Invisible Cast-on for Neck-down Shawl

When I first encountered this cast-on, I had to do it a few times before it made sense, but once you see why it works, you'll understand the benefits of this type of cast-on.

Evelyn A. Clark's Flower Basket shawl (IK Fall 2004 and Fiber Trends) got a lot of people, myself included, started on lace knitting, and this cast-on confused more than a few of us.

The reason you want to use this particular cast-on is that it allows the line of garter stitches that form the edges of your shawl to continue uninterrupted across the center of the shawl. (See "designing a neck-down shawl" for more info on this kind of shawl.)

For instance, if you just cast on the initial seven stitches needed for the beginning of your shawl and started knitting, you'd get this (notice the definite break in the border at the bottom center of the picture, at red arrow):

By using this alternate cast-on method, you can get a much more seamless border:


1. Using a crochet hook, chain four stitches:

2. Pick up the loops in the back of the center two crochet chain stitches:

3. Knit 7 rows:

4. Unzip the chain stitches and put the two loops at the beginning of your knitting onto your left-hand needle knitting needle.

5. Pick up three stitches along one selvage edge (one side) of the piece with your left-hand needle.

6. Knit these stitches.  You should have a total of seven stitches on the needle.

See page on construction of neck-down shawls for information on how to proceed from this point.


Copyright 2004-2005 Mara Riley