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How to Cast On

Lesson 4 from: Knit Maker 101

Vickie Howell

How to Cast On

Lesson 4 from: Knit Maker 101

Vickie Howell

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Lesson Info

4. How to Cast On

Lesson Info

How to Cast On

All right, so the very first thing that you are going to need to do when you start knitting is get the yarn onto the needles. And that is using a process called casting on. The abbreviation for that is CO, just a little fun fact. And by the way, all the abbreviations for all the knitting stitches that we'll be showing here and more are available as bonus material in the downloads section. All right, so I'm going to show you two different cast ons. Generally a pattern will not require a certain kind of cast on. It'll just say cast on. So it can be whatever method you're most comfortable with. Once you get into sort of more intermediate projects, sometimes they'll have certain cast ons they want you to use to give you a different kind of edging. But for this, it's just these are two solid basic cast ons for you to choose from. Whichever one you like better, you should totally use. So the first one, I call the single cast on. This is actually how I learned myself. So you want to get a len...

gth of yarn as a tail. A good rule of thumb is about sort of an inch per stitch of yarn for how many stitches you're going to cast on, about an inch. To be honest, I have never actually measured that. I do this really super scientific method of going like this and knowing that that is about 36 inches, right? And so if I were going to cast on 30, 35 stitches, I'd do that much but just a little extra to weave in. So I'm not going to do that many stitches, I'm going to just cast on a few. So I'll just leave a nice tail. This is one of those things that by trial and error as your knitting career flourishes, you'll sort of get the hang of. It's not life or death, you can always start over. All right, so you only use one needle when you cast on. So this one, so this is a single tail cast on, you're going to take the working part of the yarn. The working part is the part that's connected to the ball. Okay, and this is the tail, the one that's not connected to anything. I mean, it's all connected to each other, but work with me here, that is the tail. So I just lay it across my hand, across my ring and my pinky finger. And then wrap it around my thumb. And I'm right-handed, you can just flip this over if you're left-handed. So you're going to insert your needle up through the loop that you've just created on your thumb. You can see that there. Then you take that tail, wrap it around that needle. And then the loop that's on your thumb, you put on the needle. And bam, you've got your first stitch! You're on. Okay, that's actually the hardest stitch out of all of them because there's not anything to secure it. Now from here, you've got something to help you out. You've got this holding onto it, so it's really easy. So you're going to wrap it clockwise around your thumb. I'm holding it with my two fingers there just to make it taut. You come up. I give it a little pinch with my fingers and my, whatever this is, the meaty part of your palm. Wrap it around. And you can see, so this loop that you're seeing on your thumb, this is actually the stitch. This is you creating the top of the stitch. Or the bottom of the stitch, rather. So that loop that was just on your thumb, that became this little guy, your edging. Okay, so now we have two stitches cast on. Let me just show you a couple more times. Up, pinch, around, flip. Up, pinch, around, flip. And you would just continue doing this until the amount of stitches that the pattern calls for is cast on, making sure that you have a nice six inches or so, this is way more than six inches, but, to use as a tail to weave in later so that you don't lose any of your knitting. All right, so that is that cast on. This is a good solid go-to anytime cast on. It creates a really nice firm edging. So the other way that I'm going to show you, I believe this is how my mom casts on, is called the knitted cast on. And this is going to translate really awesomely to learning this first stitch, which is the knit stitch. So if you use this one, you kind of have an advantage for the next lesson. You're going to start with this, again, the same spiel about the tail, about how long is the yarn that you're going to use based on how many stitches, trial and error, all of that, you got it. But this time we're going to start with a slip knot. Let me move these out of the way first so you can see this. To make a slip knot, and you might have learned this back in Girl Scout days or whatever, so this might just be a refresher. But you make a little loop or kind of like a cursive E. And you'll notice that the tail is on the top where the little X is. You're going to take that tail and swoop it under. Then there'll be a loop and you pull it. I'm going to do it again just for fun. Alrighty. So we make that little loop, push up from underneath, pull through. And that's your slip knot. And the cool thing about a slip knot is that you can make it tighter or looser. So you can tighten that, you place it on your needle. You want to make sure that it's firm but that it's still loose enough that you can move it back and forth. Okay, so now we're going to introduce the second needle. Pretty exciting. Okay, so. You're going to hold your needle in your left hand that has the yarn on it. You're going to take your new needle, put it in your right hand. And then I like to take the working yarn, again, that's the yarn that's attached to the ball, and put that in kind of over my pointer finger. Totally up to you if that doesn't work for you, but this is just what works for me. And you're going to come up through that loop, that first stitch. By the way, the slip knot counts as your first stitch. And then you're going to hold this, the needles in a little X like this. With one hand, you wrap it around, you dip, to me that's the hardest part, the dip. So you dip and you can see voila, there's the new stitch, you've created it, now what? Well it needs to go with its friend over here. You're just going to place that on the needle and then pull it taut, okay? So now you have two stitches. So then you would just do that again until you have as many stitches as is called for. So dip, and place. I put that one on backwards. Oh, you know what? I want to show you that. Okay, so I put that one on backwards. Let's talk a little bit about orientation of stitches. So the way that a stitch sits on the needle is important because if it's not sitting in the right way, it'll be twisted. So this is sitting in the wrong way. I can tell that because it looks like this big sort of like, I don't know, upside down ghost roundy thing. Didn't think that one through, not really sure. Anyway, that doesn't look right. It needs to look, it needs to sit on the needle the opposite way. So it looks like it's wearing a little neck scarf. Knitting, neck scarf, it might work. So you want to just make sure that it's sitting that way. But as you just saw, if you put it on the wrong way, no big whoop, you just flip it around later. Okay, so we yarn over, we put our yarn around the needle, dip, we've got our stitch, we place it on the needle. And if you saw, to get it oriented the right way, I did kind of this like down and up action. All right, I'm going to show you one more time. Wrap around, dip, around and on. And that is a good solid one, two, three, four, five stitches. You are cast on and now we are ready to get knitting for real this time.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Beanie Pattern
Gauge Swatch Symbol
Knitting Abbreviations
Phone Sleeve Pattern
Practice Swatches
Scarf Pattern

Ratings and Reviews

Claudia Quinonez

I have to say that I am a fan of Vickie Howell and I absolutely love the way she teaches this class. The way she teaches this class is so easy to follow and understand. I am a beginner and was having a hard time with adding a new ball and decreases and this course has helped improve my knitting skills.

Ashley Sarikaya

Very helpful class! Vickie Howell is engaging and easy to follow. Excited to be taking more of her classes :)

E.L. Bl/Du

Vicky, WHERE have you been? You are missed on PBS show. VERY much looking fwd to this class. Vicky is one of the BEST knitting/Crochet instructors I have EVER watched. You are guaranteed to learn how to knit easily with her easy to follow instructions. Her own knitting is the most beautiful Ive seen. She tells you how to choose yarn, needles and how to follow patterns. Your set with this class. Even a seasoned pro will learn something.

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