When you make a circular project and you cast off the top, you have to close the gap between the first stitch cast off and the last stitch cast off. Let’s talk about how to do that! I am using the example of the the bag that I knit recently, the Fabulous Felted Tote.
It helps to talk about knitting in the round as if you are walking up a spiral stair case. You do knit row by row, but the effect becomes more spiral than if the rows were straight across. This means that when you finish a project the last stitch of the row looks one row higher than the first stitch of the same row. The picture below shows the point.
The first step is to thread the tapestry needle with the tail that has just been cut.
Line up the two sides, ready to stitch, and look at the pattern that has formed on the left side of your work. That is the top side of the cast off stitch. Each stitch is leaning over, folded over the next stitch, and what you see is almost a fish spine of “V”‘s.
The trick will be to make the pattern of “v”‘s continue. Visually find the first full V on the left side of the work. Pass the needle under both legs of the V.
Then bring the yarn under, and back to the right. Find the origin of where the base of the V will be, and insert the needle there. Then pull it until the loop is closed with the same tension that you used in your cast-off row.
When you are satisfied that you have created the illusion, take the yarn and hide it under the lip of the cast off row.
And that is the stitch that I just created, to keep the top row unified. It is nearly undetectable.
From the side, you can see the difference in the row below.
Good luck, and happy knitting.
© 2005 – 2014 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish