26 September 2017

Casting On

I have been knitting for a lot of years.  Not a lifetime, but probably about 20 years.  (Which I know is a lifetime for some. Keep it to yourself.)  I'm not a great knitter, I'm not a fast knitter, but I have learned a lot, and I'm certainly better at it than I was when I started.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my ability.

So can someone tell me WHY casting on for a new project is so ridiculously hard for me to get right the first time? Or even the first *fifteen* times???  It doesn't matter what the project is, or how many stitches need to be cast on, or what kind of cast on method, or needle(s) I'm using - I just cannot get it right on the first try.

Take for example, a pair of plain socks.  I've made a ton of them over the years, probably more than any other knitted item.  I could probably knit a plain pair in my sleep (not well, mind you, but I could probably do it).  But before I even get to the knitting, I have to cast on multiple times!  Either the count is off, I've wonked it up, I don't have enough yarn to finish, etc.  Some say - put a marker every 5 stitches ... and then, I look at what I have, and there's a marker every four stitches ... or every six ... or - well you get the drift.

Over the weekend, I finished the pair of socks I'd been knitting.  So I decided to cast on (at last) for Main Street, which I'd been wanting to do for about a month.  The pattern says to cast on 228 stitches for a size Medium.

Someone - please just KILL ME NOW.

Over the past couple of days, I have cast on at least 4 times, and each time there has been a problem that required starting over.  I'm sure by now I've cast on over 1000 stitches total, and I have nothing to show for it.  Well, that's not true.  This morning before I left for work, I *think* I successfully got the right number of stitches.  But I made myself put it away so I can re-count them later.  My work life has enough aggravation without arriving to work already annoyed!

So tonight I will count the stitches.  And then I will force The Tim to double-check my count.  Should it be correct, I will knit the first two rounds of the pattern, Row 1 being all purl, and Row 2 being all knit.  I'll wait before continuing after that, because guess what - a simple lace pattern follows!

In between, I'll cast on for my next project, which will be a pair of socks for the I [heart] Fall knit along.  Well, I'll start casting on ...


Tell me - am I the only knitter who has this problem?  Surely there is someone else ... right?  RIGHT?

14 comments:

Marjorie Barks said...

Counting is HARD. At least for me.

Bonny said...

You are definitely not alone with the cast-on counting difficulties. When I knit the Peace Cowl (318 stitches) I had to cast on at least three times, and then there was that pesky "join in the round, taking care not to twist", which I attempted another three times. This is part of why I love Hitchhikers; they start with just two stitches!

The Well Fed Wheel said...

You are NOT alone....LOL.....been there done that too! :-)

Wanderingcatstudio said...

You are definitely not alone... I'm a seasoned, award-winning (woohoo fair ribbons!!!) knitter and I've yet to get a cast-on correct on the first try. EVER. Especially anything over 100 stitches.
For large cast ons, I have a little trick. I place a marker ever 50 stitches so I don't have to count the whole thing at once. I cast on 50, count, the count is usually wrong, so I add or subtract, recount... repeat until I get it right, place a marker. Then I cast on the next 50 and repeat the process again...
Of course, none of this helps when you didn't wind off enough yarn for your cast on in the first place, but that's another issue.

Tired Teacher said...

Too many stitches? Decrease in the first round. Not enough stitches? Increase in the first or second round.

karen said...

have you ever placed markers after casting on every 25 or 50? That is what I do so I can at least count and recount in a given area...

Vera said...

I'm right there with you...every time! Duh....

Lilly's Mom said...

I've been there many times so don't feel bad. As mentioned above, stitch markers are a great help. I just discovered the German twisted cast on for socks and it works great. No more casting on loosely or with a larger needle. This cast on allows lots of give for the top of the sock. Here's the link I used http://newstitchaday.com/twisted-german-cast-on-knitting/
I did start out with a slip knot and it looked fine. I cast on all stitches on one needle then divided them to begin the first round of the sock. Wishing you the best, Pat

Anonymous said...

You are NOT alone, but the pain is TOO GREAT to go into detail!

Hope your count is correct ..............happy knitting!

Araignee said...

Oh, good golly no you are not alone. I HATE starting new projects which is probably why I pick things that take years to finish. Counting gives me a headache. I start doubting my sanity right about the third try to get it right then I go get about 100 stitch markers and painfully count out 10, marker, 10, marker...and so on.

Lorraine said...

Bridget- No my dear, you are not alone. Even if by some miracle I get the count right, I go back and check several times.

Like, I somehow don't trust myself.....

Nance said...

Blech. I get all excited about Starting Something New, and then...Counting.

AsKatKnits said...

I used to wonder why on earth there were classes on "casting on". You are definitely not alone in this phenomena.

Why, just last night at knitting it took 3 knitters to help get a simple hat cast on. I know, there is a HUGE joke in there, but yeah...3 of us.

KSD said...

My main thing is pulling out enough yarn to get all the stitches cast on. If I have to try and try again, my enthusiasm wanes significantly.