knitters do not realize or care that they have knit the first row, myself included. While most patterns go directly into a border stitch of some kind, ribbing, seed stitch etc you really can't tell the difference. But to specifically answer your question... As I understand it when using the LT you do not need to do the first row of your pattern if it calls for row one to be a purl? are correct, if you count the lt cast-on "row" as row 1 of said pattern.

And interesting thing to do next time you are doing the long tail cast on...think of your thumb as the left knitting needle. Instead of holding your hand with the palm skyward as most do, rotate your hand so your thumb is pointing right and parallel to your body so you are palm down to see this really clearly.

You have a loop on you thumb (left needle), slip the right needle from left to right/front to back, grab the "working yarn" from your finger (just like picking or continental knitting) and pull the yarn through the loop and drop the stitch off your thumb (left needle). What have you actually done? KNIT 1 stitch!

Gnosis's picture

Thanks Mark :) That is very close to what I do now with the LT for my thumb. Havn't gotten good enough at it yet to not use the index finger, but yes I hold my thumb parrallel. It lookes like I have a slingshot.

brucedow's picture

this is unrelated to your issue, Gnosis -
but I'm in the middle of a pattern that requires I decrease on the RS...
... but the multiples of rows for the seed stitch ribbing they suggest doesn't always leave on on a RS row...

Driving me nuts.

I need to sit down and write it out long hand row by row almost...


- but all the best with your pattern!

brucedow's picture

The 5 stitch for border is odd.
I would think 6 stitches - or - is it 5 at either end?

Is there an image of the pattern or final project?