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Fixing a twisted cast on when knitting in the round

 

I’m glad you tuned in to find out how to fix a twisted cast on when knitting in the round. Knitting in the round is a skill in the second round (excuse the pun) of knitting. In other words, knitting in the round is something that can easily fall into that “next steps” category, when you graduate from knitting flat items like scarves or baby blankets to hats, mittens, or cowls.

In patterns worked in the round you’ll encounter that familiar instruction to “join in the round, being careful not to twist.” What does that mean? And how can we fix it when it happens? Let’s take a look.

Make sure this little guy sits on top of a nice even hat, and avoid twisting the cast on round!
Make sure this little guy sits on top of a nice even hat, and avoid twisting the cast on round!

 

Here the stitches are twisted around the needle - exactly what we want to avoid.
Here the stitches are twisted around the needle – exactly what we want to avoid.

 

Here stitches are not twisted around the needle - all lined up!
Here stitches are not twisted around the needle – all lined up!

 

 

Once you’ve cast on the number of stitches, you’ll start knitting in the round on your circular needle or set of double-pointed needles. What you want to avoid is twisting the cast-on row of stitches around the needle, like in the first photo above – this is sometimes called a twisted cast on, because the cast-on row spirals around the needle. Before you start knitting, check to see that all your stitches line up evenly around the same side of the needle, like in the 2nd photo.

 

A twisted cast on becomes more obvious after a few rounds of knitting.
A twisted cast on becomes more obvious after a few rounds of knitting.

 

 

If you don’t catch the twisted cast-on before you start knitting, it’s still not too late to fix it. As long as you catch it in the first few rounds of knitting (like in the 3rd photo, just above), you can still correct this.

The next few photos below outline the simple steps to fixing this. First, as soon as you realize the problem, stop knitting right at the very end of the round.

 

Step 1 - stop knitting at the very end of the round.
Step 1 – stop knitting at the very end of the round.

 

 

The next step (below), is to simply re-twist the knitting back around the needle at that point. As long as you’re still in the first few rounds of knitting, this won’t be very noticeable in the grand scheme of things, and it will save you the time of having to rip-out and cast on again! You will notice an uneven spot at the cast on round where you’ve made the twist. However, you can easily sew this closed at the very end of the project, when you are doing the finishing steps.

 

Step 2 - re-twist the knitting at that point so that everything lines up again.
Step 2 – re-twist the knitting at that point so that everything lines up again.

 

Step 3 - There will be an uneven part of the cast on round as a result, but this can be sewn up at the end.
Step 3 – There will be an uneven part of the cast on round as a result, but this can be sewn up at the end.

 

 

The main thing is to just keep an eye on your knitting within the first few rounds, since a lot of the important mistakes to avoid are things that can happen right at the beginning. For this cast on I’ve been working on a Top This hat, which is small and easier to re-start if I have to. But just imagine having to rip out your knitting and start all over again for a larger item like a sweater!

These 3 steps are very handy when fixing a twisted cast on when knitting in the round, especially if you’re strapped for time, or there are simply too many stitches to rip out! So remember to take it seriously when the pattern instructions remind you to “join in the round, being careful not to twist.”

 

About Glenna C

Glenna took up knitting as stress relief while studying for her PhD in Toronto, then kept right on going. Her knitting and design philosophy is guided by a desire to constantly seek new challenges with interesting techniques and beautiful results, through cables, colour-work, and more. She loves reading, photography, yoga, film and television, and believes in knitting fearlessly and often.

3 Comments

  1. Maria

    Good to know. That’s generally what I do. I also sometimes find it easier to knit a few rounds straight after casting on, join, and just seam at the end. I’m sure a knitter might notice if they were looking for it but no one else will.

  2. Alyssa

    Thanks for this! You just saved a sweater.

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