How to knit tutorial: the knitted cast-on method (for knitting right-handed)

The Knitted Cast-on Method is Easy

The knitted cast-on method is an easy way to cast on stitches. It’s not always the best way, so I’m going to show you how to do a knitted cast-on, then tell you when and when not to use it.

Knitted cast-on method: insert working needle through new stitch.

How you did you learn to knit? Did your mother or grandmother teach you? Maybe you learnt from a book? Or did you learn via the internet? I’m old enough that my mother and grandmothers could all knit, although I proved impossible to teach. Eventually I realised that the reason that I couldn’t knit was because I was left-handed and everyone was trying to teach me to knit right-handed. People weren’t insisting that I knit right-handed; it just didn’t occur to them that knitting left-handed was different. Consequently I taught myself to knit using “A Ladybird Book about Knitting”, which I borrowed from the library. There was only one cast-on method, which must have been the one my family used because it was a few years before I discovered that there are different cast-on methods. It turns out that I had learnt the knitted cast-on method.

You’ll be pleased to know that I knit right-handed for teaching purposes! So, here we go … the following explanations and images are for those who knit right-handed, that is, 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 to right needle as you knit. If you knit right-handed, then read How to Cast On: The Knitted Cast-on Method (for knitting left-handed).

Starting the knitted cast-on

There are a few cast-on methods which start with a slip knot. There’s several ways of making a slip knot: I’ll cover these in a future tutorial.

The knitted cast-on method uses two knitting needles: place the slip knot on the needle in your left hand, hold the other needle in your right hand and hold the yarn using your preferred method. I usually knit by throwing the yarn, so in the following photos I’m holding my yarn with my right hand.

Knitted cast-on method: place a slip knot on the non-working needle.

Insert your right needle into the slip knot on your left needle. You’ll need to hold onto the yarn tail otherwise you’ll be chasing the slip knot around!

Knitted cast-on method: insert working needle through slip knot.

Holding the yarn behind your needles, wrap the yarn around the right needle clockwise (when viewed from the non-pointed end). This means that you move the yarn forward under your right needle, then pass it backward over the same needle (the same movement as when making a knit stitch).

Knitted cast-on method: yarn round needle clockwise.

Use your right needle to pull a loop through the slip stitch (again, the same movement as when making a knit stitch).

Knitted cast-on method: pull the new loop through the slip knot.

Keep pulling this loop out until you can move the left needle forward over it …

Knitted cast-on method: lengthen new loop.

and into the loop. Remove your right needle; you have two stitches!

Knitted cast-on method: place new stitch on non-working needle.

Now Make Another Stitch

Insert your right needle into the newest stitch on your left needle. With practice you’ll be able to transfer the new stitch from the right needle to the left needle and position the right needle ready to make a new stitch without removing it.

Knitted cast-on method: insert working needle through new stitch.

Holding the yarn behind your needles, wrap the yarn around the right needle clockwise (when viewed from the non-pointed end). In other words, you move the yarn forward under your right needle, then pass it backward over the same needle.

Knitted cast-on method: yarn round needle anticlockwise.

Use your right needle to pull a loop through the stitch (the same movement as when making a knit stitch).

Knitted cast-on method: pull the new loop through the old stitch.

Keep pulling this loop out until you can move the left needle forward over it and into the loop. Remove your right needle; you have another stitch.

And Repeat!

Cast on 15 – 20 stitches.

Knitted cast-on method: the cast on stitches.

Now work a couple of rows in stocking stitch.

Oh dear; that doesn’t look so good! The cast on edge has become loose. And this is the problem with the knitted cast-on method. The cast-on stitches look nice and neat before you knit into them, then they become loose. Not what you want for any edge that shows.

Knitted cast-on method: the cast on stitches after working two rows of stocking stitch.

A quick fix for the loose edge is to knit into the back of the stitches on the first row. This twists the stitches which tightens things up.

Knitted cast-on method: tightening up a loose cast on.

Personally, I prefer to use a different cast-on for visible edges. I’ll be writing about my favourite general purpose cast-on soon. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling adventurous you could try a tubular cast-on for a 1×1 or 2×2 rib.

I did say that this was the first cast-on method that I learnt. Someone told me to knit into the back of the stitches to improve the edge. Somehow, in my young mind this became knit into the back of all stitches: I blogged about this here!

When Should You Use the Knitted Cast-on Method?

You should use the knitted cast-on method when loose stitches will be useful, so:

  1. Knitting a edge which from which you will pick up stitches later;
  2. Starting lace which needs a loose cast-on.

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 your left to right 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 to left 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.

, , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes