If you’re thinking about getting into knitting, the first thing you’ll need to learn is how to cast on knitting.

Casting on is the first knitting technique you must learn. It’s the process of binding the loose end of the yarn into stitches and the starting point of every knitting project. And once you’ve cast the thread on your needles, you are then ready to knit. You can also use a casting-on process to knit an independent lower edge.

Learning how to cast on knitting is essential. Without this skill, you’ll struggle to begin any knitting pattern, and your stitches will unravel. 

But we’ve compiled the following pointers on how to cast on knitting, which should help you get that project started. The below casting on methods will have you knitting that prize jumper in no time.

Start with a Slipknot

Start with a Slipknot

Before casting, you’ll need to know how to make a slipknot. Without this, you won’t be able to cast your yarn onto your needles. The following steps will ensure that you create a slipknot easily. 

  • Put the yarn before you. Now place the loose end on your right-hand side and the yarn ball on your left-hand side and unwind the yarn ball about 6 to 8 inches and determine where you want to create your knot. Place the loose end of the yarn in your left hand and the working end attached to the ball in your right hand. 
  • Make a loop by placing yarn in your right hand and then put it on top of the thread in your left hand.
  • Now, carefully hold this loop between your left index finger and thumb.
  • Take the strand that is attached to the ball of yarn and create another loop. You can start from the bottom of your first loop and bring it to the top by slowly pulling it through.
  • Hold on to the knot base with your left hand and insert your knitting needle under the second loop. Now pull up the needle in your right hand slowly until the loop is secure. It is the first knot, also called the slipknot. Now you can begin casting the thread onto your needle. 

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Best Cast On Techniques

There are different methods that you can use for casting on knitting. Here I break down some of my favourite and basic ways that you can learn quickly.

  1. The Single Cast On Method
  2. Longtail Cast On Method
  3. Knit Cast-on Method

Best Cast On Techniques

The Single Cast On Method

The Single casting on knitting technique is one of the simplest methods to get you started. It is also known as Thumb cast on or backward loop cast on. This fast and easy technique is my go-to method to cast a few stitches on when needed.

Creating the first row of stitches might be challenging for beginners. You need to apply proper tension on your needle to get the perfect stitch. If your tension is too low, you’ll end up with sloppy stitches. You can also learn this cast on method from our knitting expert. 

Here is how to cast on knitting using the Single cast on technique:

  1. Start by adding a slipknot to your knitting needle, as above.
  2. Then, hold the needle with the knot in your right hand and the yarn ball in your left hand. Always place your thumb over the yarn.
  3. Create a loop around your thumb by bringing it down and then moving it back to an upright position.
  4. Then insert your right-hand needle below the yarn at the base of your thumb in an upward motion. 
  5. Slowly remove your thumb, leaving the loop on the knitting needle.
  6. Once the loop is entirely on the needle, gently pull the end with your left hand until it fits snugly on your needle. Make sure not to pull it too tightly. 
  7. You have the first stitch on your needle. Now repeat the process until you have enough stitches on your needle.

Longtail Cast On Method

The Longtail casting on knitting method is a popular technique. It is also the quickest method of all. Longtail casting on results in a firm but slightly elastic knitted edge. 

One of the biggest challenges with this method is ensuring you have sufficient yarn to cast on all your stitches. To combat this, I wrap my yarn around my needle equal times to the number of stitches required. For example, if I need 25 stitches, I will wrap the thread around the needle 25 times. This gives me a rough idea of the length of yarn I’ll need. 

The following details how to cast on knitting using the Longtail cast on technique:

  1. Make a slipknot and place it on your needle. Grab hold of the knitting needle with your right hand and let both the strings fall.
  2. Stick your left thumb and forefinger together and place them in between the two falling strings of yarn.
  3. Place the loose end over your thumb and the end still attached to the yarn ball over your forefinger. Now spread them apart and hold the dangling ends with the palm and your left hand. 
  4. Now raise both your hands to put them in the same position with each other. Pull the needle back a little, like a slingshot. 
  5. Insert the needle in your right hand, placed at the bottom of your thumb, below the yarn.
  6. Once you have done this, move your needle towards the index finger of your left hand. Now hook the yarn onto your index finger by wrapping it around the needle. 
  7. Then, bring the needle back towards the left thumb and put it through the thumb loop. You need to gently pull out your thumb, leaving a new stitch on the needle. 
  8. Pull the loose end of the yarn with your left hand until it fits snugly on your needle. Remember not to pull it tightly. 
  9. You have the first stitch on your needle. Now repeat the process until you have enough stitches on your needle.

Knit Cast-on Method

The Knit casting on knitting technique is a little tricky as compared to single and longtail cast-on. However, this method will teach you more about knit stitches and improve your learning curve. 

Knit casting on knitting method is also known as the knit-on cast-on or two-needle cast-on process. It produces two stitches from one and results in a moderately stretchy edge. I like the knit cast-on technique and prefer using it more than others. It helps in adding additional stitches in the centre of the row. Learn this cast on method from one of our expert on Lrnkey

This is how to cast on knitting using the Knit cast on technique:

  1. Create a slipknot and place it on your needle. Hold this needle in your left hand. 
  2. Hold the second needle in your right hand and pass it through the loop on your left-hand needle. Place the right needle under the left. 
  3. With your right hand, wrap the yarn attached to the ball in the anti-clockwise direction to the tip of your right-hand needle. Tighten it up a bit. 
  4. Your right-hand needle should still have the yarn wrapped around it. Use it to gently thread the yarn through the loop of your left-hand needle.
  5. You should now have a stitch fixed to your right-hand needle as well. Transfer this stitch to the left-hand needle. 
  6. Push your left-hand needle through the looped yarn on your right-hand needle and grab hold of the stitch. Gently slip it on the left-hand needle.
  7. Now, you have the first two stitches on the needle. Repeat the process until you get enough stitches on your needle. 


Conclusion on Learning How to Cast On Knitting

There is no single best or worst casting on knitting technique. Every method can be used for a different type of edge and are essential to learning. You should try other techniques too and figure which one works the best for you.

You may face some struggles initially. But if you continue to practice, your technique will improve, and you’ll be knitting like a pro in no time.