Knitting a penguin(!): casting on

So I got back to St Louis today for the start of spring semester. After a vacation in lovely Savannah, GA where the high today was 78, I’m listening to it rain as the temp drops to 28 and the roads freeze. Good thing I don’t have to drive anywhere and I have knitting to keep me busy!

So after my sweater post yesterday, I decided that I was going to take a break for a fun project. I found this adorable penguin pattern at knitty.com which is another great website that I’d highly recommend to you fellow knitters. It’s an online knitting magazine with frequent technique articles and free patterns (which as I’m sure you all understand are pretty much the best thing ever- after free yarn I guess but that doesn’t really exist…).
Here’s what the penguin should look like when I’m done.

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Today since I’m just starting this project, I thought I’d talk a little about casting on. I learned casting on from my grandma and this style is the only one I know. I did try to learn a provisional cast on for the beard in the beard hat but it was a disaster so I gave up. I generally “cast on” the first stitch by making a slip knot. Here’s how I do the rest

First, I hold the yarn loosly in my left hand so it goes over my index finger

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Then, I slip my thumb under and pull it back until I make kind of a deformed triangle shape with the yarn around my hand

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Then I bring the needle under the bottom piece of yarn making sure the point gos through the middle

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Finally, I pull the loop of yarn off of my fingers and tighten it around the needle and pull it tight

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Well, that’s how I learned to cast on. I just ordered The Principles of Knitting so I’m hoping to expand my repertoire. How do you guys cast on? Do you know more than one technique? And where did you learn it?

Happy Knitting!

1/24/13 edit: Hey everyone! The penguin is now completed! Check out the rest of the process from casting on to completion by going to the home page of my blog.

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3 comments

  1. andresue

    I use the same cast on for everything except buttonholes and toe-up socks. And, I learned it on youtube… which is where I learned a lot of my knitting skills. My grandma didn’t know how to knit but she did teach me to crochet.

    • Emily C

      I completely agree that youtube is a really great place to learn knitting techniques. I definitely learned a lot from it when I was learning circular knitting and double pointed needles. Knittinghelp.com is a great resource as well

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