How to Cast On in Knitting

How to Cast on in Knitting


Do you love knitted things? Have you always wanted to learn how to knit but never had the time to commit? Learning how is rather easy, you just need to first learn to cast on. Below is a guide with everything you need to help you get started. Keep in mind that since most people are right-handed this is written for the right hand, but if you are left-handed, it does not mean you cannot learn how to cast on too. Just follow this simple guide and use the opposite hand.

Gather Your Materials

Learning to knit takes time, practice, and patience. And, you will want to start with the proper yarn. It may be cute to use decorative, fancy yarn but keep in mind that it will be significantly more difficult to work with. Your best bet is to start with cheaper, simpler yarn that you can easily grab onto with your fingertips. Also, cheaper yarn yields larger skeins than expensive fancy yarn. So, you might get a foot and a half out of the cheap yarn when making a scarf whereas the fancy, more expensive yarn only gives you a foot or less of length.

Yarn aside, you will also need a pair of knitting needles. But to cast on, you’ll only be using one of them. It might also be handy to have your sewing kit nearby for situations where you might need a pair of scissors or a magnifying glass.

Now, after you’ve successfully cast on, you will need both needles to begin your project. The knit stitch is the easiest stitch. After learning this part, you can explore some of the other more complicated stitching techniques.

How to Cast on in Knitting

Casting On

There are different ways to cast on depending on what type of stitch you are starting out with but the easiest way to begin learning to knit if by using the knit stitch. This type of casting on is useful – not just for those beginning to knit, but also when you have to cast on a lot of stitches or when you’re adding stitches to the middle of a row. It’s also a handy stitch to know when making hats or sweaters.

The First Step

The first step in casting on is making a slip knot. Begin this by:

  • Holding the yarn so that the tail of the yarn attached to the skein is hanging in front of your hand.
  • Next, wrap the yarn around behind your first two fingers of your left hand. Keep it loose, and it will be easier to work with. The yarn should make a loop all the way around your fingers in a clockwise fashion.
  • Take the yarn that’s attached to the skein and slide it beneath the loop that’s behind your fingers.
  • Slide it off of your fingers. Pull slightly and tighten a little (not a lot). Then slide it over the needle.
  • When you have made the knot, place the needle with the knot in your left hand and the empty needle in your other hand.

How to Cast on in Knitting

The Second Step

For the next step, loop the yarn that is attached to the skein over the tip of the right needle. Move counter-clockwise, but take extra care not to loop the yarn over both tips of the needles. Remember, hold the yarn loosely as you work otherwise it will make the bottom of your knitting project appear tight in some areas and the stitches will be more difficult down the line as you work. So, in essence, watch the tension in your hands.

The Difficult Part

There is only one challenging part when learning how to cast on when knitting. It may seem silly, but the hardest part is just getting used to the basic movement of the needles to create a new loop. Once you have mastered that the motion, it will become second nature and you will fly through any knitting project.

How to Cast on in Knitting

However, don’t let yourself become overconfident in your knitting speed or you might accidentally miss a loop! Keep count of how many stitches you started with and count each row until you feel comfortable enough to know by just looking if the stitches are all there. It takes patience and practice but following the guide above will get you on the right path to becoming a knitting pro in no time.

Alisha Land

Alisha is a freelance writer and mom of 8 children. She owns a child safety education company, Kids Home Safe, is a contributing writer for Power Automedia, has had a regular column on Women’s Voices Digital Magazine. She has written for numerous sites across the web since she began writing, nearly 18 years ago. When she isn't writing she's spending time with her children at the pool swimming or watching their favorite show, Shark Tank.

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