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How to Cast On

Casting on—as opposed to casting away—has nothing to do with desert islands or little buddies named Gilligan. It's the second step in every knitting project—and you don't have to be a Professor to know how to do it.


  • Step 1: Hold needle & yarn Hold the needle in your left hand at the point where the knot sits on the needle. Hold the tail end of the yarn under your finger to keep it out of the way.
  • TIP: As a beginner, use thicker needles—they're easier to maneuver.
  • Step 2: Make "gun" Make a "gun" of your right hand and grip the attached end of the yarn under your 3 bent fingers. Your left hand and needle should be held above the gun.
  • Step 3: Point "gun" Point your "gun" straight up so your right hand is now making a "number one" with your thumb pointed out to the side, while also dropping your left hand down to the side with the needle pointing up.Ê The yarn should now be wrapped behind your right forefinger.
  • Step 4: Cross hands Cross your left hand, with the needle still pointing up, across your right hand so that the yarn is now looped around your finger.
  • Step 5: Cast on Insert the needle up through the loop along the outside of your forefinger and pull the yarn up so that it slips off of your finger and onto the needle. You have successfully cast on.
  • TIP: Don't forget that your slip knot counts as your first stitch—and your cast on stitch is your second.
  • Step 6: Repeat process Point your "gun" up again, wrapping the yarn behind your right forefinger, and repeat the cast on process for your next stitch.
  • TIP: If you're using a pattern, check the instructions to see how many stitches you'll need to cast on. If you're just practicing, try starting with 30.
  • Step 7: Continue & knit Continue casting on until you have as many stitches as you need for your project, and get ready to knit!
  • FACT: The number of 25 to 34 year-old Americans who knit jumped 150% during a recent two-year period.

You Will Need

  • A knitting needle with a slipknot of yarn attached

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