How to Cast On Knitting

How to Cast On Knitting

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit, one of the first things you’ll need to master is casting on. Casting on is the process of creating the foundation row of stitches on your knitting needle. It’s a crucial step that sets the stage for your entire knitting project. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the different methods of casting on, from the basic long-tail cast on to the more advanced provisional cast on.

Before you begin, you’ll need:

1. Knitting needles: Choose needles that are appropriate for your yarn weight.

2. Yarn: Select a yarn that matches your project’s requirements, such as a medium-weight yarn for a beginner’s scarf.

3. Stitch markers: These will come in handy for identifying specific points in your knitting.

4. A tapestry needle: This needle will help you weave in loose ends once you’ve finished your project.

Note: It’s always a good idea to practice casting on with scrap yarn before starting your actual project.

Now that you have everything you need, let’s begin with the most common method of casting on: the long-tail cast on.

Gather your materials

Before you can start casting on your knitting project, you’ll need to gather a few materials. Make sure you have the following items on hand:

  • Yarn: Choose a yarn that is appropriate for your project. Consider the weight, fiber content, and color of the yarn.
  • Knitting needles: Select a pair of knitting needles that are compatible with your yarn. The size of the needles will depend on your desired gauge.
  • Tape measure: You’ll need a tape measure to check the gauge and measure the length of your work.
  • Scissors: Keep a pair of scissors nearby to cut the yarn when needed.
  • Stitch markers: Stitch markers can be helpful for marking important points in your knitting project.
  • Yarn needle: A yarn needle is used for weaving in ends and sewing pieces of your project together.
  • Pattern or instructions: If you’re following a pattern, make sure you have it handy. If not, have a clear idea of what you want to knit.

Having all of these materials readily available will ensure that you can start casting on without any delays. Double-check that you have everything you need before you begin to save yourself from any frustration during the process.

Choose the right casting method

To start your knitting project, you need to cast on stitches onto your knitting needle. There are several different casting methods you can choose from, each with its own advantages and applications. Here are a few common casting methods:

  • Loop method: Suitable for beginners, this method involves creating a slipknot and then forming loops on the needle.
  • Long-tail cast-on: One of the most popular casting methods, this technique creates a neat and flexible edge. It requires a longer tail of yarn and involves a combination of loop and wrap stitches.
  • Knitted cast-on: This method is similar to the knit stitch and produces a firm and sturdy edge. It’s a good choice for projects that require a stable foundation.
  • Cable cast-on: Similar to the long-tail cast-on, this method creates a dense edge and is often used for ribbing.

When choosing a casting method, consider the type of project you’re working on and the desired outcome. Each method creates a different edge, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs. Experiment with different casting methods to find your preferred technique.

Make a slipknot

To begin your knitting project, you will first need to create a slipknot. This is the first step in casting on and is essential for starting your knitting process.

Follow these steps to create a slipknot:

  • Start with a length of yarn, leaving a tail of about 6 inches.
  • Hold the end of the yarn in your right hand and create a loop by crossing the working end of the yarn over the tail.
  • Insert your fingers through the loop, from right to left.
  • Reach through the loop with your right hand and grab the working end of the yarn.
  • Pull the working end of the yarn through the loop, creating a slipknot. Adjust the loop size as necessary by pulling on the working end.

The slipknot should be snug but not too tight, as you will need to work the yarn through it later. Once you have created the slipknot, you are ready to move on to the next step of casting on in your knitting project.

Insert the needle through the loop

After you have made your slip knot, hold the needle with the slip knot in your right hand and the working yarn in your left hand.

Take the needle in your right hand and insert the tip of the needle into the loop of the slip knot from front to back.

Slowly slide the tip of the needle all the way through the loop until the slip knot is sitting snugly on the shaft of the needle.

Hold the working yarn in your left hand, ensuring it is not too tight or too loose.

You have now successfully inserted the needle through the loop and are ready to move on to the next step of your knitting project.

Wrap the yarn around the needle

After you have made your slipknot, hold the knitting needle with the slipknot in your right hand. Keep the tail end of the yarn hanging down, while the working yarn (the yarn attached to the ball or skein) should be hanging over your left hand.

Next, take the working yarn and bring it under the needle, from back to front, creating a loop. Hold onto this loop with your left thumb and first finger.

