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 Patterns. It’s wonderful, you’re going to love it.
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. I found myself with little money, lots of time, and an entire slew of people I wanted to get gifts for come the impending Holiday Season. I had always had an interest in knitting, but could never quite grasp it.
This article focuses on the technique casting on. Click on these links for the knit stitch, the purl stitch and how to bind off.
Building a Foundation
Like anything you build in life, you need to start with a foundation. A foundation for creating things with yarn was built for me as a child – my grandmother was often knitting, and making pretty things. An aunt had an accident with a horse, and ended up with a broken arm. Her doctor prescribed knitting as therapy for repairing her arm and shoulder and gaining strength and motor skills. My Mom did a lot of crocheting ( is that a word?) and I’m not sure that there is ever a time for idle hands, and let’s face it – I have a thing for crafting. It was only a matter of time.
Now the far away place I mentioned earlier…. that would be northwestern Ontario. Being about to embark on some cross province, and cross country work, and meant long hours of travelling ahead. Again with the lots of time and little money bit.
I taught myself with a book, and some yarn and supplies my Mom had been keeping in her basement, and the rest as they say is history.
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.
Part 1 : How to Cast on
Before you can actually knit, you need a place to start. There are several ways to cast on – but I totally prefer the sling shot method, it seems to be the most useful, and it sounds pretty cool.
- 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 stitch
- Hold the needled with the slip knot in your right hand with your index finger resting on the slip knot.
- 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.
- Insert tip of needle under first strand of yarn on left thumb
- Bring needle over and around the first strand on your index finger
- Pull the yarn and needle down through the loop on your thumb
- 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.
- Repeat steps 3-7 until you have the required amount of stitches on your needle.
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. Oh, and in case you were wondering – during that first trip across the country, the first thing I made, was a green and orange stripped toque. He still wears it. That’s love people.