How to Knit: 2 Cast On Methods

Before beginning knitting you need to know how to put stitches on your needles. Try these two cast on methods to get started.

By Leslie Ann Bestor
November 2014

How to Knit

How to Knit (Storey Publishing, 2014) by Leslie Ann Bestor is the perfect introduction to beginning knitting, whether you are completely new to needle crafts or looking to cross over to a new craft. Bestor explains a few basic techniques in a simple, friendly way that makes learning how to knit easy, from a few all-purpose cast on methods to knit and purl stitches, increasing and decreasing, and binding off at the end. The following excerpt is from Chapter 1, "When You're Ready to Cast On."

You need to put stitches on your needles when you're learning how to knit. This is called casting on, and there are dozens of ways to do it, some that are specific to certain situation, such as making socks or lace items, and some that are more general. I am going to show you a couple of all-purpose cast on methods that will serve you well through your initial forays into beginning knitting. As you progress, you may want to learn others, and I humbly suggest my book Cast On, Bind Off to further your education.

Casting On with a Slip Knot

The slip knot creates a loop that can be placed on a needle to begin your cast on. You make it like this:

1. Make a loop of your yarn with the tail end underneath the long end where the yarns overlap.
Slip knot
2a. Reach through the loop...
Slip knot
2b. ...grab the long yarn, and pull a new loop through the first loop. Place this loop on your needle and pull both ends to tighten.
Slip knot