Totally Tubular!

Well crap. This is just what I needed, another project on the needles. You remember that purply-blue Peace Fleece from my last post, right? Well I really couldn’t control myself from casting on. There are all those Ravelry Peace Fleece group members that are doing their KAL, so I thought it would be unfriendly of me not to join in. Yeah, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That’s the ticket, I’m just being neighborly.

I started with an ordinary long tail cast on, didn’t like it, ripped out. I decided to figure out how to do a tubular cast on. There are apparently more ways to do this than you might imagine. June Hemmons Hiatt (Principles of Knitting) sort of lifts her nose up in the air and sniffs at all of them. It seems like a tubular cast on is not for good old June, despite the fact that she details about a gazillion different cast ons in her book. Out came the Vogue knitting book, and pretty soon I had it figured out. There is also a nice explanation on Knitty here.


Cast on half the stitches you need for your ribbing. You knit a few rows with a contrasting waste yarn. Please make sure that there is really a CONTRAST in your contrast yarn. You’ll see why later. Then you knit four more rows with your “real” yarn, ending with a knit row.


Now you start your ribbing on the “wrong” side. You purl one stitch off your needle, then dip down into that row of purple purl bumps, pick up that stitch, and knit it through the back of the loop. Click on the photos to make them bigger so you can see.


Keep going with knit one purl one until you are done. The last knit stitch is really just half of a purl bump at the very edge.



Now you can start your ribbing. Knit the knits, purl the purls, and then you are ready to snip out your waste yarn. Here is where you will be glad you started with a really contrasting yarn.


Really, click on that photo. You’ll be glad you did. Cutting your knitting! It’s wonderful! Try not to cut the “real” yarn stitches. That would really suck.


And you have a very nice edge for the bottom of your sweater! Please excuse my poor excuse for a manicure. Yes, I have been known to trim my fingernails with my knitting snips. What can I say, I’m more into function than beauty.


Back to studying!* I scheduled this week as an education week, so I’m home studying for hours a day. I’m just enough of a nerd that I actually find this enjoyable, though there are a few too many distractions around here for my own good. If I finish reading my cardiology module, I’ve promised myself a little knitting as a reward.

*And yes, that is iced tea up there. Even I am not delusional enough to think I can remember anything about valvular heart disease after a glass or two of wine.


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About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!


Totally Tubular! — 8 Comments

  1. Great tutorial. I am particularly impressed with the photos; clearly, you have three hands — two for knitting and one for holding the camera ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (I go for function over form, too. And I keep a selection of emery boards next to my computer, my knitting chair, and my bed. That’s the only reason I don’t trim my nails with my knitting scissors.)

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve used a tubular cast on in the past, but I think it was a lot more fiddly. And we don’t judge – we’re too busy casting on ourselves!

  3. Nice! You know POK, she is not afraid to express an opinion. She would probably tell you to use a channel island cast-on instead. And if you want fun, read her views on continental style knitting.

    CME modules? Have a few of those to do myself.

  4. Great tute Woman!

    I was studying for my recert this time last year…I really kind of enjoy studying too. This summer is the summer of the move, and I feel as if my life is being held hostage. The house was supposed to be finished the end of April at the latest…

    Maybe, I should open a review book for some comfort.

    Nah, I’ll just knit.

  5. Cardiology module? I just did my 10 year re-cert for EM. Ten years ago I said I would be done by now and off to another career. Hang in there ๐Ÿ™‚ My plan is to try a knit/wine/bring your pet store. Perhaps by the next re-cert!

  6. That version of the tubular cast-on always seemed a bit daunting to me. I learned the version that uses a crocheted row of chain stitch, but for the life of me, I can never figure out which end to pull to make the chain come out like the top of a flour sack (at least in the days before they glued the sack top down). I end up cutting (carefully) the bits of the chain out. But it does work, and I think it makes a nice stretchy edge.

    If you ever need to do it in a circular piece, the instructions in Charlene Schurch’s Hat’s On book are excellent.