It has an excellent cast-on with a brilliant name, the ‘Chinese Waitress cast-on’, but what about a cast-off? I had to go hunting…
The Neck & Neck MKAL is designed to challenge knitters to advance their skills, to try new things, to learn new techniques. Little do they know it has also challenged the designers to do the same!
Luckily I quickly found a website that lists cast-ons with cast-offs that match them. This suggested the ‘double chain cast-off’ as a good match for the Chinese Waitress cast-on. Woot! So I went and found a video tutorial for this new-to-me technique and tried it out. A few hours of casting on, knitting a few rows, then casting off. I tried it with several different yarns, and a variety of needle sizes. Alas, I wasn’t impressed. It was much looser than the beautiful cast-on it is supposed to emulate, with very visible bumps that aren’t in the cast-on.
So, as is my wont, I then spent several more hours devising a double chain cast-off that truly satisfied my fussy notions of what constitutes a really good match for the legendary cast-on that a hungry knitter in Beijing was once taught by her waitress. Here it is: