How to Do a Backwards Loop Cast-On in Knitting

Learn how to do a backwards loop cast-on in this knitting tutorial from Howcast.

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So now I'm going to show you how to do the backwards loop cast-on. For this cast-on you will need a bit of a tail and then you will need to make a slip knot and put it on the needle in your right hand. I use my right index finger just to hold this loop in place. And now what I'm going to do is I'm going to hold the yarn in a thumbs up position. So my four fingers are holding the yarn and my thumb is sticking up. And then what I am going to do is I'm going to scoop my thumb under the yarn so it is, from my perspective, going around the left side of my thumb. Then I'm going to simply grab that loop with my needle point and slip it down, but not too tightly. So, again, reset, thumb comes around the yarn, grab the yarn from off of the front of your thumb, and pull down. This cast-on is really fast, which is why most people like it. However, it has some pretty obvious downsides. Now I'm going to show you what they are. For beginners, especially, when you are not really good at tensioning your yarn yet, or knowing how big or how tight to make your loops, when you knit back into these first cast-on stitches, there is a real propensity for getting this really awkward strand between the stitches. But just because the backward zip cast-on doesn't offer much of a foundation row, so it's really not recommended for a large number of stitches to begin your project. Which is sad, because a lot of beginners like to use it because it is easiest cast-on to learn. But my recommendation is to save this cast-on for when you need to cast-on a few stitches in between pieces of already established knitting like around the top of a thumb, or for a button hole on a sweater. It's not the best for beginning your project. For that, I would recommend the cable cast-on or the long tail cast-on. This is what the backwards zip cast-on looks like after you've knit into it. There's the little chain edge at the bottom. So that is the backwards zip cast-on.

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  • Jessica Kaufman

    Jessica's handwork skills include knitting and designing knitting patterns, felting, spinning and dyeing, flame working, stained glass, blacksmithing, woodturning, silversmithing, batik and tie dye, candle making, block printing and papermaking, soap making, sewing, quilting, macramé, cloisonné and enameling, ceramics, and polymer clay-- and she wants to teach you how to do all of it!