How to cast on knit

How to cast on knit

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on casting on for knitting! Casting on is the first step in starting any knitting project, and it sets the foundation for your stitches. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter looking to refresh your skills, this step-by-step guide will help you master the art of casting on.

Knitting is a timeless art form that allows you to create beautiful garments and accessories with just a few simple tools. The cast on is the process of creating the initial row of stitches onto the knitting needle, which forms the basis for your knitting project. Choosing the right cast on method is essential, as it affects the elasticity and appearance of your finished piece.

In this guide, we will walk you through various cast on methods, including the long-tail cast on, knitted cast on, and cable cast on. Each method has its own advantages and is suitable for different types of projects. We will also provide step-by-step instructions and accompanying images to ensure that you can easily follow along.

Whether you’re knitting a cozy sweater, a delicate lace shawl, or a simple scarf, mastering the art of casting on is an essential skill for every knitter. So grab your knitting needles and yarn, and let’s dive into the world of casting on!

Getting Started with Knitting

Welcome to the world of knitting! Whether you’re a complete beginner or have some experience with other crafts, knitting is a versatile and rewarding hobby. In this guide, we’ll go over the basic steps to get you started on your knitting journey.

1. Choosing the Right Needles

The first step in knitting is selecting the appropriate needles for your project. Needles come in different sizes and materials, such as metal, bamboo, or plastic. The size of the needles will depend on the thickness of the yarn you plan to use. Thicker yarn requires larger needles, while thinner yarn requires smaller needles.

2. Selecting the Yarn

Yarn comes in various weights, from bulky to lace, and different materials like cotton, wool, or acrylic. Consider the purpose of your project and the desired appearance and feel. Smooth, tightly-spun yarn is great for beginners as it allows for easy stitch manipulation.

3. Learning the Basic Stitches

The fundamental stitches in knitting are the knit stitch and the purl stitch. The knit stitch creates a smooth V-shaped pattern, while the purl stitch creates a raised bump. By combining different combinations of knit and purl stitches, you can create a wide range of textures and patterns.

4. Casting On

To begin knitting, you’ll need to cast on your stitches. There are various methods for casting on, but the most common is the long-tail cast-on. This method creates a neat and flexible edge. It involves creating a slipknot and then casting on stitches using a simple loop technique.

5. Knitting Your First Rows

Once you have cast on your stitches, you can begin knitting your first rows. Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your non-dominant hand and the empty needle in your dominant hand. Insert the empty needle into the first stitch, wrap the yarn around it, and pull the loop through.

6. Following a Pattern

As you progress in knitting, you may want to experiment with different patterns. Patterns provide instructions for creating specific designs, such as cables, lace, or colorwork. Start with simple patterns and gradually work your way up to more complex ones.

7. Finishing Your Project

Once you have completed your desired length or pattern repeat, it’s time to finish your knitting project. This usually involves binding off the stitches to secure them. Follow the instructions for the specific binding-off method provided in your pattern.

That’s it! You’re now ready to begin your knitting journey. Remember to be patient with yourself as you learn new techniques, and enjoy the process of creating beautiful and functional items with your own hands.

What is Casting On?

Casting on is the process of creating the first row of stitches on your knitting needles. It’s the foundation of any knitting project and determines the number of stitches you’ll have to work with.

When you cast on, you are essentially creating a row of loops on your needle, which will allow you to begin knitting. There are various methods and techniques for casting on, but the basic principle remains the same – you’re adding stitches to your needle.

Casting on is an essential skill for any knitter, whether you’re a beginner or experienced. It’s the first step in starting a project and lays the groundwork for the rest of your knitting.

There are different ways to cast on, and the method you choose will depend on the project you’re working on and personal preference. Some common casting on methods include the long-tail cast on, the knit cast on, and the cable cast on.

Once you have cast on your stitches, you can start knitting your first row and progress with your project. The number of stitches you cast on will determine the width of your work, so it’s important to count carefully and make sure you have the right number of stitches.

Learning how to cast on is an essential skill for any knitter, and once you master it, you’ll be able to start knitting a wide variety of projects. Whether you’re knitting a scarf, a sweater, or a blanket, casting on is the first step to creating your masterpiece.

Choosing the Right Needle Size

When it comes to knitting, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right needle size. The needle size you use can greatly impact the outcome of your project, including the size, tension, and overall look of your knitted fabric. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the right needle size:


Gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch in a knitted fabric. It is crucial to achieve the correct gauge for your pattern to ensure that your finished project matches the measurements specified. To achieve the correct gauge, you may need to adjust your needle size. If your stitches are too loose and your gauge is too large, try using a smaller needle size. Conversely, if your stitches are too tight and your gauge is too small, try using a larger needle size.

Yarn Weight

The weight of the yarn you choose will also determine the appropriate needle size. Yarns are typically labeled with a recommended needle size range. For example, a bulky yarn may suggest using needle sizes ranging from US 9 to US 11, while a lace-weight yarn may recommend using sizes US 0 to US 3. Following these recommendations will help you achieve the desired fabric density for your project.

Desired Drape and Texture

The needle size you select can also affect the drape and texture of your knitted fabric. Using larger needles will create a looser and more open fabric, while smaller needles will result in a tighter and denser fabric. Consider the desired outcome of your project and choose a needle size accordingly. For a cozy and warm sweater, you may opt for larger needles, while a delicate lace shawl might require smaller needles.

Personal Knitting Tension

Every knitter has a unique tension when knitting. Some knitters naturally knit loosely, while others knit more tightly. Knowing your personal tension can help you determine the appropriate needle size for your projects. If you find that your stitches tend to be looser, you may want to use smaller needles to achieve the correct gauge. If your stitches are tighter, larger needles may be necessary.


Choosing the right needle size is not an exact science and may require some experimentation. It’s always a good idea to create a swatch using different needle sizes to determine which one gives you the desired result. This can save you time and frustration in the long run and ensure that your finished project turns out just the way you envisioned.

Common Needle Sizes and Their Uses
Needle Size Typical Use
US 0 – US 3 Lace knitting
US 4 – US 6 Lightweight yarns and garments
US 7 – US 9 Medium-weight yarns and garments
US 10 – US 11 Bulky yarns and accessories
US 13 – US 19 Super bulky yarns and blankets

Remember, the right needle size can make all the difference in your knitting project. Take the time to consider these factors and choose the needle size that will help you achieve the best results.

Types of Cast-On Methods

In knitting, the cast-on method is used to create the foundation row of stitches on your knitting needles. There are several different cast-on methods to choose from, each with its own unique qualities. The cast-on method you choose depends on the project you’re working on and the desired outcome. Here are some common types of cast-on methods:

  • Knitted Cast-On: This is a simple, versatile cast-on method that creates a stretchy edge. It is great for most projects and is the most commonly used cast-on method.
  • Long-Tail Cast-On: This is a popular cast-on method that creates a neat edge and is slightly stretchy. It requires a long tail of yarn to be left at the beginning for casting on.
  • Cable Cast-On: This cast-on method creates a firm, decorative edge that is often used in cables or other textured patterns.
  • Italian Tubular Cast-On: This is a tubular cast-on method that creates a clean, stretchy edge. It is commonly used for ribbing or other tubular patterns.
  • Backward Loop Cast-On: This is a quick and easy cast-on method that creates a loose edge. However, it can be less stable than other methods and is often used for temporary cast-ons.

These are just a few examples of the many cast-on methods available to knitters. It’s important to choose the right cast-on method for your project to ensure that the edge of your work matches your desired outcome. You can experiment with different cast-on methods to find the one that works best for you.

Comparison of Cast-On Methods
Cast-On Method Stretchiness Edge Appearance Common Uses
Knitted Cast-On Stretchy Neat Most projects
Long-Tail Cast-On Stretchy Neat Most projects
Cable Cast-On Firm Decorative Cables, textured patterns
Italian Tubular Cast-On Stretchy Clean Ribbing, tubular patterns
Backward Loop Cast-On Loose Variable Temporary cast-ons

Understanding the different cast-on methods available to you can enhance your knitting skills and allow you to create a variety of edges for your projects. Experiment with different methods and find the ones that work best for your knitting preferences and project requirements.

Long-Tail Cast On

The long-tail cast on is a versatile and commonly used method for starting knitting projects. It creates a neat and flexible edge, making it a great choice for a variety of knitting projects.

To start with the long-tail cast on, you will need a long tail of yarn. The general rule of thumb is to measure the tail by holding the end of the yarn against the needle and wrapping it around your needle the desired number of times.

  1. Hold the tail end of the yarn in your right hand and the working end of the yarn in your left hand, leaving a small tail.
  2. Bring the working end of the yarn over your thumb and hold it in place with your middle finger.
  3. Insert your needle between your thumb and middle finger, going under the yarn held by your thumb.
  4. Bring the needle down and behind the yarn held by your middle finger.
  5. Loop the needle back up and over, catching the working yarn.
  6. Pull the loop through the yarn held by your thumb and tighten.
  7. Slide the loop onto your needle.

Repeat steps 3 to 7 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.

Once you have completed the long-tail cast on, you can continue with your knitting project following the pattern instructions.

Note: The long-tail cast on can be a bit tricky to get the tension right, as it’s important to have an even tension throughout your cast on edge. Practice and experimentation will help you find the right tension for your knitting projects.

Knitted Cast On

The knitted cast on is a versatile and commonly used cast on method in knitting. It creates a neat and flexible edge, making it suitable for a variety of projects. This cast on method is worked using the knit stitch, making it easy for beginners to learn.

Step 1: Begin by making a slipknot. Insert the needle into the slipknot and tighten it onto the needle.

Step 2: Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand. With your left hand, hold the working yarn and place it over your left index finger, creating a loop.

Step 3: Insert the right needle into the loop on your left hand, going from front to back.

Step 4: With your right hand, wrap the working yarn around the right needle counterclockwise.

Step 5: Using the right needle, pull the wrapped yarn through the loop on your left hand.

Step 6: Slip the loop off your left hand and onto the right needle.

Step 7: Tighten the stitch by gently pulling on both ends of the yarn.

Step 8: Repeat steps 3 to 7 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.

Step 9: Once you have cast on all the stitches, you can begin working your knitting project using the stitches you just cast on.

The knitted cast on creates a stretchy and even edge, making it ideal for projects like scarves, blankets, and garments. It is also useful when you need to add stitches to an existing piece of knitting. Practice this cast on method and soon you will be able to confidently start any knitting project!

Cable Cast On

The cable cast on is a method of adding stitches to your knitting needles. It creates a neat twisted edge that is great for starting projects such as sweaters or blankets. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do the cable cast on.

  1. Start with a slip knot on your left-hand needle.
  2. Insert your right-hand needle into the slip knot from left to right, going over the left-hand needle.
  3. Wrap the yarn from your ball around the right-hand needle, going over the top of the left-hand needle, and back to the front.
  4. Using your right-hand needle, bring the new loop of yarn through the slip knot, creating a new stitch on the right-hand needle.
  5. Place the new stitch onto the left-hand needle.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for the desired number of stitches, making sure to keep the tension consistent.


  • Make sure to keep the tension of your yarn consistent throughout the process.
  • Use your fingers or a knitting needle to help adjust the tension of each new stitch.
  • Practice the cable cast on before starting your project to ensure you are comfortable with the technique.

That’s it! You have successfully learned how to do the cable cast on. Now you can start your knitting project with a neat and professional-looking edge.

German Twisted Cast On

German Twisted Cast On

The German Twisted Cast On method is a variation of the long tail cast on technique that creates a stretchier and more flexible edge. It is especially useful for projects that require a lot of stretch, such as ribbing or socks.

To cast on using the German Twisted Cast On, follow these steps:

  1. Start with a slip knot and place it on your knitting needle.
  2. Hold the needle with the slip knot in your right hand and make a sling with your yarn around your left thumb and left index finger.
  3. Insert the needle from front to back between the two strands of yarn on your thumb.
  4. Bring the needle over the left strand of yarn, under the right strand, and then back over the left strand.
  5. Use your thumb to pull the left strand of yarn down, creating a loop on the needle.
  6. Release the loop on your thumb.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
  8. When you have finished casting on, tighten the stitches by pulling gently on the tail end of the yarn.

The German Twisted Cast On is known for its elasticity, making it a great choice for projects that require a bit of stretch. It creates a neat and sturdy edge that is perfect for ribbing, cuffs, or any other areas that need to retain their shape.

Give the German Twisted Cast On a try on your next project and see how it compares to the traditional long tail cast on. It may become your new go-to method for casting on!

Finishing and Next Steps

  1. Weaving in Ends: After completing your knitting project, you will need to secure and hide any loose yarn ends. This process is known as weaving in ends. Take a tapestry needle and thread the loose end through the stitches on the wrong side of your knitting. Weave the yarn in and out of the stitches for about an inch to ensure it stays secure.
  2. Blocking: Depending on the project, you may need to block your knitting to give it a more finished look. Blocking involves wetting your knitted piece, gently reshaping it, and allowing it to dry flat. This can help even out stitches and give your project a more professional appearance.
  3. Seaming: If you’ve knitted separate pieces that need to be joined together, such as for a sweater, you will need to seam them. This involves using a tapestry needle and a length of yarn to stitch the pieces together using a specific seaming technique, such as mattress stitch.
  4. Add Finishing Touches: Once the main knitting is complete, you can add any desired finishing touches to your project. This may include attaching buttons, sewing on pockets, or adding decorative elements such as embroidery or appliqué.
  5. Start Your Next Project: Now that you’ve learned how to cast on and complete a knitting project, you can start planning and knitting your next project. Whether it’s a simple scarf or a more advanced sweater, knitting offers endless possibilities for creativity and personal expression.

Remember, practice makes perfect! As you continue knitting and learning new techniques, your skills will improve, and you’ll be able to tackle more complex projects. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things – knitting is a versatile and rewarding craft.


What is casting on in knitting?

Casting on in knitting is the process of creating the first row of stitches on the needle, which forms the foundation of your knitting project.

What are the different methods of casting on in knitting?

There are several methods of casting on in knitting, including the long-tail cast-on, the knitted cast-on, the cable cast-on, and the provisional cast-on, among others. Each method creates a slightly different edge and is used for different purposes.

Can you explain the step-by-step process of the long-tail cast-on?

Sure! To do the long-tail cast-on, you start by making a slipknot on your needle. Then, hold the needle in your right hand and the yarn in your left hand. Wrap the yarn around your left thumb and hold it with your four fingers. Insert the needle into the loop on your thumb from front to back, and then bring the needle under the yarn on your index finger. Slip the thumb loop off your thumb and tighten the stitch on the needle. Repeat these steps until you have the desired number of stitches.

What is the purpose of the provisional cast-on method in knitting?

The provisional cast-on method is used when you want to create a temporary cast-on edge that can later be undone, allowing you to pick up the live stitches and work in the opposite direction. This method is often used for creating hems, cuffs, or edges that need to be seamlessly joined later.


Easy Cast On for Beginner Knitters – Learn to Knit

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