Do you want to start knitting but don’t know how to cast on? This step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know to get started, including how to hold your needles and which stitch to use.
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Assuming you have already gathered your materials, casting on is the first step in beginning any knitting project. Though it may look daunting at first, with a little practice it will become second nature. There are many different ways to cast on, but this tutorial will focus on the most basic method, known as the knit cast on. Once you have mastered this technique, you can move on to other methods if you so desire.
What You’ll Need
In order to start knitting, you’ll need a few supplies. The most important supply is yarn! You’ll also need a pair of knitting needles that are the right size for your yarn. You’ll also need a tapestry needle, which is a big needle with a blunt tip that is used for weaving in ends and seaming knitting together.
Once you have all of your supplies, you’re ready to start casting on. Casting on is the process of putting stitches onto your needle so that you can start knitting. There are lots of different ways to cast on, but the long tail cast on is a good method for beginners to learn.
To do the long tail cast on, you’ll start by making a slip knot in your yarn. To do this, take the tail end of your yarn and make a loop. Then, insert your thumb and first two fingers into the loop and grab the yarn that’s coming from the skein. Pull it through the loop so that you have two loops on your needle. Next, take the top loop and put it over the bottom loop and off of your needle. Now tug on both ends of the yarn slightly so that your knot cinches up tight. You’ve now made a slip knot!
The Long-Tail Cast On
The long-tail cast on is one of the most popular methods for casting on knitting needles. It is relatively easy to do and produces a firm, elastic edge. This makes it ideal for projects that require a bit of stretch, such as sock cuffs and ribbing.
To do the long-tail cast on, you will need to start with a long tail of yarn. The tail should be at least twice the width of your knitting needle. If you are using more than one skein of yarn, make sure to untwist the strands so they lie flat.
1. Make a slipknot in the middle of the yarn tail and place it over the point of your knitting needle. The working yarn (the strand that is attached to the skein) should be on top of the needle, while the tail end should be underneath.
2. Use your thumb and first two fingers to hold the yarn in place (as shown in the photo). Insert your needle tip under the strand of yarn between your thumb and first finger, then pull this strand up and over your knitting needle (so that it comes to rest on top of the needle).
3. Now poke your needle tip through the resulting loop on your thumb (from back to front), then use your thumb to slide this loop off your thumb and over the point of the needle. You’ve now made one stitch!
4. Gently tug on both ends of yarn to tighten this stitch, but don’t pull too tight or your work will pucker.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you have reached your desired number of stitches, making sure to leave a long tail at the beginning (this will be used later to weave in ends).
The Knitted Cast On
The knitted cast on is one of the most common ways to start a knitting project. It’s simple and easy to do, and it produces a nice, tight edge that won’t unravel.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Start with a slip knot. Make a loop in your yarn, and then poke the working end through the loop to form a second loop. Now tug on both ends of the yarn to tighten the knot.
2. Place the slip knot on one of your knitting needles. The needle should be positioned so that the working end of the yarn is coming from the back of the needle (towards you).
3. Insert your other needle through the front loop of the slip knot.
4. Wrap the working end of the yarn around this second needle (from back to front), and then poke it through the first loop on that needle (from front to back). Now you should have two loops on that second needle.
5. Tighten up both loops by pulling on both ends of the yarn.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you have the desired number of stitches on your needles.
The Cable Cast On
The cable cast on is a strong, elastic method of casting on that is often used for heavier weight yarns. It is also good for projects that require a lot of stretch, like socks. To do a cable cast on, you will need a knitting needle in each hand.
1. Make a slip knot and put it on your left needle.
2. Insert your right needle into the stitch on the left needle from front to back.
3. Wrap the yarn around the right needle from back to front.
4. Draw the wrapped yarn through the stitch on the left needle, and let the stitch slip off of the left needle.
5. Put the new loop onto the left needle. You have now cast on one stitch!
6. Repeat these steps until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
The Thumb Cast On
The thumb cast on is a beginner-friendly way to cast on knitting needles. This method is also called theôslingshotômethod because of the way the yarn is wrapped around the thumb.
To start, hold the yarn in your left hand and make a slipknot. Place the slipknot over your left thumb and hold it in place with your left index finger. Now, take the needle in your right hand and insert it under the strand of yarn that’s wrapped around your thumb (from back to front). Next, wrap the yarn around the needle (from front to back) and pull it through to create a new loop on the needle. Finally, slide the new loop off your thumb and tighten it slightly. You’ve now cast on one stitch!
Repeat these steps until you’ve cast on the desired number of stitches. When you’re finished, you can begin knitting by holding the needle with the cast-on stitches in your left hand and working with the empty needle in your right hand.
The Two-Needle Cast On
The two-needle cast on is one of the most basic methods for starting a new knitting project. It’s quick and easy to learn, and it’s also quite versatile. You can use the two-needle cast on to make a wide variety of different stitches, from the simplest knit stitch to more complex patterns.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Start by holding your knitting needles in your left hand. If you’re using straight needles, hold them parallel to each other. If you’re using circular needles, hold the needle that will be your working needle (the one you’ll use to knit your stitches) in your right hand, and hold the other needle in your left hand.
2. Make a slipknot and place it on the working needle.
3. Insert the working needle into the first stitch on the other needle (holding both needles in your left hand), and then wrap the yarn around the working needle as if you were going to knit a stitch.
4. Draw the wrapped yarn through the first stitch on the other needle, and then place the new loop onto the left-hand needle.
5. Repeat steps 3-4 until you have the desired number of stitches on your left-hand needle
The German Twisted Cast On
The German Twisted Cast On is a great choice for beginners because it is easy to do and produces a firm, neat edge. You will need a knitting needle that is one size smaller than the needle you will be using for the project.
1. Start by making a slip knot on the smaller needle.
2. Insert the needle into the loop of the slip knot from back to front and then back to front again so that the needle is now behind the loop.
3. Wrap the yarn around the needle clockwise and then pull the yarn through the loop on the needle to make a new loop.
4. Insert the needle into this new loop from back to front and then back to front again so that it is now behind the new loop.
5. Wrap the yarn around the needle clockwise again and pull the yarn through the loop on the needle to make another new loop.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
The E-Wrap Cast On
The E-wrap cast on is a very basic method of placing loops on a knitting needle to start a project. It’s one of the easiest methods to learn, making it a great choice for beginners. This method can be used for any type of knitting, including projects worked in the round.
To begin, make a slip knot and place it on the needle. The slip knot will count as your first stitch.
Wrap the yarn around the needle from back to front. This is why it’s called the “e-wrap” cast on.
With the yarn still wrapped around the needle, insert the tip of the needle into the loop of yarn that’s currently on your thumb.
Pull the yarn through to make a new loop on the needle.
Repeat these steps until you have the desired number of stitches on your needle.
The Backward Loop Cast On
The backward loop cast on is one of the easiest ways to cast on stitches and is perfect for beginners. To start, make a slipknot and place it on the needle. Then, insert the needle into the loop of the slipknot and pull it through to make a second loop. Next, insert your needle into that second loop from back to front and pull it through to make a third loop. Continue doing this until you have the required number of stitches on your needle.