Flip-flop cast-on, part 2: lace

Well, I tried the flip-flop cast-on with two lace swatches.

The first swatch was in laceweight yarn, and I confirmed to myself that I need new glasses: I couldn’t see where to pick up the stitches along the cast-on edge. This difficulty might or might not apply for you.

The second swatch was in sportweight yarn, and that went much better. I used the Cat’s Paw Shetland lace panels from the first Barbara Walker Treasury. This swatch was knit from the cast on in two directions, and the lace pattern isn’t offset by half a stitch.

More details of this experiment below.

Flip-flop cast-on used with lace

I think I like the effect, though there’s places where the stitches open up more than I’m used to: see those three things that look like large yarnovers across the middle in a horizontal line? Each of those is actually a picked up stitch from the cast on.

There’s seven stitches in each panel with a single stitch in between. The first right side row for the seven stitches is k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1. I suspect that working the decreases to either side of the center stitch of the panel meant the cast-on stitches  that are knit together shrink a bit, and the center stitch grows to look like a yarnover. Might it be better to work that center stitch through the back loop to twist it? Maybe. I need to try it.

Something I was concerned about with this cast on: would the first cast-on row count as a wrong-side row or a right-side row? Would there need to be two plain rows of stockinette before I could start the lace? I was startled when I realized with this swatch that this cast-on doesn’t actually have a right side or a wrong side – it’s completely reversible.

That is, after I cast on the stitches using the flip-flop method, I had originally assumed I’d need to work a plain purl row before starting the lace patterning, but no: I just started into the lace immediately after the cast-on. When I picked up the stitches to go the other way, the first row I knit was a right-side lace row. All was well!

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