By now, your sampler has some length on it. You may have kept it washcloth size or may have continued on until it was the length of a scarf. It doesn’t matter how long or short you made your practice piece; it’s whatever you are comfortable with. Now, though, it’s time to cast it off.
Casting off is one of the last steps in a knit project. Note, I said one of. We’re not quite done after this process. After we’ve cast off, we’re going to block our sampler, but that’s a lesson for next time.
Remember that the cast-off method I’m going to show you is only one example. There are so many ways to cast off, and each way has a specific function. One way adds extra stretchiness for a top-down hat or a sock’s cuff. The Kitchener stitch blends the last stitches into the knitting to give a seamless look.
You’re going to use a lot of the same movements for casting off as you did for casting on and knitting.
1. Knit the first stitch.
2. Knit the next stitch.
3. Using the left-hand needle, lift the first stitch over the second and slip it off the right-hand needle.
4. Repeat until you get to the end and have one stitch left on your needle.
5. Cut the working yarn so that you have a 6 inch tail.
6. Pull the tail through the last stitch.
Now you’re ready to weave in the ends.
Weaving in the Ends
To weave in the ends, you’re going to need either a crochet hook or a blunt needle. I like the metal blunt needles you can get at most craft stores. They’re inexpensive, which is good because I always seem to misplace them, and they don’t bend like the plastic ones. I also feel like I have a little more control during the weaving in process with a needle.
1. Thread the yarn end onto the blunt needle if you’re using one. I prefer metal ones, but any of them will do. They only cost a couple dollars and can be found at Walmart and most craft stores.
2. From the purl side (also called wrong side or back of work), bring your needle through to the knit side at the base of a V.
3. On the next row up, move the needle behind the V.
4. Insert the needle back into that first entry point at the base of the V.
5. Continue this for a few stitches to secure the tail.
6. Cut the leftover yarn. Repeat for any other remaining ends.
Done, right? Nearly! The very last step to every knitting project is blocking. We’ll talk about that in next week’s post. In the mean time, congratulations! You’ve just finished the knitting part of your sampler!