Saturday I taught a class on the Cat Bordi Moebius Cast-on. I have taught this particular cast-on a few times in the past.
Once at the Retreat (2012) and a few times right after Cat Bordi’s books, Treasury of Magical Knitting and Second Treasury of Magical Knitting were released.
The Moebius class is always a fun class because of it’s focus on a fun technique.
What is a Moebius?
It is a mathematical concept discovered in the late 1800’s by two scientists working independently of each other. Like the wheel, like knitting, it was it’s time to be discovered.
Above is Möbius strip made with a piece of paper and tape. If an ant were to crawl along the length of this strip, it would return to its starting point having traversed the entire length of the strip (on both sides of the original paper) without ever crossing an edge. Wikipedia
One type of Moebius – the scarf – in knitting is often called an Infinity Scarf. It can be created a couple of different ways. The most common and easiest method of creation is by knitting a basic scarf and giving it a half twist before sewing the two end together. Just like the piece of paper above.
If you give the scarf a full twist it will no longer be a Moebius and it will just be twisted.
And why is Cat Bordi’s Technique so interesting?
Cat Bordi must have an amazing mind, to come up with such a unique cast-on and create a totally new way of looking at the way we knit! Elizabeth Zimmermann once said that there is nothing truly new in knitting – new things to us are usually “unvented”, and just recently re-discovered! Cat Bordi truly “invented” something new and added to the body of work that is Knitting.
The Moebius cast-on resembles a modified provisional cast-on; but is not provisional and becomes the two center rounds of your garment. Like some cast-on’s, provisional or otherwise this cast-on is “un-tensioned” and requires patience for the first half of the round of knitting – the second half of the round is easy. From the Moebius cast-on, like any other cast-on, a knitter can knit almost any kind of stitch and create a unique garment.
Be prepared – each half of the curve is the mirror image of the other half. For example; if every round after the cast-on is knit, one half of the moebius will appear as stockinet and the other half as reverse stockinet. Because of this a reversible stitch is recommended for those knitters who want both sides to be visually the same.
A long needle – at least 40″ – I like a 47″ – is required for the cast-on as you will be working with the needles doubled, circled around each other. Each half round takes one half of the length of the needle. In reality the round you are working with is only 20″ to 30″ long.
As you knit the Moebius you will see the cords holding the two halves start to separate as each round takes them further from the cast-on and moves them closer to the final edge for cast-off.
The moebius cast-on creates a unique shape that can showcase any type of stitch or knitting technique.
Cat Bordi did not limit her cast-on to infinity scarves alone. She went on to create some amazing felted bowls and cat beds and other vessels – all starting with the Moebius cast-on.
Once the books were out of print. Cat Bordi shared the cast-on on You-tube and made sure that it would not be forgotten.
If you have never played with this cast-on it is one that is worth exploring as it offers interesting possibilities for the adventurous knitter. Not hard to do, just trust the instructions and try it out!