Knitting Cast On Methods


In this post, you will see different knitting cast-on methods.

There are many different ways of casting on, creating loops of yarn on the needle that you can start to work with.

We will look at the most common methods of casting on, so you can see what they all mean!

knitting cast on methods

Learn A Knitting Cast On Method

All knitting starts with casting on.

  • This creates loops on the needle which will become the first row of stitches.
  • There are many cast-on methods and in the video in this post, I show you the thumb cast-on method.
  • As with other cast-on methods, you need just one needle to cast on with the thumb method.
  • Learning to cast on is often the first step to learn for beginner knitters.
  • It is simply putting the yarn and the stitch onto the knitting needle until your reach the desired amount of stitches.
Knitting cast on methods

1. The Long Tail Cast On

This is a really popular way of casting on with knitters.

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It is an easy method to learn and a fast way of getting the stitches onto the needle.

This is a method that can be used in any project and the way that it is done, means that the bumps created by the casting on can be used as a first row in knitting.

You can see a step-by-step tutorial for the longtail cast on here.

casting on knitting

Image from The Blue Elephants Blog

2. The Knit Cast On

This is another good choice for beginners, as it can teach you how to do the knit stitch while you cast on.

It is a good cast on for many types of projects and is quite stretchy.

Learn how to cast on and a new stitch at the same time!

You can see a step-by-step tutorial here.

the knit cast on method

Image from The Spruce Crafts

3. Cast On Thumb Method

This is a variation of the long tail cast on method.

The thumb method is really easy for beginners.

Once you practice and learn how to do this, it is the fastest cast-on method.

View a step-by-step photograph and video tutorial here – How To Cast On Knitting.

You can also view more tutorials here – Knitting Lessons.

wrap the yarn around the thumb

4. The Wrap Cast On

This is also an easy way to cast on your stitches if you are a new knitter.

It is quick and easy to do and is a stretchy cast on, great for sweaters and socks. 

You can also use it for a knitting project where you do not want the cast on edge to stand out from the knitting.

This is a fun knitting technique to learn.

You can see a step-by-step tutorial here.

the wrap cast on method

Image from All Free Knitting

5. The Cable Cast On

The cable cast-on method is used for hats and sweaters.

It has a firm edge and is not as stretchy as other methods.

You need to keep your stitches loose, keeping an eye on your tension, because if the stitches get too tight, you will struggle to cast on the stitches.

You can see a step-by-step tutorial here.

the cable cast on method

Image from We Are Knitters

6. Provisional Cast On

The provisional cast-on method is a good way to add stitches that you will want to work into again. 

To start with you need to complete a little bit of crochet, work into it with knitting.

When you have the desired number of stitches you want, you can pull out the crochet chain.

You will be left with your knitting stitches and can start working on your next row.

You can see a step-by-step tutorial here.

the provisional knitting cast on method

Image from Tricksy Knitter

7. Stretchy Cast On

The stretchy cast-on method is also known as the German twist cast on or the Old Norwegian cast on.

This starts in a similar way to the long tail cast on method.

This is a great cast on choice for socks, as it has an extra twist that creates a stretchy edge.

You can see a step-by-step tutorial here.

stretchy knitting cast on cast on edge

Image from New Stitch A Day

8. Backward Loop Cast On

The backward loop cast-on method is not a general cast-on method for beginners but one that is perfect for casting on stitches in the middle of a row.

For example, at the underarm of a top-down sweater or for a mitten thumb.

A great method to try if you are interested in learning new techniques.

You can see a step-by-step tutorial here.

backwards loop knitting cast on method on for socks

Image from Tin Can Knits

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  1. Hi! Wonderful stuff well written – thank you! I have a side question: where did you find/what are the brands and names of the balls of speckled yarns you used in the front page image (the ones under the words, “…cast on and more,” and above the “”? Thanks!

    1. Hello Becky,
      This is a stock photo that I purchased, it is not a photo of yarn from my own stash.
      So I don’t know the brand.
      Sorry about that!