How to Cast On in Knitting

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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Casting on is the first step of any knitting project. It is the process by which you place the first row of stitches on the knitting needle. The double cast-on described here is one of the simplest methods of laying down your foundation row of knitting stitches.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Knitting Patterns
  • Crochet Hooks
  • Knitting Baskets Or Tote
  • Knitting Needles
  • Measuring Tapes
  • Row Counter
  • Yarns

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  1. 1

    Determine the number of stitches that are to be cast onto the knitting needle. Refer to your pattern instructions for this number.

  2. 2

    Pull a length of yarn from the yarn skein long enough to make the required number of stitches. Measure out approximately 1 inch of yarn for every stitch you will cast on. When in doubt, overestimate. Keep the tail end of your yarn to the left and the skein end to the right.

  3. 3

    Form a slipknot on your needle at the point on the yarn that is your measured distance from the tail end.

  4. 4

    Make a slipknot by first holding the tail end of the yarn in your left palm with your thumb. Wrap the yarn from the skein twice around your left forefinger and left middle finger. Pull the yarn strand attached to the skein up through the loop between your two wrapped fingers to form a new loop.

  5. 5

    Place the loop you just made onto the knitting needle and then tighten the loop by pulling on both yarn ends.

  6. 6

    Keep needle in your right hand and place right forefinger on the loop to secure. Allow the tail end of the yarn to wind around your left thumb, from left to right and to rest in the palm of your left hand.

  7. 7

    Wind the skein end of the yarn over and around your left forefinger so that the strand also comes to rest in your left palm. Secure both strands with the last three fingers of your left hand. Your left hand should now form an "L" shape and the yarn strands should be somewhat taut between your left and right hands.

  8. 8

    Insert needle up through the loop on your left thumb and draw yarn that is resting on left forefinger down through that same loop to form a stitch. Take your left thumb out of the loop and use it to tighten the stitch by pulling the tail end of yarn down and back. Now yarn will once again be positioned appropriately on your left thumb.

  9. 9

    Repeat steps 6 to 8 until desired number of stitches are cast on.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a needle size and yarn weight as indicated in knitting pattern.
  • Pull yarn from center of skein or ball to help prevent tangling of yarn.
  • Keep your hands, arms and shoulders relaxed as you are knitting. This will help keep your stitch tension even and stitches as consistent as possible.
  • Experiment with the positioning of your hands and the yarn as much as necessary in order to establish your own knitting rhythm.

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