on casting on


My sock pattern is 15 pages long. 

I assumed I would be casting on the same day my yarn arrived; but I was so daunted, it was two days before I even wound the skeins into balls. The first lines of instruction informed me that, to begin from the toe up, I should cast on using the Turkish method. Undoubtedly so. But I had no experience with this exotic-sounding technique, and as I read on, I became more confused. Further down the page, reference was made to the "instep and sole needles". What? Two sets of stitches that remained separate on two double-pointed needles? Presumably a working needle was also required . . . but how could one possibly knit in the round on three needles, and without moving the stitches along in a circle? 

I had uneasy thoughts about my prospective First Socks for a couple days more, then finally just googled 'turkish cast on double pointed needles'. Voila. 10 youtube tutorials at my disposal, including this one, wonderfully clear and narrated in a confident and soothing tone:


Watching this video, I couldn't stop squeaking. How ingenious! How perfectly simple and elegant. And how marvelous that I was able to benefit from a virtual lesson taught by a skilled knitter I've never met, for free. Even ten years ago, in the internet's earlier days, I would have had to comb through a stack of knitting books from the library, or search out someone to demonstrate the technique. The size and generosity of the communities I benefit from, even from the furthest fringes, is truly astonishing.

All this to say: I am casting on tonight, and I can't wait to start.