Twisted Knitting: Master the Moebius Cast-On

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Have you ever admired those beautiful cowls that have a twist in them? While you could knit that cowl back and forth then twist it before seaming, it's more effective and efficient to start a twisted cowl with a Moebius cast-on.

The Moebius cast-on, like most new techniques, looks totally crazy when you watch someone else do it. But if you pick up your needles and give it try, you'll find that it's actually a lot easier than it looks.

What you'll need for the Moebius cast-on

If you're knitting something with a large circumference like a cowl that's meant to wrap around your neck more than once, you'll need a circular needle that's at least 47" long. A shorter needle will work for smaller projects, like a cowl that doesn't have a large circumference or a headband.

You'll also need a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.

Setting up

Step 1:

Make a slip knot and place it in the center of the circular needle.

Step 2:

With your right hand, grab the right needle, the slip knot, and the cable of the needle.

Step 3:

Place your working yarn on the left side of the circle. With your left hand, grab the part of the cable that's to the left of your right hand. Let the left side of the needle dangle, as we won't be using it for the cast-on.

Step 4:

With your left fingers, hold the yarn to tension it. Notice that your hands and the yarn form a triangle.

Casting on

Step 1:

Point the right needle toward you, then dip it under the cable.

Step 2: 

Bring the right needle up through the triangle.

Step 3:

Push down on the yarn.

Then bring the needle underneath the cable again, bringing the yarn with you.

Step 4:

Make a yarn over on the right needle, wrapping working yarn from front to back.

Repeat Steps 1-4 until you have the desired number of cast-on stitches.

Note: Only count the cast-on stitches that are on the needle. Do not count the stitches that are below it on the cable.

Preparing to knit

Step 1:

Before you begin knitting your project, grab your cables and tug them so that they are even. Then, spread your stitches around the two cables, spreading them out evenly.

Step 2:

Place your work on a flat surface and make sure the two cables are parallel all the way around the circle. The cable and needle should only cross at the end of the circle. 

Place a stitch marker on the end to mark the beginning of the round.

Step 3:

Knit once into the slip knot, which will be the first stitch on your left needle.

Step 4:

Knit into the middle of each stitch on the needle. You'll notice that the legs of the stitches are not always in the same place. Try not to think about that, and just focus on knitting into the middle.

You may need to pull the stitches apart a little bit to see where the center is and to make sure the cast-on stitches don't leapfrog each other.

Step 5:

When you get to the end of the first ring of the round, the stitch marker will actually be on the cable, not on the needle itself. Note that this isn't the end of the first round; you're halfway there. (I know! Just go with it...)

Step 7: 

Knit into the slip knot, tugging the tail down to really get into that stitch if you need to.

Step 8:

Things will look pretty normal this time, except that the stitches facing you will look like purl stitches instead of knit stitches. Throw everything you know out the window and just knit them as usual.

Step 9:

This time when you reach the marker, it will be on your needle. That's your signal that you're at the end of the round! Slip that marker and keep on knitting.

The first time I tried this, I was very frustrated. But after you get through those first few rounds, things start to seem pretty natural

If you find that you  learn better when watching a video, check out Cat Bordhi's class Moebius Knitting . Cat demonstrates this cast on, plus all kinds of other Moebius essentials to help you put a twist in your knitting.

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Twisted Knitting: Master the Moebius Cast-On