Mobius Madness

Here is a “How To” I sent to a BadCat’s Into Infinity knit along. At the end are some of the completed scarves that make the cast on portions completed. I’ve also improved my photo editing skills, so the arrows and in picture labels are better looking (I think).

Yet another mobius cast on

There is another type of mobius cast on that I have used. It also results in a center-out mobius scarf / shawl, rather than knitting a strip and doing the half hitch before joining the ends.

clip_image002I use the “simple” half hitch cast on for half the number of stitches. (This ends up being the number of stitches needed for the diameter of the project.)

Mobius 02 - laid out

I make sure they are all straight on the needle. This is laid out as I cast on. The working yarn is labeled to the left and the bump I will knit into is on the right. I’ll flip this 180 degrees before starting.

Mobius 03 - knit through bottom copy

Twist the first stitch cast on – the one farthest from the working yarn – 180 degrees. This presents the bump between stitches at the top of the needle. The left and right ends are also reversed Inserting the needle tip with the working yarn between the first and second stitches. The needle will go between the bump and the cable in the place indicated by the arrow.

clip_image008This is the backside of the first 4 stitches. The original cast on is around the cable, and the new stitches are on the needle. The darker orange stitches are the first ones cast on.

clip_image010 I knit the bump and continue on around until I arrive at the beginning. You’ll notice that the cable overlaps near the ball and again near the right edge of the picture.



clip_image012When knitting the first half of the next round (up until now you have been casting on) you will have to untwist the stitches. You can see the stitch twisted as it is lying on the needle. You need to lift it off knit-wise and replace it so the front leg is loose and open.

clip_image014 I untwist the stitches with a spare needle.




You can see that the replaced stitch is pleasantly loose, easy to knit, and not going to yield a massively twisted stitch.



I generally untwist about 20 stitches at a time and then knit off the spare double pointed needle.

This was presented in a Knitter’s Magazine YEARS ago. The mentions the Winter 1991 with Meg Swanson and Rita Buchanan as the authors – and that sounds right. An advantage is that you can’t do anything but a half twist with this method – the disadvantage is that you do have to untwist half your stitches on the first real round.

Some examples of pieces using this cast on method.

IMG_2260 copy

I suppose the number of cast on stitches could be described as N+1/2 N where N is your pattern repeat (in this case 4). I used that for this scarf with ribbing down the center. Like BadCat’s Driftwood scarf (shown below) this one is designed to flop over, so there is, paradoxically, a “right” side and a “wrong” of a mono-sided plane. The arrows indicate the cast on row. You can see that there is the same kind of job you would get from using a provisional cast on and then picking up and knitting in the opposite direction. Below you will see two pictures – one of the scarf pinned out, and one folded over for wearing.

Alpaca 3-tone mobius Alpaca 3-tone as worn


This is made of Frogtree Alpaca. The ribbing merges into a cat’s paw stitch, followed by a little diamond leaf design and finally an arch-lattice effect that I charted.

DriftwoodMobius - Cast on DriftwoodHere are a couple of pictures of the Driftwood scarf / necklace. I’ve used gold beads. The yarn is Caper, a merino, cashmere, nylon blend dyed by String Theory. It is actually quite luscious and the nylon is undetectable (yes I’m a yarn snob). I’ve marked the cast on row. You can also see the scarf blocking.

Last, someone on the list mentioned a triangle mobius, which, of course, I had to try. I found this page and learned, to my surprise, that the single plane aspect of a mobius is maintained as long as there are an odd number of half twists involved. I twisted this scarf 5 times – or 2.5 rotations – before picking up the stitches for the other edge of the scarf. It turned out that this gives 3 corners instead of the 5 I expected. That suggests that if .5 yields 1 corner (the traditional mobius) and 2.5 yields 3 corners, in order to get the 5 I wanted, giving me a pentagon, I would need to twist the initial cast on 4.5 times. I suspect this would be too bunchy.

Two and a half twistsWhat you see here is a K5, P5 checkerboard pattern with an initial cast on of 205 stitches to yield an eventual 410 stitches. This will be more of a shawl. The yarn is fairly random coming from my Bin of Lost Tags. I am doing a simple K5 applied band as a bind off. You’ll see it on the top of the inside hole in the picture at the right, and at the top in the picture below.

Tri-corn binding off

If (when) I do this again, I’ll add to the math-ness of it all changing bands of color to reflect a Fibonacci series.

About Susacadia

I am a writer, fiber artist, and occasional raconteur. I've been around the block a time or two, but stuck to any career I ever had for at least 10 years. They have all morphed logically from one to another. But under it all I have eternally been a teacher and a learner.
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