Scrapping on

I’m thinking of scrapping on instead of casting on my next sweater project. Does anyone else use this method? Have you tried it and decided it wasn’t for you?

You mean using scrap yarn to CO with instead of the yarn you’re going to use for a project? Or using scrap yarn to try out a pattern? :??

I do the latter a lot. Many people use scrap yarn to CO with to make a provisional CO.

I’ve never heard of that…can you explain it? :??

I read it in [U]Twelve Sweaters One Way/Knitting Cuff to Cuff[/U]. The author, Susan Guagliumi, promotes “scrapping on” instead of either a conventional cast-on OR a provisional cast-on. Even if you’re knitting in the regular direction, I can see how it would be useful when you start sleeves from the bottom and knit up, and on the body of the sweater too. You would never have to worry about length discrepancy and you could wait until the end to decide about what kind of cuff or hem edge you wanted. You would always have live stitches to pick up if you needed them…right to the very end of the project.

She chooses a yarn in similar weight to the one for the garment and in a contrasting color. She casts this “scrap yarn” on using the simple loop technique, knits 2 or 3 rows and then switches to the real yarn for the project. She also “scraps off” by switching to the scrap yarn for a few rows at the end. The scrap knitting is not removed until everything is finished! She presses it back to keep it flat, and the folds it back and works through the exposed stitches to add ribbing or graft an invisible seam or do a hand-sewn bind-off, whatever.

I can’t imagine why you would do that at the end for a seam when you could just seam it without knitting a few waste-wool rows, but if it would be preferable for you then by all means! The waste wool at the start is really another way of doing a provisional cast-on, which on a jumper would be extremely handy if you didn’t know how long you would end up needing it to be. However I personally think there are much easier provisional castons: longtail cast-on with waste wool over the thumb is my last resort for when I can’t remember any other provisional castons, even that is faster than knitting extra rows for me.

I might want to do it this way if I couldn’t do a longtail caston or any provisional castons though. Do you often find that you end up wishing your jumpers were a slightly different size, and regretting that it’s too late to change them easily? If so, then you will probably find a provisional caston handy, and if you find this easier than other provisional cast-ons, go for it!

I think the author feels that this particular method makes it super easy to do something with the live stitches, easier than any other provisional cast-on. She says a handsewn bindoff on the last row before the scrap looks fabulous and is extremely easy to do. She writes convincingly, so I may try it soon. I don’t think her point can be contested without empiric evidence.

Are you joking? Which point? Are you saying that she says handsewn cast-offs are difficult if you don’t knit extra rows in a different colour first? I would have thought the extra stitches would get in the way… Is she talking about the EZ sewn cast-off, a tubular cast-off, or a different one altogether?


Well, no I’m not joking…but I’m not sure I can answer your question! Kind of silly for me to go on about it when I haven’t even tried it, but…

I am tempted to try it because:
–I don’t find a grafted seam super easy to do when the stitches are on needles, and, depending on the yarn, I’m not so good at taking them off and doing it “in the air”.
–I have been known to change my mind about ribbing and hems and cuffs and I have wasted beaucoup yarn and time because of it
–it seems like having a few rows of knitted scrap would be something to hold on to while I work the live stitches, and I think it might be easier to modulate the tension if I were holding something which is actually already more like a complete piece of fabric.

I DON’T KNOW! I’m just going to try it and see.

Lucy Neatby advocates that type of seaming for toes on socks, calls it a chimney toe graft (or similar). It’s supposed to make it easier to graft than actual kitchener since you follow the pattern of existing stitches for an invisible seam.

Sounds interesting let us know!

I’m very tall, it sounds like this would be a good method to use to make sure my sweater sleeves, etc., are long enough.

It will be interesting to read what you think about the method.

That does look interesting. I’ll see if the book is at my library. Side to side construction is kind of cool. :wink: