Casting on Knitting Video and Tutorials

Casting on Knitting Video     by Janice Jones     |Published 03-12-2021

Before you can begin that first project you need to know how to cast on your stitches.  This is a beginner tutorial on how to do the knit cast on so you can begin to learn to knit.  

If you are here, you may be wondering why there are so many different ways to cast on stitches so you can begin to learn to knit.  That's a very good question which I hope to answer below.

Methods of Casting on Knitting Stitches

By now, you may have figured out that there are more than one way to cast on or place stitches on knitting needles so you can begin to knit.  In this article, I will be discussing 3 methods:

  1. Long-Tail Cast On
  2. Knitting-On
  3. Cable Cast-On

Long-tail cast-on or Sling Shot Method

This is an easy cast-on method for beginners.  It uses one needle and a double strand of yarn.  You might see this method referred to as the slingshot method because it looks like you are holding the yarn like a slingshot.

Step 1:  Long-tail cast-on 

Pull out a length of yarn.  Just how much yarn should you pull out?  It all depends on the number of stitches you are casting on.  One inch of yarn is roughly needed for each stitch. 

Another method is to use an empty needle and wrap yarn around it once per stitch until you have made enough wraps that equal the number of stitches you intend to cast on.

Step 2: Long-tail cast-on 

Make a slip knot and slide it onto your needle.  Give a little tug to tighten but not too tight.

Hold the needle in your right hand. With your left hand, grab both the tail and the working yarn in the palm of your hand.  Use three fingers to hold this yarn in place.  Using your thumb and index finger, spread the center apart, so it looks like you will use a slingshot.

Step 3: Long-tail cast-on 

Using the tip of your needle, grab the loop of yarn you are holding with your thumb.  Move the needle's point over and around the strand of yarn held by your index finger.  Bring the needle's point through the loop and tighten.  You should have a stitch on your needle.

Step 4: Long-tail cast-on 

Repeat for as many stitches that you need.

Knitted Cast-On

The knit-on method uses both needles and one length of yarn.  There is no need to measure a long tail of yarn, but still begin with about a five to six-inch tail.  This is another beginner method because it uses the basic knit stitch 

Step One:  Knitted Cast-on

Make a slip knot. Slip the slip knot onto the left needle.   

Step 2:  Knitted Cast-on

Insert the right-hand needle into the stitch on the left needle as if to knit. 

Step 3:  Knitted Cast-on

Wrap the yarn around the right needle, and pull through, but don't drop the stitch from the left needle.  

Step 4:  Knitted Cast-on

Slip the new stitch from the right needle to the left needle. Tug a little to tighten.  

Step 5:  Knitted Cast-on

Continue doing this until you have the number of stitches required.

Cable Cast-On

This is another beginner-friendly cast-on and is very similar to the Knitting Cast-on.  This method is also used when additional stitches are needed at the end of a row or making buttonholes. 

Notice that the first four steps are similar to the knit-on method, but once you have two stitches on your left-hand needle, the method changes slightly.

Step 1:  Cable Cast-on

Make a slip knot. Slip the slip knot onto the left needle.   

Step 2:  Cable Cast-on

Insert the right-hand needle into the stitch on the left needle as if to knit. 

Step 3:  Cable Cast-on

Wrap the yarn around the right needle, and pull through, but don't drop the stitch from the left needle.  

Step 4:  Cable Cast-on

Slip the new stitch from the right needle to the left needle. Tug a little to tighten.  

Step 5:  Cable Cast-on

Insert the needle into the space between the first two stitches.  Wrap the yarn as if to knit and pull the stitch through but do not slip any stitches off the needle.

Step 6:  Cable Cast-on

Bring the new stitch up and slide it onto the left-hand needle.  Repeat the process by inserting the needle between the last two stitches until you have made the required number of stitches.

Last Words

There are other ways to cast on, but these seem to be the easiest for beginners to master quickly.  You can use these methods on just about any easy project you choose.

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