So, I know I've been away for awhile, but it's been for good reason. Very good reason, actually. Awhile ago I was bitten by the design bug and since then it's been unstoppable. Obsessive really; it wakes me at night. I've been designing up a storm and have now submitted 4 designs to magazines with another 3 in the works at the moment. Now I know that none of them may ever actually get published, but I've got a pretty good feeling about them. And hey, I am getting out there. I am doing what I love. All the best designers started somewhere, right?
Anyway, during a design I was working on I came across a problem where I needed to increase the number of stitches but only on the left side. I am working in Tunisian crochet which presents some challenges. The right side increase is simple: chain the number of stitches you need, pick up the loops and keep on truckin'. Middle of the row increases are simple too - just place extra stitches between the posts (or something similar) in the appropriate places until the needed stitches are obtained. The left side is a horse of a different color. A fellow Raveler pointed me to a video from KnitDenise showing a left side increase using the Simple Cast On method, aka backwards E loop. A posting on Vashti Braha's blog noted the same technique. I tried it and was not pleased with my results. The bottom of the loops were too flimsy and loose for me, and didn't provide a clean edge. Of course, I have the same problem knitting into a Simple Cast On as well, so I should have guessed that crocheting into it would be no different for me. I needed the clean edge because I will be crocheting a trim onto it.
What's my solution then? Crochet Cast On! I used another hook to do a Crochet Cast On for one less than the number of extra stitches I needed. I took the last loop still on the extra hook and set it on my afghan hook. Voila! I had all the new stitches I needed, with a nice clean edge to come back and crochet over. I was so pleased I just needed to share!
Hope you find this helpful!