Cast on

Making something out of nothing

The art of creating something from nothing: otherwise known as Judy’s magic cast on

No matter how many pairs of socks I make I never fail to be amazed by the sheer ingenuity, the brilliance and the downright magic of Judy’s magic cast on.

First popularised in the now-famous Knitty article the simple series of steps has revolutionised the world of the toe-up knitter and brought joy to the heart of all those knitters who secretly wish that Lord Kitchener had never dreamt up the eponymous stitch for closing a toe.

The beauty of the JMCO is that it magically creates two rows of live stitches from nothing with no need for a provisional cast on or other fibre faffing.

Hold the two yarn ends with finger and thumb, wrap the yarn around the needles just so, knit 2 tiny rows and there you have it - a perfect, seamless, baby sock toe. 5 minutes ago it didn’t exist and now it does. Sheer magic which never fails to amaze me as I stop to admire the stitches that have appeared between my needles.

It’s true that it does take a little while to get to grips with the wrapping, and the first 2 rows can be a little fiddly but once you have those mastered it you can cast on a pair of socks in less time than it takes to boil the kettle. And in the time it takes for your coffee to reach an acceptable drinking temperature you can have a fully fledged sock toe, ready to shove in your handbag and keep you company on your daily travels.

The original article is well worth reading on this subject - it explains everything brilliantly and far better than I can. If you want to see a demo in action I can highly recommend Clare Devine of Knit Share Love who has a fantastic video. Alternatively, check out this link for an video tutorial.

Like anything worthwhile it can take a few goes before you have the technique down pat, but once you do you can whip out your needles and a cake of yarn and before you know it - you’ll be knitting a sock.