Sloppy cast-on :(

I’m planning to start a pullover vest for my dad (my first real garment, yay!), but I’m a little concerned about something…

So far my cast-on edges are a little sloppy. Not too loose, not too tight, just sloppy-looking. It’s really irritating since my bind-off edges look so neat, but the pattern for this pullover calls for starting at the bottom and working in the round.

However, the pattern doesn’t have ribbing, and he said he wants ribbing on there… So could I possibly cast on and follow the pattern, then add the ribbing later? He’d rather it be a little long than too short anyway, and he’s a tall man… :thinking:

Does that make sense?

If you really want to put off doing the ribbing until later, you’d have to do a provisional cast on, whether that be the kind seen on this site or the kind that uses a crochet hook. I’ve done both kinds – the one Amy shows on this site is faster and if you use a spare circular needle to do it (like she shows at the end of the video), you can knit the ribbing immediately. If you do one of the crochet hook methods, you can’t knit from it right away and have to pull out the waste yarn stitch by stitch to put a needle through the live stitches. [IMHO, the only reason to really bother using one of the crochet hook methods is for a hem that will be sewn to the inside of a garment stitch by stitch.]

Which cast on method are you using? Some can look better than others regardless of effort. My longtail CO and cable CO look the most even, but that’s just me. :wink: If you like the cable CO, you could do the ribbing version shown on this site. Longtail CO would be my choice, though, since it has a little more stretch – which you’d want in the hip area.

My final thoughts are that you should just do the ribbing first. You could measure your dad from underarm to where you want the sweater to end. If it’s a surprise gift, you or an accomplice could sneak into his closet and measure a vest or sweater that is the desired length and go by that measurement.

'Sorry, longwinded as usual! :lol: Good luck and have fun! :thumbsup:

I’ve only ever done the long tail cast-on, and while it doesn’t seem too loose or too tight, the edge just isn’t all neat like my bind-off. I suppose if I’m going to be picky about that, a provisional cast-on is probably the way to go, but then again I don’t want to worry about binding off too tightly either…

Something to think about, I guess.

If you did the provisional CO and worry about binding off too tightly, just use a needle at least two sizes larger than the size used for the rest of the sweater.

There’s also the tubular BO and sewn BO. The tubular BO is good for ribbing, but might stretch out of shape at the hips, is tricky if you’re not familiar with Kitchener stitch, and takes time to do. With the sewn BO, though it still takes more time to do, you can control the tension, and it’s easy. Let me know if need more info on these two BOs.

Have you seen Amy’s “Alternate Cable Cast-on” for ribbing? It’s under the “Basic Techniques” tab above. It looks like it would be great for sweater ribbing!

I had the same problem with my cast on edges not looking neat and tidy like my bound off edges. What helped me was to do my cast on stitches more snugly. To avoid having my cast on row end up being too tight as a result, I cast onto two needles held together (same size needles). Then, when I’m ready to start my first row of knitting (or purling, whatever), I slip the second needle out of the cast on stitches. The stitches will seem very loose at first, but if you have casted them onto the two needles snugly, they will end up looking nice and neat as you move along.

At least this works for me.

PS-Vermillion Sparrow, I see that you live in Plano. Have you been to the Woolie Ewe yarn shop? I love stopping in there on my way to Dallas. :smiley:

Sally Melville, in The Knitting Experience: The Knit Stitch, offers a cast-on that exactly matches bind-off. It’s done with a crochet hook. I tried it, and the results are very nice. A little tricky to master. Get the book from your library if you don’t want to buy it.

Have you ever seen the crocheted cast on? It will look exactly like your cast off. I found a good instruction for it here;

It’s a little way down the page under the heading “invisible crochet cast on”.

I really like it because it makes both ends of your piece look the same.