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Picture of Knitting Lessons: Cast On Techniques

All knitting starts with casting on. This creates loops on the needle which will become the first row of stitches. Here I present four cast on techniques which are the most commonly used.

These techniques include:
Single Cast On
Longtail Cast On
Knitted Cast On
Cable Cast On

I recommend learning the Single Cast On and Longtail Cast On techniques first. The longtail is my favorite; once you get the hang of it it is super easy and makes a nice edge. I would wait to learn the knit stitch before you learn the Knitted Cast On and Cable Cast On. It is much simpler once you are proficient at the knit stitch.

I suggest using wooden needles when learning how to knit.

For more knitting tutorials visit my page: Carleyy.

 
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Step 1: Single Cast On

Picture of Single Cast On
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Slip Knot
  1. Start by making a loop with the yarn.  
  2. Bring the yarn through the loop, creating another loop with a knot at the end
Single Cast On
  1. Slide slip knot onto needle.  Pull yarn to tighten knot
  2. Wrap the working yarn (yarn connected to the ball of yarn) around your thumb so you have a loop around your thumb.
  3. Bring the needle under and up through the loop around your thumb
  4. Remove your thumb from the loop and pull the yarn
  5. Continue from step 2 until you have desired number of stitches casted on

Step 2: Longtail Cast On

Longtail Cast On:  Before you start to cast on, leave a tail at the end of the yarn.  The length of the tail depends on the number of stitches you want to cast on.  If you want to cast on 10 stitches leave about a foot of yarn for the tail.
  1. Drape the tail over your thumb and pointer finger on your left hand.  
  2. Catch it in between your pointer and middle finger.
  3. Catch the yarn connected to the ball against your palm with your pinky and ring fingers. 
  4. Take the needle in your right hand.  Place it on top of the yarn between your thumb and pointer finger.
  5. Draw the yarn towards you with the needle.  You should see a loop of yarn around your thumb.
  6. Bring the needle under the outer piece of yarn next to your thumb and up through the loop.
  7. Bring the needle back towards your pointer finger. 
  8. Bring the needle over the yarn connected to your pointer finger and then under back towards the thumb.
  9. Drop the head of the needle back down through the loop around your thumb.
  10. Release your thumb from the loop and pull the yarn.
  11. Repeat from step 6 until you have the desired number of stitches casted on.

Step 3: Knit Cast On

Knitted Cast On
  1. Make a slip knot and put it on your needle.  Hold this needle in your left hand and take the second needle in your right hand.
  2. Pass the needle in the right hand through the loop on the left needle and bring the right needle under the left needle.
  3. With your left hand, wrap the working yarn around your left hand needle.
  4. Bring the right needle back through the loop on the left needle.
  5. Now you have a loop around your right needle.  Turn the loop and drop it on to the left needle and release the right needle from the loop .
  6. Pull the yarn and you have two stitches casted on.  
  7. To continue, repeat from step 2.


Step 4: Cable Cast On

Cable Cast On
  1. For the first two stitches, use instructions for knitted cast on.
  2. Once you have two stitches casted on.  Take your right needle and put it in between the two stitches by bringing it under the left needle and through the yarn that connects the two stitches.
  3. Wrap the working yarn around the right needle.
  4. Bring the right needle back through the loops.
  5. Now you have a loop around your right needle. Turn the loop and drop it on to the left needle and release the right needle from the loop .
  6. Pull the yarn.  You should have two stitches casted on.
  7. To continue, repeat from step 2. 

PennyPA1 year ago

This really makes knitting look easy!! I think the video helped the most; thank you so much for that. I do echo katzenmama's question of "what would be the reason for choosing one technique over another?" Now I'm off to Walmart to buy 2 knitting needles and a small amount of yarn to practice.

Thank you for sharing this fine Instructable ;) I have for a long time want to learn how to knit. I like to use my hands, and like to sew. Soon I will get myself a sewing machine. Its fun to learn a little of this and that, and use it together in an art collage. Maybe sew with metal wire..? A special wire of course..

Kjetil
tianapotter2 years ago
Still having trouble casting on I don't get how to do the first casting on it just makes a loop if you could post a video I would very appreciate it. Thanks
katzenmama3 years ago
Thank you for all of your knitting lessons. I appreciate how thoroughly you documented each step both with photos and written instructions. I also greatly appreciate that you used verbal instructions in your videos, rather than simply showing the techniques. The combination of photo, text, video and verbal instructions have made learning to knit very easy. (Now if only I could do it without dropping stitches, etc. lol ) I started with the single cast on, as it seemed to be the easiest casting on method to learn, and have now learned the knit stitch and the purl stitch through your tutorials. I also finished your casting (binding) off lesson, and am now returning to the cast-on lessons to learn the other casting on techniques.

My question for you is: what would be the reason for choosing one technique over another? Is there a hierarchy of superiority between the various methods? Would the decision be based on the type of project one is doing?

Thanks! Kati
omg thank u so much yours is the only one that makes sense!!!!
smookins4 years ago
I have tried so many different tutorials on casting on even other videos, but I must say yours is the only one that was through enough for me to understand how to do it!
Thank you so very much.
I was having trouble learning to cast on, but I have to say the single cast on video was a huge help. I love that it was filmed first person, made it so much easier to understand.