Then, bring the working yarn over the needle, from left to right, and wrap it around the needle. This creates a second loop on the needle.

  1. Hold the needle steady with your right hand, making sure both loops are securely on the needle.
  2. Adjust the tension of the yarn by gently pulling on the working yarn. It should be snug enough so that it doesn’t slip off, but not too tight.

Congratulations! You have successfully wrapped the yarn around the needle and completed the casting on process. Now you are ready to start your knitting project!

Pull the loop through

Once you have made your slip knot and inserted the needle into the loop, it is time to pull the loop through. This step will create your first stitch on the needle.

To pull the loop through, hold the needle in your right hand and use your left hand to hold onto the slip knot. Gently tug the slip knot and pull it through the loop on the needle. Make sure to keep the tension on the yarn consistent so that your stitch is even.

As you pull the loop through, you will notice that the slip knot tightens around the needle, creating a loop of yarn around it. This loop will become your first stitch. Repeat this process for each stitch you want to cast on.

If you are using a knitting pattern that specifies a certain number of cast on stitches, count the loops on your needle as you go to ensure you have cast on the correct number. This will help you avoid mistakes and ensure your project turns out as desired.

Repeat the process

Once you have completed the first cast on stitch, you will need to repeat the process to create the desired number of stitches for your knitting project.

To repeat the cast on process, follow these steps:

  1. Hold the needle with the cast on stitch in your right hand.
  2. Insert the left needle into the loop of the cast on stitch from left to right.
  3. With your fingers, grab the working yarn and bring it under the left needle.
  4. Take the working yarn over the left needle, forming a loop.
  5. Pull the loop through the stitch on the left needle to create a new stitch.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for each additional stitch you want to cast on.

Continue to repeat these steps until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. Remember to maintain an even tension to ensure that all of your stitches are the same size.

Once you have successfully cast on all of the stitches you need, you are ready to start your knitting project!

Finish the cast-on edge

Once you have completed casting on the desired number of stitches, you will need to finish the cast-on edge to ensure the stitches do not unravel. There are several methods you can use to finish the edge:

  • Knit the first row: After casting on, you can start knitting the first row of your project. This will secure the cast-on edge and create a clean, finished look.
  • Purl the first row: If you prefer the look of a purl stitch, you can choose to purl the first row instead of knitting it. This will create a different texture on the cast-on edge.
  • Use a provisional cast-on: If you want to have the option to join the cast-on edge with the bound-off edge later, you can use a provisional cast-on. This involves using a waste yarn to create the cast-on stitches, which can be easily removed later, allowing you to pick up the live stitches and join them with the bound-off edge using a technique such as grafting.
  • Bind off the stitches: Another option is to bind off the cast-on stitches. This is often used when working a project that starts with a ribbed or textured pattern. To bind off, simply knit or purl two stitches, then pass the first stitch over the second stitch and off the needle. Repeat this process until all the stitches are bound off.

Choose the method that best suits your project and the desired outcome. Experiment with different techniques to discover the finish that works best for you.


What is casting on in knitting?

Casting on in knitting is the process of creating the foundation row of stitches on your knitting needle to start a project.

What are the different methods of casting on?

There are several methods of casting on in knitting, including the long-tail cast on, the knit cast on, and the cable cast on. Each method creates a different edge and has its own advantages and uses.

How do I do the long-tail cast on?

To do the long-tail cast on, you need to first make a slip knot and then hold the knitting needle with the slip knot in your right hand. Then, place your thumb and index finger of your left hand between the two strands of yarn and make a loop over your thumb. Bring the needle under the thumb loop and grab the yarn tail with the needle. Pull the tail through the loop, keeping the loop on your thumb. Repeat this process for the desired number of stitches.

What is the advantage of using the long-tail cast on method?

The advantage of using the long-tail cast on method is that it creates a neat and elastic edge. It is also one of the most versatile methods and can be used for a wide range of knitting projects.

Is the cable cast on similar to the long-tail cast on?

No, the cable cast on is different from the long-tail cast on. In the cable cast on, you create a new stitch by knitting into the previous stitch instead of making a loop with your thumb. It creates a sturdy and firm edge, making it ideal for projects that require more structure.


Master the Basic Knitted Cast On: Easy Step-by-Step Guide for Beginner Knitters!

How to CAST ON Knitting for Total Beginners

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *