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How to cast on in knitting

Casting on is one of the most important skills – as you really can’t start knitting without it. In the video below, I demonstrate a very simple cast-on method that uses the same principle as a regular knit stitch.

My grandmother taught me this method when I was around seven and I have sworn by it since!

Casting on step-by-step instructions:

Measure out your wool length

Unravel 18cm of wool for every 10 stitches you will cast on – this is the wool length. The wool you have measured out is called the "loose end" and the remainder of the wool still attached to the ball is called the "working end"

Make a slip knot for your first stitch

Make a circle with the wool where the loose and and working end meet. Then, take the working end and loop it behind the circle so that it looks like a little pretzel.

Take a knitting needle and put the pointed end of it trough the bottom half of the circle, behind the working wool.

Gently pull both ends below the needle – a loop will form on the needle. This is the first stitch.

Cast on your remaining stitches

Hold the needle with the first stitch on it in your right hand (or left hand if you are left-handed). Take the loose end and wrap it around the back of your thumb on your opposite hand.

Take the needle up through the centre of this loop you have created around your thumb.

Wrap the working wool around the needle and draw through the loop on the thumb.

Pull both wool ends firmly to create a new loop on the needle.

Repeat this entire process until the required amount of stitches are on the needle.

Casting on extended tutorial (great for kids)

Here is an extended tutorial I created – it is much longer but may be more helpful for children (in this video I am actually teaching a child to cast on and the video shows her doing it, unrehearsed, for the first time ever!)


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