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Estimating tail needed for long-tail cast on

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I can never seem to get this right and end up having to start over several times. Most of the time I end up with a way too long tail and I don't want to waste even an inch of my yarn. When I first learned to knit the friend who was showing me said she just measure a length of yarn across the tip of her finger for each stitch needed. That comes out to about an inch for each stitch. This estimate can be way off for me depending on the thickness of the yarn and the size of the needles I'm using. I read some formula for calculating how many inches of the yarn would be needed but that never worked for me, either. I really couldn't understand the formula.

Does anyone have a quick and easy way for figuring this out?
post #2 of 13
3 times the length of the CO edge does pretty well, but you could also learn a different CO
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks. i do know several COs. The pattern I'm working on now specifically says to use long-tail CO. That's why this just came up for me. I forgot how annoying it is to start over so many times.
post #4 of 13
I use my arm as a gauge. It's about 25" long. With one inch for each stitch, I know I can get about 25 sts for each arm's length of yarn I measure out.
post #5 of 13
Another good tip I learned was to tie a slipknot halfway along your tail - that way, if you reach that point and you haven't yet cast on half your stitches, you can pull it out without doing the whole tail.

Another one, courtesy of the Yarn Harlot, is that if you have a lot to CO, say, 150 st, and you wind up with 145 - just increase those 5 st evenly through your second row! It really shouldn't affect your project, and it saves headache.

(I use these a lot, since I prefer a long-tail CO as my default.)
post #6 of 13
Long tail is the only co I know by heart as of yet. I get frustrated too when I have a long tail! For worsted weight and size 6-8 needles, I estimate about an inch per stitch.

I am such a lover of the spit splice. If your yarn is non-superwash wool, you can just cut off the remaining tail and splice it to the other end of your yarn. Nothing wasted.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by esaesa View Post
I am such a lover of the spit splice. If your yarn is non-superwash wool, you can just cut off the remaining tail and splice it to the other end of your yarn. Nothing wasted.
Oh, I never thought of that. I don't know how to splice but I'm sure I can learn.
post #8 of 13
Here ya go! http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips Scroll down to joining the same color, then watch the 'felted join" video.
post #9 of 13
The way I was taught was to take your yarn and the needle you will be using for the project and wrap the yarn around 10 times. Then if you are doing a project that is suppost to have 70 stitches cast on. use 7 times the length of yarn you just measures, plus a little slack for the tail. Always works for me. HTH
post #10 of 13
I also long-tail CO as my default. I actually want a slightly longish tail because I knit the tail into the first row, holding the tail together with the yarn from the ball. One less end to weave in at the end of the project. I hate weaving in ends.
post #11 of 13
I do the three times the length as well, and it generally works well. Although, inevitably you will lose some yarn. And then you can just use it to stuff or for some other crafty project.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah_bella1050 View Post
The way I was taught was to take your yarn and the needle you will be using for the project and wrap the yarn around 10 times. Then if you are doing a project that is suppost to have 70 stitches cast on. use 7 times the length of yarn you just measures, plus a little slack for the tail. Always works for me. HTH
This is what I do and it works well for me.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll try wrapping the yarn around 10 times and then multiplying. That sounds like it might be the most precise. Now, of course, I haven't come across anything to cast on.
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