How to knit tutorial: the crochet cast-on method (for knitting left-handed)

Casting On With a Hook and a Needle

The crochet cast-on method creates a really neat edge that resembles a chain cast-off edge. Because of this, this cast-on method is sometimes known as the cast-off cast-on method.

If you already crochet, then you should find this method fairly straightforward; if you don’t crochet, be brave because this is a really useful cast-on method.

The following explanations and images are for those who knit left-handed, that is, your working hand is your left hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and the stitches move from the right to left needle as you knit. If you knit right-handed, then go to this How to Cast On: the Crochet Cast-on Method (for knitting right-handed).

Crochet cast-on: Carry casting-on new stitches until you have one fewer than required.

Casting On, One Chain at a Time

Make a slipknot and place it on the crochet hook; hold the crochet hook in your left hand. Wrap the yarn around your right hand as if to crochet and hold a knitting needle in the same hand. Place the knitting needle over the ball end of the yarn.

Crochet cast-on: Start with the hook in the dominant hand and the knitting needle in the non-dominant hand

 

Pass your crochet hook over the knitting needle.

Crochet cast-on: Pass the crochet hook over the knitting needle

Grab the yarn with the hook (move the hook back under the yarn, then forward over it), so the yarn is round the hook.

Crochet cast-on: Grab the yarn with the crochet hook

Pull the yarn through the loop on the hook, thus creating a stitch on the knitting needle.

Crochet cast-on: Pull the yarn through the loop on the hook
Pass the yarn backwards between the hook and needle; this is the tricky bit, but once you know what you’re doing it’ll be fine!

Crochet cast-on: Pass the yarn backwards between the hook and needle

 You’re ready to cast on your second stitch. So, repeat the following: pass your crochet hook over the knitting needle; grab the yarn with the hook; pull the yarn through the loop on the hook and pass the yarn backwards between the hook and needle.

Crochet cast-on: Pass the crochet hook over the knitting needle again

Carry on casting on stitches in this manner until you have one stitch fewer than required. For example, if you want 10 stitches, you need to cast on nine.

Crochet cast-on: Carry casting-on new stitches until you have one fewer than required.

Transfer the stitch on the crochet hook to the needle. This is really important; if you don’t do this your cast on edge will unravel!

Crochet cast-on: Transfer the loop from the crochet hook to the knitting needle

You now have the correct number of stitches, with a beautiful cast-on edge.

Crochet cast-on: You now have the correct number of stitches on the knitting needle.

When Should You Use a Crochet Cast-on?

  1. Edges where you want to add a crochet edging;
  2. Edges where you want to add a fringe;
  3. When you want the cast-on and cast-off edges to match.

Want to Learn More?

Take a look at my other tutorials. Choose from:

Tutorials for knitting right-handed

You knit right-handed if your right hand is your working hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and you move your stitches from your left-hand needle to your right-hand needle as you knit.

Tutorials for knitting left-handed

You knit left-handed if your left hand is your working hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and you move your stitches move from your right-hand needle to your left-hand needle as you knit.

Tutorials for crocheting right-handed

You crochet right-handed if your right hand is your working hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and your new stitches are on the left of your old ones.

Tutorials for crocheting left-handed

You crochet left-handed if your left hand is your working hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and your new stitches are on the right of your old ones.

Or maybe you’d like to come to one of my short courses or workshops or book a special personalised one-to-one tutorial.

, , , , , , ,

4 Responses to How to knit tutorial: the crochet cast-on method (for knitting left-handed)

  1. Linda Jones 17 September 2018 at 11:00 #

    Great to see something tutorial for us lefties! Thank you. Could I ask one question ? I am left handed but was taught to knit right handed.I can manage that but if I only have one tool in my hand, it has to be the left hand. So – if I use the crochet cast on with my left hand, will there be a problem in where the yarn is lying for me to then knit right handed?

    I so hope that makes sense.

    • Being Knitterly 17 September 2018 at 12:40 #

      I think understand your question, but let me know if not. I think you are saying that you can knit right-handed because you have a knitting needle in each hand. When you use the crochet cast-on method, you will have a knitting needle in one hand and the crochet hook in the other, so I think you need to try the right-handed version (hook in right hand, needle in left). If this is difficult because you are used to crocheting left-handed (just one crochet hook in your left hand), try the left-handed version, with a needle in your right hand. If you do this, when you knit the first row right-handed, the cast-on stitches will sit twisted on your needle. All you need to do is knit into the back of the loops, then they will all sit untwisted for your next row.

  2. Laura 11 February 2018 at 2:36 #

    I’m a left-handed knitter and crocheted. This is the first time I’ve seen this addressed. I’ve always tried to interpret patterns as I go. I’ve come across left lean and right lean stitches and didn’t know what to do. If I should switch them because of left-handedness.

    • Being Knitterly 12 February 2018 at 10:38 #

      Hi Laura, this is such a good question for left-handed knitters.

      For knitting right-handed the usual right-leaning decrease is k2tog, whereas when knitting left-handed, k2tog makes a left-leaning decrease. Likewise, when knitting right-handed ssk or k2tog tbl will make left-leaning decreases, whereas when knitting left-handed they will make right-leaning decreases.

      Most patterns will specify the decrease to be used instead of the direction in which it leans. In this case you don’t need to change the pattern because you will be knitting a mirror image of the piece, e.g. left front instead of right front.

      That’s quite a brief answer; I’ve made a note to write a blog post or two about this!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.