Watched a YouTube how-to video on Turkish cast-on just now, and the first thing the lady says is, “The Turkish cast on is a provisional cast on. . .”
Until that moment, I had never thought of the Turkish cast-on as a provisional cast-on. Then she starts talking about open and closed cast-ons, which is something else I’d never thought about. The Turkish cast-on has always been my go-to method when I want to knit in opposite directions at the same time, as it produces a row of knitting with live stitches across the top (the way it always works), and a row of live stitches across the bottom. When you use it as a closed cast-on, you knit across the top stitches, turn your work upside down and knit across the bottom stitches to form a circle. This is how you use it to form the toe of a sock that has no seam across it, which is the main selling point for the toe-up method of making socks. It’s also how I do my seamless pussy hats. I also used the Turkish cast on to do my shrug that I started in the center of the back and knitted in both directions out toward the arms (which would be using it as an open cast-on).
But here, this lady is showing me the Turkish cast on where you use the ends of TWO sets of circular needles to do the cast-on, where the second set is just holding the stitches until you need them. Immediately, I thought of my toboggan hat pattern where I use the provisional cast-on method that uses a piece of scrap yarn to hold the stitches, then I go back later and pick up about 20 stitches at a time off the scrap yarn with a double pointed needle to “hem” them to the live stitches using k2tog. If I used two circular needles and did the Turkish cast on, instead of using the scrap yarn method, I wouldn’t have to go back and take the provisional stitches off the scrap yarn and put them on a needle because they’d already be on one and I’d just fold them under and voilá. Hmmmm. Just shows to go me that my thinking about the Turkish cast-on had gotten into a rut that had kept me from considering all the possibilities of this useful technique.
In other knitting news, the shrug kind of got bumped to the back burner because of recent events. I’ve made a close friend in my knitting group, LB. Seems her husband C woke up in the night last weekend with chest pains and this Monday, he had an angiogram of his heart whereby they discovered he had some significant blockages in all three coronary arteries that they could not bridge with stents. He was scheduled for open heart surgery on Wednesday. LB can’t drive because she has had problems with her vision(Fuchs dystropy) either brought on or aggravated by the fact that she’s had multiple rounds of chemotherapy for recurrent breast cancer. Her husband C is her main ride.
Their daughter also lives here in town and is a professor at Tech, but Wednesday she was scheduled to go to a conference that the University paid for, and which is important to her career advancement. They convinced her to go ahead and attend it, which created a problem with LB getting to and from the hospital. So since Wednesday, I’ve been her ride to and from the hospital, and I’ve been staying there lending moral support. We sat there knitting while he was in surgery (they did a triple bypass), and I have been sitting and knitting with her in his room for the last three days. Because I’ve had to be portable with my knitting, and I didn’t want to be juggling two balls of yarn, I’ve taken hats and cowls, so the shrug has been on the back burner. I’ve finished two hats and a cowl in just the four days since his surgery. I am happy to report that he has done extremely well. He was only in the Surgical ICU for two days, and they had him up in a chair, and walking in the hall in SICU on the first day. Yesterday, he went to a regular room. His color is so much better. But, as I say, he won’t be able to drive for about six weeks.
LB was working on this hat in black and white for her husband (at his request!) and finished it yesterday. He wore it for a while, and the nurses all got such a kick out of it.
Naturally, the weather has been rainy and cold all week, and I’ve been bringing one of those large traveling cups worth of hot tea to the hospital every day. Finally yesterday, the sun came out, and we were mighty glad to see it. Yesterday as I was taking LB home, we stopped off at this place where you can get pizza and calzones and got calzones for supper. I can’t eat a whole calzone at one sitting, so there’s half a calzone sitting in the refrigerator right now that’s been calling my name for the last hour or so. I guess I better go see what it wants . . . as if I didn’t know. . .