Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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January 18th, 2010 at 00:01 am

Starting Chain Challenge

Keeping a starting chain, “untwisted” is always something of a challenge

Keeping a LONG starting chain untwisted is a bigger challenge.

While not perfect, and it does require a tiny bit of planning and that you read and understand your pattern, here are my most used options.

First (and the one I use “most” of the time) I make the starting chain plus about 10-15 extra chains,

Now I IGNORE the instruction to join the chain, instead, work the first row according “as if” your chain was already joined to the nest to the last stitch.

Obviously you will need to be careful as you work that row that your chain does not get twisted, but even it does the world won’t end.

Instead, very carefully wrap that chain around something (coffee cans seem to work well for me) to straighten the chain and make sure this chain plus row 1 are not twisted.

It should now be much easier to “see” that your work is not twisted and you can “join” that first row “as if there were a chain underneath.

Although you don’t have to, it may be less awkward at this point to secure that last/joining stitch with a stitch maker and remove you hook.

OR you can wait until you have worked further rows to make it a bit easier to hang onto (again, this is what I do)

Unwork the extra chains,

which also btw eliminates the perceived problem of too many or not enough base chain stitches,

Use the yarn tail to weave a Kitchiner or even a Russian type join of the base chain ends –

Finally reinsert your hook (for in the round leave the stitch marker in place) and continue on with your untwisted, non-mobius hat, sweater body or pillow covered or purse.

Speaking of the tail created by those extra chains, it does have some other saving graces/uses.

I “force” myself into certain habits, even though I can crochet or knit with either hand, I ALWAYS make sure that the chain row is some from my left to my right.

That way I “always” know which side is the “front” because the chain is on my left of a flat piece and my right for an in the round.

Incidentally, with a bit of variation the above also works for starting knitting in the round

Hope This Helps


  • 1

    Wheat, Had you seen my tutorial on a foolproof method to joining a knitted caston without twisting? My newsletter subscribers were able to preview this last fall before I set it up for-fee. I also taught several mini-sessions of this at the recent TNNA (hosted by various yarn vendors for which I have designs starting off with a large number of stitches knitted circularly, such as Ring of Lace, Hug Me Tight Fan Lace Jacket Wrap, and Filigree Lace-Edged Baby Blanket).

    This method does not involve working an initial row flat. I think the method could be extended to crochet as well.


    Join Without Twisting: a foolproof method

    Avoid mishaps of twisting your stitches while joining for circular knitting.

    This method is especially useful when there are lots and lots of stitches involved and/or using finer yarns where you can’t easily see or feel the stitches (e.g. laceweight yarn). It also helps to easily count groups of stitches for pattern multiples, and to confirm number of stitches cast on.

    Jackie E-S on January 22nd, 2010


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