Don't get your cast-on stitches in a twist
7/17/18                             #770
How many times have you gotten a few inches into knitting a project in the round, only to discover the stitches were twisted at the cast-on?
You're not alone—this happens so frequently! One of the negative sides to knitting seamlessly is that it can be difficult to see if the stitches are twisted around the needles (or cable if you're using a circular needle) before you join to work in the round. Not sure what that means? 
You can see how the red line that follows the cast on is twisting around the needle before straightening back out at the first cast on stitch. It’s easy to fix this after you’ve identified the twist—just take hold of the stitches with one hand and spin them on the needle until the twist is worked out. It's impossible to fix this after you've joined the stitches—you just have to take everything out and start all over. 
The red line is running parallel to the cast on stitches, and you can see that it doesn’t twist around at any point—it forms a clean circle. If your project looks like this, you’re ready to work the first cast on stitch and your join will be complete.
But if you're casting on a lot of stitches, say for a garment, it can be a little tricky to tell if the cast on is twisted. The easiest thing to do in this case is to just work a few row flat (or back and forth) in the pattern stitch (ribbing, or stockinette, or however the pattern has you start) until you have enough fabric on the needles. Then you will be able to tell quite easily if the stitches are wrapped around the cable in a way that will lead to them being twisted.
So what do you do with that split? You seam it up in finishing! Sewing a few rows together is a piece of cake compared to realizing that you twisted your cast on when you're halfway through knitting the body. 
Download This Week's Free Pattern
This week's free pattern, Nette, gives you the perfect excuse to practice this technique. This simple poncho, knit in Berroco Ultra® Alpaca Fine, begins at the bottom with the lace panel worked back and forth. Then knitting is joined in the round to form the body and decrease to the shoulders before working the lace pattern on the wrong side (so that it folds down to show the right side when worn). The bottom lace edge is sewn up in finishing (but the top edge is left open for that notched detail).
Looking for more helpful hints for knitting? We've got a bunch of them over at the Berroco Blog! We'd also love to know what you want to learn about, so feel free to leave a comment with something you'd like to learn. 

Happy knitting,

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