The very first step in your knitting journey is learning how to cast on knitting. (Ok, smarty pants the FIRST step is figuring out your knitting supplies for beginners, but I digress)
The term “cast on” means to wrap your yarn around your knitting needles to start your knitting project.
There are quite a few ways to learn how to cast on knitting, but the very first type of casting on that we are going to teach you is the long tail cast on method.
How to Cast On Knitting: Casting On For Beginners
The long tail cast on method, aka the cast on thumb method, looks way more complicated than it is.
DON’T LET IT SCARE YOU.
Have you ever looked for Knitting Tutorials on Youtube and just end up frustrated because you couldn’t tell what the frick they were doing?
The videos were too far away, or they didn’t show you a view from the side. Most of the time you just wanted to end up using your knitting needles as lawn darts.
BEEN THERE…..DONE THAT
For those of you that learn better by written instructions, we have the instructions on how to cast on knitting below (If you are a visual learner, never fear there is a step by step video tutorial too!)
Long Tail Cast On Method: Setting Up Your Tension
In the next few steps, we are going to help you cast on your very first knitting project. Hip, hip hooray.
If you have any questions, you can always leave a comment on the blog post or head to the Knit, Sip, Repeat Facebook group. We are here to help!
TOOLS YOU NEED:
- Grab your favorite beverage: Knitting is not knitting if you don’t have something to sip on! Let it be tea…Let it be coffee…….Let it be wine (NO judgement here)
2. Hold the end of a yarn ball and measure it the length of your arm. The point furthest away from your arm is where you will begin the next step.
3. Make a slip knot loop and slip it on your knitting needle. (Not sure wtf this is, check out how to make a slip knot here) Slide the slip knot so it’s just slightly bigger than the knitting needle.
4. Positioning the Yarn: Holding the needle in your left hand. Put your right thumb and pointer finger Between the two pieces of yarn (the long “tail” you made with the end of the yarn, and the rest of the yarn after your slip knot).
Let the back piece of yarn drape between your pointer finger and your middle finger.
Then let both yarns drape between your middle finger and ring finger.
Curling your middle finger and ring finger will act as your “brake” on your yarn. This will help you keep tension.
Once you have your yarn set up, you are ready to learn how to cast on knitting.
Step By Step: How to Cast on Knitting
The very first step is to slightly tilt your thumb back. This will create a “loop” around your thumb.
Take the tip of your knitting needle and reach under the first piece of yarn wrapped around your them.
Continue with this and reach back and put the tip of your knitting needle over the loop of yarn in front of your pointer finger. Pull the tip of your knitting needle back towards you. You will have a second loop on your knitting needle now.
Once you have pulled it forward, drop the yarn off of your thumb. Make sure to keep it wrapped around your pointer finger.
Use your thumb and pointer finger between the two “legs” of the yarn to gently pull them away from each other. This will tighten the cast on stitch on the knitting needle.
Thumb Cast On Method: Tips to Make Casting On Easier.
Tip #1. IMPORTANT: Don’t make the knot too tight or it will make your life MISERABLE.
Tip # 2: You don’t want to strangle your yarn. (Ok, you might the first few times you try this) Don’t hold the yarn so tight that it is impossible to let it glide between your fingers while you thumb cast on your stitches.
Tip # 3 TIP: Don’t pull the yarn too tight. This will make your first row of knitting stitches pretty difficult to do.
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