Thursday, November 07, 2013

I'm not the boss of you

Here's something that's been bugging me for a long time. If comparative study of multiple toe-up cast on methods doesn't keep you awake at night, you can probably wander off and happily go on about your life.

When I write a toe-up sock pattern, here's the easiest/briefest way to start the instructions:

"Using Judy's Magic Cast On (JMCO), CO 24 sts. Knit 12 sts (half the sts). Rnd 1: ..."

But as much as I love JMCO, you don't have to use that particular method, and I don't want to imply that you must. But if you use the Turkish (aka Middle Eastern, or just Eastern) or Figure 8 methods, at least with most versions of the instructions for those two methods, you don't get the row of visible stitches between the needles that JMCO produces. So I'd prefer to write something like this:

"Using the invisible toe-up cast on method of your choice, CO 24 sts. If using Turkish or Figure 8 method, knit 1 rnd; if using JMCO, knit 12 sts (half the sts)."

Except... some instructions for Turkish or Figure 8, particularly the Turkish include knitting the stitches a second time, which does put an extra row of stitches between the needles like JMCO. So unless I were to provide or cite specific instructions for each method in every pattern, in order to guarantee the same structural results with all cast on methods, we need these starting instructions:

"Using the invisible toe-up cast on method of your choice, CO 24 sts. Knit until you have one row of sts visible between your needles before beginning Rnd 1."

Remember, too, in addition to having taken forever to think about this, I've had varying degrees of creative control when I've worked with other publishers. So you can probably just substitute that wording into any toe-up sock pattern of mine that's ever been published, and feel unoppressed.

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