Whether you’re an experienced knitter or just starting out, there’s one step in the knitting process that every knitter has to go through before one start working on their project— and that step is known as a cast-on.
In this blog, our trusty and talented knitter, Sasa, walks us through some of the most popular types of cast-on techniques she uses here in Muezart.
But first, what exactly is a cast-on?
What is a Cast-On?
In simple words, a cast-on is simply putting stitches on a needle before starting a knitting project. The process involves creating loops or stitches on the needle so that one can begin knitting.
There are different cast-on methods and each one employs a slightly different technique which has its own set of characteristics such as being stretchy, reversible, invisible, fast, or easy. Choosing the right cast-on that best suit the pattern you’re working with is also equally important.
How to Cast-On in Knitting?
As mentioned above, casting on refers to making loops on your knitting needle which serves as the first row of stitches for your project. Listed below is a step by step process of how you can start your cast-on:
The first step involves determining the length of yarn you need depending on the width of your project. For example, if you’re knitting a scarf which is 5 inches wide, then you would want to multiply that by 3 and measure out 15 inches worth of yarn to start your cast on.
The next step is making a slipknot. It’s a simple process which basically involves making a loop out of your yarn and pulling out one end of your yarn from the inside of your loop, thereby making a sort of noose.
Once you have your slipknot in place, you can now slip onto your needle and start making your cast-on.
Now, when it comes to actually starting your cast-on, there are a few techniques that can get you started. And this is where our expert knitter Sasa comes into the picture.
Types of Cast-Ons in Knitting
Generally, there are plenty of cast-on techniques out there. In fact, some of them go by different names for the same cast-on. As mentioned, your preference for a certain type of cast-on depends on the pattern you’re working on.
For the purpose of this blogpost, Sasa will guide you through 5 effective cast-on methods that you ought to know.
What’s more? To make things even more easier for you, we have included tutorial videos of Sasa actually working the different cast-ons so you can easily follow them and learn!
Long Tail Cast-On Method
The long tail cast-on is one of the most popular methods of casting on stitches onto your needle. Often referred to as the double cast-on or continental cast-on, this method offers a stretchy and sturdy stitch which is not just simple but fast to make as well.
Follow the steps in the video below to learn the long tail cast-on method.
Thumb Cast-On Method
The thumb cast-on method is one of the simplest cast-on methods you can learn. All it takes is making a loop with your thumb and slipping it up and over your needle to create a stitch. This cast-on is a great beginner cast-on but it does have the tendency to create loose stitches which may be difficult to work with when you start knitting the rest of the stitches for your project.
The thumb cast-on may look a bit untidy and uneven at first but with more practice, you can make it look more tidy.
Watch this tutorial and you can see for yourself just how easy it is to work the thumb cast on stitch.
Knitted Cast-On Method
The knitted cast-on method is kind of a special cast-on method as it incorporates the knit stitch to make the cast-on. This aspect makes it easier for a beginner to learn knitting.
The knitted cast-on offers a stretch stitch and can be used on all sorts of projects.
Follow the steps to making a knitted cast-on in the video below.
Cable Cast-On Method
Though the cable cast-on is quite similar to the knitted cast-on method, the former offers a more sturdier, firmer, and more even-looking edge as compared to the knitted cast-on method.
The cable cast-on method is not as elastic as other types of cast-ons but it does make the edges more prettier.
Learn how to do the cable cast-on stitch from the tutorial given below.
2 Colour Braided Cast-On Method
The 2 colour braided cast-on is a unique cast-on method which employs the usage of 2 different colour yarns to make a decorative cast-on stitch.
The braided cast-on is quite similar to the longtail cast-on method. This cast-on is specifically used when you want to include decorative edges for your project. In fact, you can create two different edge designs by twisting the yarn in between stitches.
Here’s the tutorial for the 2 colour braided cast-on.
Which cast-on should I choose?
Out of the various number of cast-on methods available out there, choosing the right one can be quite confusing.
But in reality, it’s actually not that confusing at all. In fact, there is no “wrong cast-on”, and it all depends on the pattern of the project you’re working on.
For instance, some projects may ask for a more stretchy cast-on while some may require a more sturdy cast-on. On top of that, some cast-on methods are generally more easier and faster to execute and so people tend to choose these cast-on methods.
Time to start your project!
Now that you’re well versed with some of the easy-to-follow cast-on methods that we’ve shared in our blog, it is time for you to start your project.
Here's a short tutorial on knitting with Eri silk to get you started!