As soon as you master ‘casting on’, you’re going to want to move on to the knit stitch, and as soon as you get that down pat, you’re going to want to create something fabulous.  Check out this ebook I published for Super Duper Knit Hat ( Kindle Version ) Patterns. It’s wonderful, you’re going to love it.

Super Duper Knit Hats for Beginners

Super Duper Knit Hats for Beginners ebook Collection of 6 super fun super easy knit hat patterns for beginners and professionals

If you’re already knitting, go ahead and give the book a try! If you are just starting out or looking for a refresher, THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE  YOU NEED TO BE

My knitting journey starts long ago in a far-away place.  With little money, lots of time, and an entire slew of people I wanted to get gifts for come the impending Holiday Season, it was inevitable.   I had always had an interest in knitting, but could never quite grasp it.  

Armed with a how-to book, and Google,  I am now a knitting teacher, pattern designer and all around yarn enthusiast.  And I’m here to help.

How to Knit. A step by step tutorial on the basic stitches of knitting.
This article focuses on the technique casting on.  Click on these links for the knit stitch, the purl stitch and how to bind off.

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Building a Foundation

Like anything you build in life, you need to start with a foundation.  

How to Knit. A step by step tutorial on how to use a sling shot or long tail cast on method for building your foundation for knitting

Good to Know

A rule of thumb for casting on when using standard 5mm needles and regular worsted weight yarn is measure out 1 inch per stitch. I know my hand span is 8″ so I use that to measure out the amount of yarn I will have on the short end of my slip knot.  So if you were using needles twice that size, for example, 10 mm needles, double that. 
Take my Infinity Scarf pattern as an example.  The pattern calls for 12.75 mm needles and to cast on 24 sts.  If I were using 5mm needles I would measure out 24″ of yarn, or three hand spans worth, and then fix my slip knot.  Because the needles in this pattern are much larger, I measured out about 64 ” or 8 hand spans.
Place the slip knot at the end of the measured out short end, and place it on either one of the needles, about an inch from the tip.
Put the needle with the slip knot in you right hand. The tail is considered the short end and the yarn that comes from the ball or skein is called the working yarn.

Casting On

Before you can actually knit, you need a place to start.  There are several ways to cast on, although I totally prefer the slingshot method, it seems to be the most useful, and it sounds pretty cool.

  1. Pull a length of yarn from the skein.  If you’re using a worsted weight yarn, and 5mm knitting needles, you can usually count on needing one inch of yarn per stitch when casting on.  Make a slip knot, place it on the needle, and pull the yarn ends to tighten it.  This counts as your first cast on stitchHow to Knit. A step by step tutorial on the basic stitches of knitting.
  2. Hold the needled with the slip knot in your right hand with your index finger resting on the slip knot.
  3. Place the short end of yarn over your left thumb, and bring the working yarn up and over your left index finger. Hold both yarn ends in your left palm with your three remaining fingers.  Like a sling shot.How to Knit. A step by step tutorial on the basic stitches of knitting.
  4. Insert tip of needle under first strand of yarn on left thumbHow to Knit. A step by step tutorial on the basic stitches of knitting.
  5. Bring needle over and around the first strand on your index finger

    How to Knit. A step by step tutorial on the basic stitches of knitting.

  6. Pull the yarn and needle down through the loop on your thumb
  7. Slip your thumb out of the loop, then bring your thumb toward you, catching the yarn end to form a new loop on your thumb and gently pulling to tighten the new stitch on the needle.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 until you have the required amount of stitches on your needle.


How to Knit. A step by step tutorial on the basic stitches of knitting.


Practice How to Cast On

With these patterns that are perfect for beginners, like the Kid’s Pom Pom Hat, or the DIY Rainbow Scarf.  Once you’ve mastered casting on, or atleast become comfortable with it, move on to the Knit Stitch.  



15 thoughts on “How to Knit Part 1: How to Cast On”

  1. My grandma used to try to teach me how. I never really quite ‘got it.’ She did teach me to crochet. Our favorite keepsakes are blankets that my grandma knit.

  2. This is something I never learned. I can crochet, but I cannot knit. It just seems too complicated for me. I will try again following your tutorial. Hopefully I get it right this time.

  3. This is interesting to find a detailed knitting tutorial on a farming website.
    I love the “homesteading” approach in the combination of it all. You sure are creative. 🙂

  4. My mother taught me how to knit back in the day. I honestly am very rusty now and I’m pretty glad I came across this.

  5. My fingers are not that nimble anymore, but I would still give this a try. I love watching people who can knit like it was their second nature!

  6. You made it more appear more easier than I thought it was. When I was young, my sister does that most often, but I never knew it was this easy. Thanks for this!

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