How to Cast On





Introduction: How to Cast On

There are some things I constantly find myself going back to my knitting books for a refresher on, and casting on is one of them. I’ve built it into my muscle memory now, but for years I’d need to consult some reference or another to remind me how to start every new project.

If you’re anything like me, you can use a reminder on occasion about even some of the most basic knitting techniques. If so, I hope you find this little tutorial helpful. It also might be useful for any beginners out there who are trying to tease out the meat from the illustrations in knitting books that often don’t speak very well from themselves.

There are, of course, many different ways to cast on, but once I learned this one, I never bothered to learn another. Anyway, here’s how I do it.

Step 1: Start the Slipknot

To begin the slipknot that will become the first cast-on stitch, make a loop with the yarn, leaving about an inch of tail for each stitch you plan to cast on (in this example, we’ll use 10+ inches for 10 stitches) and a few extra inches, just to be safe.

Step 2: Finish the Slipknot

Loop a section of the tail and pull it through your first loop. The slipknot formed by second loop will be your first stitch, while the first loop will provide the tension.

Step 3: Finish First Stitch

Insert the needle through the slipknot and pull it tight. You’ve cast on your first stitch.

Step 4: Start Second Stitch

Hold the needle in your right hand, with the knot of the first stitch facing away from you. Loop the tail around your left thumb (as shown here), and insert your needle into the front of the loop.

Step 5: Knit Second Stitch

Wrap the skein-side yarn around the tip of your needle, just as you do when knitting.

Step 6: Finish Second Stitch

Fold the loop in your left hand over the tip of the needle and pull taut. You’ve just cast on your second stitch and are ready to do the rest just like this one.

Step 7: Finish Up

Once you’re done casting on, your 10 stitches should look like this.

And that’s basically it. Works every time.



    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018
    • Pro Tips Challenge

      Pro Tips Challenge

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    OK, this is how I originally learned to cast on, but everything I've read since was a longer, more complicated way that uses way more yarn! Thanks for showing this is the way to cast on. I've got to start a project and didn't think I'd ever get it done, let alone started !!! WHOO-HOO!!!

    I've always used a more complicated "stretchy" cast on that uses twice the yarn. This was perfect for my latest project - thanks!

    Thanks this was VERY helpful. My try turned out just like the picture.

    it is really helpful
    thanks :)

    This is really confusing sorry

    I think I've done this once, but I didn't have that white stick, I just held one end between my toes and kept getting those loops one into the other. maybe it's not the same thing, but thx for posting, it's surely better than any other guide..

    Thanks for this awesome instructable. Casting off makes much more sense now to me.

    it was interesting to see your way of casting on - here in central europe we cast on differently and we also knit differently than the british for example. how do you knit in the states, the continental or the british way?

    Hi Pixiebits...There are THREE ways of knitting, or so I've heard tell. 1) British, 2) European and 3) American. And then there is a 4th: Left-handed knitting for any/all of the above! Confusing, eh? Living in Canada, we can pick n' choose...and get very confused about which size needles to use! LOL The best bit is that if any given method confuses you...switch to another - eventually the right one will turn up!