Let’s talk about another great stretchy cast on that you should know: the knitted cast on. As you learn to knit, you’ll need to know different types of knitting cast ons. The one we’re going to teach you today is an easy cast on for knitting.
This knitting cast on method is a great cast on for beginners because it shows you how the individual stitches are formed. Really, though, you’re learning two things at once: a useful technique and stitch construction. Awesome, right?
The knitted cast on is easy to do. But before we get to our step-by-step knitting tutorial, let’s talk about why this knitted cast on is so useful.
Knitted Cast On Benefits
- Creates an elastic cast on.
- Teaches garter stitch formation.
- You can cast on an unlimited amount of stitches.
- Uses only a single strand of working yarn, unlike the long tail cast on.
- No need to measure yarn for cast on.
- You can use this knitting technique to add stitches at the beginning of a row.
- It can also be used to cast on in the middle of a row.
- You can use it for different knitting projects that require a super stretchy cast on.
- Beginners casting on knitting for the first time can learn quickly.
- One of the easiest ways to cast on in knitting.
As you can see, there’s a lot to love here in this one basic knitting technique. On the flip side, the only negative thing we could say is that it’s not the fastest cast on method. But with practice comes speed. Have patience.
Before we begin discussing our easy cast on knitting instructions, a quick note on knitting styles.
For this knitting tutorial, knitting style is not terribly important. However, we have chosen to use the American knitting style, also known as English Knitting. It is also known as right handed knitting, or throwing, but they all amount to the same knitting style, which has been used for this cast on. The steps in the photos below reflect this style.
Read more: American Knitting
Alright, let's get down to business.
How Do You Cast On in Knitting
Make a slip knot and cinch it onto your knitting needle. Don't make it too tight or it will be difficult to begin.
The slip knot is your first stitch.
Remember, your working yarn comes from the back.
With your working needle in your left hand, insert your empty needle into the first stitch. Do this as if to knit the stitch.
Read more: How to Make a Knit Stitch
Wrap the yarn around the needle as if to knit. For knitting beginners, wrap the yarn counter-clockwise and over the top of the right knitting needle.
Next, you will knit into the stitch but keep it on the needle. Without slipping it off, pull the loop up and towards you.
It’s okay to give it some length as you will end up cinching it close in the following steps.
Now twist the loop to the right. This will open the stitch for the next step.
You will now insert your left needle into the loop from front to back. In other words, move your left needle point through the loop on your right needle.
With the loop now on the left needle, it's safe to drop it from the right. Slowly begin to cinch it closed.
Don't make them too tight. Your stitches should be able to move easily on the needle.
Repeat steps 2-7 until you have cast on the number of stitches you need.
Cast On in the Middle of a Row
There will also be times when you need to cast on stitches during knitting. Take, for example, this Water Lily short row knitting pattern. Each petal is a series of knitted cast ons and bind offs.
It may seem difficult but it’s really quite easy to cast on knitting stitches in the middle of your knitting.
Get the free knitting pattern I used in this tutorial: Water Lily
How to Cast On in the Middle of a Row
When your pattern calls for you to add stitches to a row of knitting, place your work in your left hand. Since your work is already anchored on the needle, you will not need to add a slip knot.
Work the next stitch as described in steps 2-7 above. Then repeat these steps as many times as you need to create the number of stitches you want.
What to Do After Casting On in Knitting
And finally, once you've cast on your knitting stitches, you will be ready to begin (or continue) knitting. Your work will already be in your left hand so there's no need to turn your work. All you will need to do is knit or purl as the pattern requires.
That's it. You've done it. You've learned how to start the knitting cast on and how to add stitches to the middle of a row. As you can see below, it really is a stretchy cast on.
We hope these knitting instructions for casting on have been helpful to you. If so, please drop us a note and let us know how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.