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Moebius SurpriseAugust 8, 2006

Who else saw Knitty Gritty yesterday? Who else was amazed? Did you see this?

I know, I can hear you yelping from here. That show? It's normally pablum for new knitters who feel an irresistible need to knit with acrylic fun fur. I always Tivo it, though, and this is what I do: I bring it up, I cringe at the project, then I see who the knitster girls (or boys) are, since they're sometimes bloggers (but does Vickie ever mention that? No), and then I fast forward to the designer featured, just in case it's someone I LURVE so much that I'm willing to watch her pontificate upon the knitted air-conditioner cozy. (I'm going to get found someday by someone searching for that.)

Yesterday, however, the project was lovely, as I must admit, every once in a while it is. A Moebius cowl, done in Fleece Artist sportweight cashmere. Simple, pretty lace.

The designer was Cat Bordhi. No, I know. And you're right. But I think even with her eccentricities, she's a genius. Not a genius like Einstein or Zimmerman, but more like your crazy uncle who bought all those boat motors and then built an ice castle out of them, somehow. She freaks me out, but man, does her brain work in an unconventional way.

Now, Moebius knitting has always seemed vaguely interesting to me, in an oh-that's-neat-but-eh kind of way. So you cast on stitches, and then do what you normally do accidentally, twist them when you join them in a circle. I guess it always seemed like a make-lemonade kind of project. Oh, shit! Well, that's okay, I'll just make a Moebius.

But not this method. Has this been around? Has she/anyone been doing this for a long time and I've been in the dark? She casts on twice around a double-looped long needle, and then knits continually, from the CENTER of the scarf, so there's NO CAST ON EDGE (brilliant) and the one twist is just organically there. And it's only a half-twist! When you screw up in casting-on, you get the whole twist, so there are actually two twists in your knitting, but this is only one, a true Moebius.

I watched the whole show, people. Fascinated. Something entirely new to me in knitting. I went for a bagel later, and found myself right next to a knitting store. So I went in, and heard people discussing the show, which had only aired two or three hours before. The clerk said she'd already sold yarn and long needles to four or five people who had rushed to the store. It's like that, really.

So catch a repeat, if you can. The written instructions are here, but you can't use them sans episode yet, since they haven't even finished writing up Cat's unusual cast-on.

Me, I'm using handspun cashmere, which only increases my delight in this surprising technique. I'm off today, and I have no plans other than sitting my ass on this couch and knitting.


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I just finished the Fiber Trends Moebius Scarf AC-39:
designed by Sarah Hauschka
It is that same freaky knitting from the cast-on out and it comes out twisted. I never could get my brain around how it comes out that way. I also wondered about the brain of a person that could come up with that, I'm glad she is using her powers for knitting and not evil.

Moebius, schmoebius -- look at digital you over there in your maple leaf T-shirt! :)

Yeah, it all sounds intriguing, but the part of your post that really got me was that last line. I haven't had a day like that since at least April, maybe even March...

You characterized my feelings about Ms. Bordhi and Moebius scarves precisely. But isn't this the technique that just about caused the Harlot's brain to short out some months back? Now you've got me intrigued--and convinced that we seriously need a TiVo.

I do the same thing with Knitty Gritty. The same thing exactly. And the Moebius episode was AWESOME, and I hope the other new episode are equally as good.

I also feel a need to watch the show because Vickie Howell lives in the same city as me. Not that I know her, but that I could, and if I did, I would watch every damn episode. If that makes sense at all.

I weas at home on my lunch break today and watched that episode...I must have rewound and watched that cast on about 10 times. Then she gets all crazy and does it behind her back. It almost made my brain explode.

Cat Bordhi has two books out. "A Treasury of Magical Knitting" and "A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting". I have both, but my favorite is "A Second Treasury..."
I love the felted bowls and Kitty Beds. Check it out when you get a chance!

Long time lurker,

I saw that episode too !!

Too bad it made my brain hurt :P

It's going on my list of things to work on 'after' Mae is born... when my brain cells grow back !!

The Harlot was the only thing that got me through that pattern. I heard her say to just trust in the instructions, and I did, and DAMN it worked. It was a revelation to me, just like it was to you. Amazing brain that figured this one out...

Go read my blog from yesterday. Great minds.....

OK, was it me, or (please read this with tons of kindness and sympathy) was Cat wearing a wig? Is she in treatment or something?

By the way, I was totally interested too, but mostly because I think I want that yarn to make a Clappy.

One small correction: you don't get a moebius (a band with a single twist) if you just cast on circularly and join WITH a twist in the stitches. That way you get a FULL twist in the strip, not a half twist, and therefore not a moebius.

Cat's method is cool and it works. The first couple of rows are a little fiddly, but what first couple of rows aren't??? :)

I am SO SO SO SO glad to hear that someone else asctually PLANS to do nothing else on their day off except sit their butt down on the couch and knit. KNIT ON!

I watched the Harlot work through that cast on. It was a seriously fun evening.

I've made a couple of things from Cat's First Magical Treasury. The way it works is just so COOL (but only other knitters--or maybe mathematicians--get it. So sad.)

You described how I feel about Knitty Gritty to a "T." I Tivo it, too, and then press DELETE. But yesterday, I watched it, TWICE.

A gazillion years ago, when the Knitlist was a newsgroup on someone's university account and the people totally rocked, there was a pattern exactly like that for the Moebius, and it made my head hurt, and I tried it and screwed it up completely, and called the woman who did it (can't remember who it was.) She walked me through it, and after the first few Rounds O' Hell, it is easy peasy knitting, and the result is extremely impressive. I love it.

I never did the whole twist because it is not a real moebius. And I am a dork. :-)

I'm really surprised that she did that segment, and that there are written directions. The cast-on is cool, but took some getting used to because I thought it was overexplained in the book (and the photos didn't do anything to help).

Glad to see that the cast-on is now "out there" because it seems like everybody wants to know this, and might not want to buy the books.

I have the second book and still don't get it. However in her defense, I frequently don't get it till I try it and then if I do exactly as the pattern says and don't try to understand, then it works. So, come fall, I will give it a whirl. (I am a cold weather knitter. Can't knit in the heat.)

I love coming home to see what TiVo has recorded. To see a new episode of Knitty Gritty in the list is exciting at first, but then I'm usually disappointed by the project. Delete Now. The Moebius episode has been "saved until I delete" and I can't wait to get some longer needles to give it a go.

I think Cat Borhdi must have magical powers - that freaky casting on behind the back! I was also captivated by this project - it seemed mystifyingly simple. I also watched her cast on over and over again, but I was absurdly distracted by her wig. It was so shiny! Between the luscious cashmere and the shiny wig, who could focus on technique?

got no cable. Don't get to see all the fancy shows.Wow a knitting t.v. show.The mobius though,that I do know.I work at a yarn shop,and it was last fall when the new mobius kits came in.I had to knit it. So since then I have been the main teacher of the mobius cast on.If you buy a Fleece Artist kit at our store you get a free cast on lesson from me. We also carry Cat's books so you can get a some what of an answer to the constent question, "Who thought of this(and what were they smoking)"
Any one want a free a lesson in mobius cast on , see me at Reinbeck this fall I'll be on a grassie hill with Rachel H. Right Rachel,your going to come with us?

Oh yes I have knit at least 10 mobiues capes, they are fab,fun,and fast fast fast. Can you say "christmas presents"

long circs, yummy yarn,and go knit. We'll see it later. by denny x0x0

The Mobius cast-on is a brain bender for sure. I made a couple of these http://www.planetshoup.com/easy/knit/scarfmb.shtml and remember being amazed at how the scarf grew from the inside out. Mobius knitting--I highly recommend it.

I've been knitting mobius scarves and cowls for years. Found a pattern in the web a million years ago and finally had to try it. I cast on and was sure I'd screwed it up, so I cast off. I had a perfect mobius that was 4 stithes wide! I was so jazzed I stayed up really late working on it. Now I teach classes - go figure. It's fun to knit a knot, and they look great in almost every one. The one I kept for me is handspun CVM/kid mohair.

Careful, those Moebius scarves are almost like crack. Once you get it, you can't stop and before you know it, you're done, leaving you planning the next one. The baskets and cat beds in the second book are almost as bad!

I saw it too and thought I've got to make that! I hope they get the Cast ON directions up soon! It really is sooo pretty!

Also be kind and gentel with a person learning the cast-on , for if you don't your kniting karma will come and bite you in the butt.I laughted at my Harlot buddy. nay I cackled and even pointed,fingers.(I can be so un-canadain some times).And I paid dearly,so the very next day I was eating humble pie. It isn't hard to do,but if some one isn't laughing at you,it is easy to screw up.

I totally had the same exact reaction and I totally want to make that scarf! It looked so cool.

I had the same reaction. Captivation. When I sat there doing the cast on for the first time it wasn't the cast on that stunned me, it was that anyone could have thought of it at all. It's like EZ's baby surprise sweater.
Who thinks like that? Who can pull that our of the ether? Who's that kind of smart?

Not me man, but I'm in love with Cat Bordhi.

PS. I had lunch with her once and she is really, really nice.

Bordhi's moebius cast on is really just an invisible cast on with the needle cable serving as the waste yarn.

I just used a moebius pattern on the net. I got a half-twist without too much trouble. What happens with the pattern I got online is that the cable curls up as you're picking up the stitches. With Bordhi's method, you start out with the cable curled up.

Totally fun show! I agree, I usually delete Knitty Gritty episodes - maybe I'm too old for what they're up to most of the time, but this one was tres interesting! I know Annie Modesitt is doing one of the new episodes, and I can't wait to see that one on her corset top (that I already made). TIVO is the best invention ever - I try to "rewind" everything now - like the radio in the car!

Totally fun show! I agree, I usually delete Knitty Gritty episodes - maybe I'm too old for what they're up to most of the time, but this one was tres interesting! Why doesn't Vicki wear knitted things on the show? The guest stars do once in a while... I know Annie Modesitt is doing one of the new episodes, and I can't wait to see that one on her corset top (that I already made). TIVO is the best invention ever - I try to "rewind" everything now - like the radio in the car!

I made a few mobius scarves 4 years ago from a pattern I found online. I think it said to use a victorian cast on, but I can't really remeber...I'm sure the cast on is different. It wasjust in garter stich, and the start was kind of obvious, the way I did it. I'm sure I'll try it again some time. I'll have to look into her cast on method. go knit more, everyone!

Hah! I just bought the "Second Treasury" book a few days ago at the LYS. My cats totally need a Mobius cat bed.

I made a moebius for my mom's retirement party (she was a high school math teacher for years). It was a big hit with all the 'mathy' types. :) It was a very fun project! Totally different from other things I've made. Actually, I may have to make another for me, mmm, I have some wool/alpaca in the stash... :)K

they just had the repeat on yesterday, and I record and delete the Knitty Gritty everyday - just like the rest of the world it would seem. I was fascinated by the caste on - and immediately had to show my husband, who is a fan of MC Escher who uses the tri-moebius in a bunch if his work. Well - I am stopping at the LYS on my way home.

I saw the show with Cat doing the great cast on. But I was not able to record it. I sure could use some help, because the other videos I've seen of the Moebius cast on did not look like the same one Cat did on the circular needles. Can anyone help

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