Continental aka German style of knitting

I am trying to learn the Continental aka German style of knitting, when you have the long tail and you knit until you do not have enough of the tail to continue casting on, what do you do with the part that is left, my stitches do not seem to be tight or staying on the needle very well, so help! what am I doing wrong.

Phyllis, welcome to KH! Have you watched Amy’s video on long-tail cast on?? If not, click here. It’s fantastic…it’s how I learned to cast on. :smiley:

Hi Phyllis, I couldn’t do that long tail cast on for a long time, I was just messing it up. Then one day (I guess I must’ve been more relaxed or something) it just starting happening. Well, inother words I did it right! It was slow for me at first but now I find I’m really flying with it. I still prefer my knitted on cast on for certain things, like a tighter edge… but if you just do a little spread with your fingers after each cast on you’ll tighten it up, if you know what I mean?

I think one of the reasons people use this cast on is for looser edges.
I think…

Practice the long-tail cast-on and you’ll never regret it. And yes, readjust your fingers a little after each stitch to snug it up. The German long-tail cast on is a little trickier and time-consuming, even though some people say it’s stretchier. Elizabeth Zimmerman admitted in one of her books that she rarely used anything but the long-tail cast on.

Just make sure that you have a long-enough tail. When I have a lot a stitches to cast on, I sometimes use two balls, one as the “main” ball and one as the “tail.” When the cast-on is done, I just cut off the extra ball.

Ingrid, that is SUCH a good idea! I recently had to frog a 300-st cast on 3 times because I didnt have enough tail! :notworthy:

DAMN! That is INGENIOUS!!! We could probablly use both ends of the same ball, too.

:cheering: yay Ingrid!!! :cheering:

:happydance: I like this forum!

This forum likes you, dear. :inlove:

ekgheiy rushes out of the room to get her knitting and try Ingrid’s marvelous suggestion :wink:

Hm, I’ve never tried using two balls… I’m intrigued.

Another way to sort of gage how much tail you’ll need is to cast on 10 stitches, mark where your yarn usage stops (if you don’t have too much of your tester tail left, just trim it close to the needle for easy marking), then undo and measure how much was actually used. Then you’ll know roughly how much tail you’ll need for ten stitches, times how many stitches you need, etc…

So: 10 stitchs needed 3 yards of tail from the slip knot (I use a slip knot, some people don’t), and I need 300 stitches, so 300 total stitches / 10 test stitches = 30 repeats of 10, so 30 repeats of 3 yards = 30 * 3 = 90 yards of tail.

Add a little extra for good measure and you’ll know about how much you’ll need.

ingrid, could you explain the two-ball method a little more. i have no trouble with the cast-on that amy demontrates in the video except that after i watched it again, i realized that i was making the initial cast upside down. i just do not follow how you do this with two balls of yarn.

I just tie the two balls together, with one strand coming from the “main” ball and one coming from the “tail” ball. With long-tail co, you’re working with two strands. Usually one is attached to the ball and one is the tail you pulled out. Sometimes this isn’t long enough, or is too long. With the “tail” being a ball of yarn, you can’t run out and you won’t waste. Just cut off that ball when you’re done. I hope this is clear.

Ingrid, that is absolutely brilliant. I didn’t get it either until you explained that you tie the two yarns together. This is so much simpler than trying to figure out how much yarn you need to accommodate the stitches. That should be part of the cast on instruction.

I always learn something new here!

I’m imagining holding the two strands together, making a slip knot out of them both held together and just putting it on the needle. Then seperating them for the long tail cast on. Would that work?

Of course that would work, in fact it’s an excellent idea! :happydance:

I’m imagining holding the two strands together, making a slip knot out of them both held together and just putting it on the needle. Then seperating them for the long tail cast on. Would that work?[/quote]

As I said in an earlier post, I said it is a good idea. I just tried it for a scarf I’m making and it is a GREAT idea!!! :notworthy: :notworthy: