Some of my toy knitting patterns call for cast on stitches to be gathered together when making up the toy (for example, on the head and paws). This gathering gives a smooth round shape to the finished pieces. I would like to share my favourite method for gathering cast on stitches with you.
Here is my step by step tutorial :
Pictured below is a leg for my teddy bear, ready to be sewn together. The pattern instructions specify that the cast on stitches should be gathered together to make the sole of the foot.
The teddy bear’s leg, with the cast on edge at the top of the picture
I have left a long tail when I cast on, so that I can use the tail to gather the stitches and sew the seams. If your cast on tail is not long enough, you can attach a new piece of yarn.
Note: I have cast on using the thumb method, but this gathering technique should work with other types of cast on stitches.
Thread the cast on tail on a tapestry needle. Sew the needle through the loops of the cast-on edge.
Start by threading the needle through the loops on the cast on edge
The needle has been threaded through all the loops of the cast-on edge
Now pull the yarn tight so that the cast on stitches at the bottom of the foot are gathered together.
Pull the yarn tight to gather the stitches together
Once you have gathered the stitches together, secure the yarn. You can then continue sewing the seam of the leg using mattress stitch. Here is a picture of the sole of the finished teddy’s foot.
The finished foot
I hope you find this helpful for making your toys.