Start Knitting: How to Cast On
Knitting is one of my first loves. It is one of those creative pastimes that is good for my soul. For a really long time after I first learnt to knit I could knit really well, whizz out scarfs like they were going out of style. But, I always had to get someone (usually my mum!) to cast on and cast off for me. I couldn’t get my head round these essential skills, yet could knit the cast on stitches with ease once they were there ready on the needle. Learning to cast on for myself was great for opening up a whole world of knitting projects – sounds obvious right, but I have since discovered that so many folks can knit, and really enjoy it, but feel stumped by getting started!
This week I’m heading over to Dublin for the Knitting & Stitching Show and for the next few days I’ll be sharing lots and lots if techniques, skills and inspiration for stitchers attending the show. But, what about all you knitters, or wannabe knitters? Well, I thought why not share a few of the basics for getting started with knitting?
So, if you’re new to knitting, or it’s been a while since you picked up the needles, be sure to check out my step-by-step guide to Casting On!
Casting on is the very first thing that you will need to do for nearly all knitting projects. This provides the foundation of stitches from which you will work on to create your project. There are a number of different techniques and methods for casting on, many of which will have different uses and applications. One of the quickest and easiest methods for casting on is a knit cast on, here you will be working in a similar way to knitting the stitches to create the foundation row for your project.
Follow these simple steps to get your knitting project under way…
Grab Your Supplies…
You’re going to need yarn & needles (duh!) – a chunkier yarn is easier to learn with, as you’ll be able to see the stitching you’re making more clearly, so pick out a yarn and set of needles that suit the yarn (psst! the recommended needle size will be listed on the ball band of the yarn!)
You will need your knitting needles and yarn for your chosen project. If your tension when knitting is a little bit tight, try working with a needle one size larger than suggested for your project, but be sure to switch back to the correct size after the cast on row.
Draw the yarn from the ball up to 10cm in length. This is the tail end of the yarn.
Holding the tail end of the yarn in your left hand, take the yarn from the ball and wrap it around your extended first and middle finger on your left hand to create a loop.
Turn your left hand over and catch the ball end of the yarn and draw through the loop.
Holding both the tail end and the loop of the sip knot secure, carefully pull on the ball end of yarn, this will tighten up the loop of the slip knot and make it smaller – don’t make the loop too small, you can adjust it later if needed.
With the knitting needle held in your left hand, slide the slip knot onto the needle. The tail end will be to the left and the ball end will be to the right, pull these gently to adjust the slip knot. Make sure that the slip knot isn’t too tight, you will need to pass a knitting needle though the knot.
Holding the knitting needle with the slip knot in your left hand, take the other knitting needle in your right hand and pass the tip through the slip knot working from the front to the back.
Take the ball end of the yarn and bring it around the tip of the needle, so that the yarn comes over the top of the needle, as though you were creating a knit stitch.
Take the knitting needle back through the loop of the slip knot, carefully drawing the yarn through the loop as though you were creating a knit stitch.
Pass the loop of yarn that has just been created from the right-hand needle on to the tip of the left-hand needle, be careful not to twist the loop. This will create the stitch.
Working in the same manner, insert the right-hand needle into the stitch just created on the left hand needle. Wrap with yarn and draw through before placing the new stitch onto the left-hand needle.
Continue working in the same manner, creating a new stitch from the last one added to the left-hand needle until the number of stitch has been cast on for your project.
Tah Dah! You’ve just cast on! I know, not as tricky as you thought, right?