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Hello, I am just learning to knit and I have a nagging, more than likely dumb question. Can you please explain to me what the purpose of the long tail is? I have knit a 4 x 4 square for practice and I end up taking the tail when I'm finished binding off and weaving it through the square. For some reason I didn't I missed something. Thanks!

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bekathwiaBest Answer (author)2017-02-02

So there may be two things you're referring to called "long tail":

1. the Long Tail Cast On is a method for starting knitting that results in a stretchy edge. It is so named because the casting on uses yarn from the tail, requiring a longer tail to start than other cast on methods.

2. the long tail of yarn leftover after you've finished casting on and binding off-- yes, you will always weave in ends after you finish knitting, so that your knitting doesn't come unraveled. The woven-in tail locks down the strand securely. However the amount of yarn left at the beginning of your cast on row depends on your estimation of how much yarn will be used in the long tail cast on.

I hope that helps!

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marylpn (author)bekathwia2017-02-03

Thank you for your quick response. I seem to start my knitting cast on with a long tail which when I'm done I weave into the cloth but also end up with with yarn coming from the ball that I cut and use to weave. Should I end up with 2 yarn strands that need woven in? Like I said brand new to this and was shown tail cast on but never explained the purpose of it.

I really think I missed something in the instruction :(

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bekathwia (author)marylpn2017-02-05

Yes, you should end up with two tails when you are done knitting, the one from the start of your knitting, and the one after you're done binding off. Additionally if you have to start a new ball of yarn or want to switch colors, you'll have two tails for every time the strand changes over.

If you are still concerned, post a photo! =]

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