A relatively long time ago, I posted a quick blurb about a way to accurately estimate how much yarn to use when attempting a long-tail cast-on (non-knitters, just click to the next blog on your list today, nothing to see here).
Tonight, I used another one, even cooler than that and perfect for, say, lengthwise scarves or other times when you need to cast on several hundred stitches and don’t feel like giving your let’s-just-guess muscles a workout.
You’ll need two balls of yarn, or at the very least, two ends (you could work from the outside and the inside of a center-pull ball, if so inclined; I’m using recycled sari silk, which is gorgeous and hellacious to work with and thus used two separate balls altogether). At the ends, tie them together. Slip knit, double knot, rubber band, glue, whatever tickles your fancy. Then act as though that knot is the folded-over bit where you’ve decided to start casting on in a traditional long-tail method, and have at it. One ball will contribute the loops-around-the-needles bit, and the other will contribute the spins-around-the-bottom bit, and at the end of all of your casting on, you’ll have an edge that looks just like a regular long-tail cast-on, but with two live balls of yarn ready to go. Snip one and weave in the ends later. Work with the other.
Kind of awesome, no? Well, perhaps not, if you forced yourself to read this whole thing without being a knitter in the first place. But when I consider the hours this will save me in the future, when I am off by either six inches or six feet from the desired cast-on length, then it stimulates the awesome-neurons in my brain.