Cast on for hat? Also DPN tips would be useful

I am trying to make this baby hat.

http://aproudusafwife.blogspot.com/2007/11/baby-hat.html

What cast on would you recommend? The only ones I really know are backward loop & long-tail.

I am having a heck of a time- tried this twice last night. I had big gaps in the stitches from one needle to the next although I was trying to pull it tight. I also dropped stitches then couldn’t get them back on (all in all I maybe knit 2 rounds each time.) I think I just need more practice.

One more question- at the beginning that pattern states for newborn size to knit for 4" then start decreases. With the rolling edge- would you straighten that out first or let it roll and measure 4" from that. Either way- I’m not sure that’s enough before the decreases.

Thanks for any help you can give me. This is for the new grandnephew- due on the 15th but I think he’ll be here sooner!

A few things. . .

  1. I’d cast on using the long tail method-- from the pattern, it doesn’t look like there’s anything special about it that needs any other kind, and it sounds like you’re comfortable with it. I use it for about 99% of my cast ons-- only don’t if there’s something specific about the pattern.

  2. The photo doesn’t give any particular hints as to the length (and she says the sizes are approximate because she doesn’t have any babies around to try it on with!). I personally would stretch it out and count 4" from the cast on edge, because the roll will be slightly different for each knitter and each yarn and each hat. And because she says the sizes are approximate, I’m sure the length requirement is too. I looked at some other baby hat patterns, and they do seem to run about 4" before decreasing. So you should be okay. But you could add an inch if you are concerned about that, especially if you count from the stretched out way.

  3. DPNS: Yes, practice helps immensely. But also, here are some hints. . .
    A) Keep the sts as close to the middle of each needle as possible so that they aren’t as likely to fall off. If the yarn is slippery, bamboo or some plastics or glass will grip them better and keep them in place on the needles.
    B) Are you comfortable with circulars? It’s just like working on a circular needle that’s broken into 3 or 4 parts. Yes, you need to pull tight between needles-- and then mind the gap (ha ha:) ) for the first couple of stitches on the new needle, because you can pull tight and think everything’s fine, and then a stitch or 2 later, that first one will have loosened up.
    C) Marking tubular knitting is different with dpns instead of circs. With circs, you just have a little circle of a st marker that you move along as you knit. But obviously the marker won’t stay on the end of a dpn needle. What I do is put a safety pin in the fabric between the first and last needles of my dpns so that I know where my rounds start and end. Every few inches, I move the pin up closer to the needles just because it’s easier to keep track of.

The long tail CO would be much better than backward loop. You might try knitting a couple rows flat, then switch to the DPNs and join, many people find it easier than juggling the needles. Or you could try just putting the stitches on 2 needles to start and knit with the 3rd, then add the 4th needle after the first row. Since the rolling is an effect of the pattern, that would be taken into account in sizing the pattern, but you do measure it from the CO row.

I just recently taught myself. It’s tricky but I learned from watching the video here, Keep watching it over and over that is what helped me. Plus, I prefer woods and All of my needles are. Using woods u have less slipping of stitches which can be frustrating.

Good Luck
Kathy

To add to what suzeeq said-- I forgot to mention that (sorry about that!)-- which is that I ALWAYS cast on to straight needles first, when working with DPNs. I knit a couple of rows, and then switch to DPNs (let’s say you cast on 60 sts-- when you’re ready to switch to the DPNs, knit 20 sts onto the first one, then the next 20 onto the 2nd one, and then the last 20 onto the last one). Because I have a little bit of fabric created, I never have a problem with twisting the sts when you do join them in a circle. When you do it this way, you will get a little “split” in the tube, where you did the couple of rows flat. But when you’re all done, take the remaining tail from your cast on and just sew it up like a little seam.

Thanks to you all- I have a completed hat! I stayed up last night and finished it. :woohoo:

I may try working the first couple rows flat next time because until about row 3-4 it was dreadful. I still had to seam the first row with the cast on yarn because there was a little split there (not sure how to avoid that.)

Also had a hard time when it was 2 stitches on each needle for the i-cord, I didn’t make that as long as I should have. I tried putting it all on one needle but it was sloppy- good thing it’s in the knot part and you can’t see it. When I make this again I will definitely try something new or practice that part.

But it’s done- and cute! I will try to post a pic when I have located the little cable that connects the camera to the computer.

ETA-
Brittyknits LOL @ Mind The Gap- I was in London a couple months ago and that cracked me up. Keeping everything in the middle of the needles was very smart advice- I hardly had anything drop off after I started doing that. For some reason, I thought I had to have the needle I just finished be sort of at the end & closer to the new needle I was knitting off of- nope.

Kathy- I think wood needles would help- I am using the Boye aluminum ones because they’re all that were available in my area DPN-wise (unless I can catch the LYS- now I know where it is!) I use Harmony interchangeables by Knit Picks & really want some DPN’s now!

Sue- The long tail was MUCH easier- plus the tail marks the beg of the round. With this pattern, you do 2 decreases per needle so I didn’t need to shuffle any sts from one needle to the other. I used a size 10 to CO then transferred to size 7 needles because I was worried that it wouldn’t stretch enough.

Yay for you!

I still had to seam the first row with the cast on yarn because there was a little split there (not sure how to avoid that.)

A couple ways… you can swap the first and last, put the 1st on the right needle and the last st on the left needle. Or you can CO 1 extra and knit the first and last CO st together. This only works well when at the joining the CO.

YAYYYYY!!!:woot: :woot: :woot: So glad this all worked out! Glad you got the MTG joke-- I decided not to take it further and reference knitting in a TUBE:).
As for the little split you had to sew up later. . .I always get it when joining in circular knitting and if you knit it flat to start with, you’ll have an even bigger one (I mean 1/2 inch instead of 1/8 inch). But you have to tack down that tail anyway, so taking a st or 2 when you do it isn’t any kind of problem. It doesn’t alter the fit or appearance in any way, so unless you want to do it the way suzeeq suggests-- which will work well, by the way-- I would just let it go.