When knitting, the one thing that literally begins your project is the cast-on. There are many ways to cast on depending on what you are knitting, personal preference, and the look you want to create. Here we will show you the eight popular knitting cast-on methods to master.
Try these cast-on knitting tutorials for your next project!
This popular cast-on method is used to create an even set of stretchy stitches. This is an easy cast to knit and pick up stitches from. And once you get the hang of it, it can be the fastest to cast on. You can explore more about the long-tail cast-on method here.
Knit Cast-On (Or Purl Cast-On)
This cast-on is used to form a nice firm edge using a knit or purl stitch. This is a great method for a beginner knitter. Start with a slip knot then knit 1, leaving the stitch on your left needle. Then transfer the new stitch onto your left needle by slipping it knit-wise. Learn more about this cast-on method here.
A cable cast-on is used when starting projects that have a rib or cable. It’s a great loose and stretchy cast-on. Start with a slip knot and then knit into the slip knot, leaving the stitch on the left needle. Place the new stitch onto the left needle, by slipping it knit-wise. Knit into the gap between the last two stitches on left needle and place the knitted stitch onto left needle by slipping it knit-wise. Head here for pictures and video featuring the cable cast-on.
Also known as the Backwards Loop Cast-On), this can be used to start your project or to create stitches in the body of your work. It’s great for a beginning knitter as it's easy and quick to learn. Our pictures and video will help guide you through this cast-on here.
For this cast-on, you'll use a crochet hook to work to cast on. This method most resembles a bind off and can be used to make it easy to pick up stitches later on. You can use a shorter tail for the cast on and it's great for those projects where you are using up scraps and aren’t entirely sure of how much yardage you have left. Our photos will guide you through the crochet cast-on.
This cast on is best for creating ribbing. In the tubular cast-on, you'll cast on both knit and purl stitches, which sets you up for a successful ribbed edge. You'll need a needle that's slightly smaller than your main needle for this cast-on. You can watch the tubular cast-on in action with our photo and video tutorials.
If you're knitting lace, this cast-on might come in handy. It's used when you need live stitch after you finish your cast-on edge. You'll need some scrap yarn and a basic crochet skills, but it's quick and easy to master. Craftsy instructor Laura Nelkin shows you how in this video.
Chinese Waitress Cast-On
While this cast-on is less common, it is helpful to have in your cast-on toolbox. With a medium amount of stretch and an equally pretty look in front and back, you'll find plenty of project to try this on. You can find step-by-step instructions (and a bit about this cast-on's history and name origins) in our blog post tutorial.
Would you believe there are over 40 ways to cast on and bind off? Don't let that number overwhelm you! Each technique has its purpose, and learning a variety of cast ons will help improve your pieces. To learn even more cast-on options, join the Craftsy class 40 Ways to Cast On and Bind Off.
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