The Daily Evergreen

Cast off knitting

Catherine Kruse Evergreen Columnist

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All around campus girls are wearing knitted headbands with floral decorations meant to be fashionable and keep their ears warm. These knitted pieces make a suitable gift for any occasion and make for a great way to keep warm walking to classes.

Knitting and crocheting have been around for years. The process takes some patience.

The first thing to do when knitting is to cast on. First take a length of yarn and make a slip knot. Then take the yarn still attached to the ball and wrap it once around the index finger. Pull the new loop off the finger by pressing the tip of the knitting needle under the yarn and pulling it off. Tug the string to make the loop tight and repeat the process for however many stiches needed.

Once the desired number of stitches is on the needle, it’s time to knit. Take the second needle and put it through the first loop, making the two needles cross like an X. Wrap the yarn around the second needle and then push the needle through the loop, pulling the stitch off the first needle and onto the second. Repeat the process. Continuing to do this will cause the yarn to weave together into a fabric.

The last step is casting off when the creation is done. While it sounds simple, casting off can get difficult if not done carefully. Knit two stitches. Then take the first stitch and pulled it over the second, leaving one stich on the needle. Repeat until only one stich is left. Then cut the yarn and pull it through the loop to tie it off.

Keep in mind that visual learning may be more effective. Sometimes there are multiple ways to cast on stitches. Search for knitting books in craft stores or go online and find Youtube videos to learn how to cast on, cast off, knit, and more. Or even ask grandma if she’s done any knitting and she can give pointers.

Craft stores sell books about other knitting projects such as hats, headbands and even a teddy bear. Some projects should not be tried by beginners, but those who want to dive right into it can give it a try. Remember to gather all the materials ahead of time, as some projects include the use of buttons, sewing needles and other decorative items.

Another idea is a purse. This requires yarn, knitting needles, a button and a yarn sewing needle. Cast on the stitches, whatever width desired, and knit until the cloth is just the right length. Keep in mind the cloth will have to be folded over to create the actual bag. Then, to make the flap over the bag, the stitches will be knit into a triangle. In every row, knit the first two and the last two stitches together. Eventually, there will only be a single stitch to pull the yarn through.

Leave some extra yarn off the end to wrap around the button. Using the yarn needle, sew on the button and sew together the sides to make the bag. For a handle, cast on five stitches and knit until desired length. Cast off and sew onto the bag. This can be varied for sizes, strap length, and even modified to be a small wallet.

These knitted projects can make for sentimental and unique gift ideas. The simplest of projects is the scarf, where the knitter casts on a number of stitches and just knits and knits until it’s long enough to meet their demands. Then cast off. Instant and very warm scarf for days when it gets below freezing. Living in Pullman, we all know how cold it can get in the winter month

Getting comfortable with certain projects means there’s opportunities to adjust them to personal styles. Originality goes a long way.

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Cast off knitting