March 27, 2009

Tutorial: How-to Cast On

After you learn how to make a slip knot, you will need to know how to cast-on. It takes a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do it with your eyes closed.

This method of casting on is called the Long-tail Cast-On. It's the first type I learned and I find it really fast and easy to do, especially for beginners. So when you make your slip knot, be sure to leave a tail end that is at least three times the width of the item you want to knit. For example, if you are knitting a scarf that is six-inches wide, you'll want to have a tail that is at least eighteen-inches long.

Got your slip knot ready? Let's cast-on.

Hold the needle with the slip knot with your right hand. With the left hand, close the bottom three fingers around the yarn, then spread the yarn open with your thumb and index finger (Figure A).



Pull the right hand side down. It will look like you're holding a slingshot (Figure B).


Here's the part that will take a bit of practice. Take the needle with your right hand and pick up the left loop closest to you from bottom up (Figure C).


Move the needle to the right side, and pick up the top right loop from bottom up (Figure D). The yarn on the right loop should wrap around the front of the needle counter-clockwise.


 With your left thumb, bring the hoop over the tip of your needle (Figure E).


 Pull down the yarn, and there you have it! Your very first cast-on stitch, sitting happily next to your first slip knot. Make sure it's not too tight, because you will have trouble inserting needle when you start knitting later. Repeat until you reach the desired width.


After a few more cast-on stitches, this is what it should look like.

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