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How to Cast On for Circular Knitting

Learn how to cast on for circular knitting from expert Jessica Kaufman in this Howcast video.


All right. I'm going to show you how to cast on for circular knitting.

What you need is the yarn you're going to use for your project and the circular needle that you've chosen to work with your project.

So, I'm going to be doing the long tail cast on. You can feel free to do any other cast on that you want or that your pattern calls for, whatever you're most comfortable with. And if you need help with your long tail cast on, we do have a video just about that.

So I've got the working yarn towards me and the ball away from me and I've started with a slip knot.

So I'm just going to go ahead and cast on just like I normally would for straight needles. Keeping it nice and loose because unlike straight needles, there's a joint in circular needles. There's this little bit where the cable connects to the needle and if you're a really tight caster on-er, this is where this is going to not serve you very well because the stitches have to be able to slide over the joint.

So keep your cast on nice and loose. This is "you're making fabric, not knots", so I always tell my beginning knitters to keep their cast on nice and loose as if they're making a fabric they would like to wear on their skin.

You want to make sure that you've got a needle that is short enough so that your stitches can comfortably reach from point to point. We never want to stretch our stitches. I know that with this yarn, what I'm casting on for fits really well on a 16 inch circular and that's what I've got.

So here are all my stitches as I have just cast them. And you can tell that they're a little twisty, a little wonky, but that's natural because my hands have been all over them. But what I want you to see is that the stitches comfortably reach from point to point.

If I had fewer stitches on here, like if the pattern called for like say this many stitches to be cast on, I would not feel comfortable stretching my stitches out that far.

So whatever cast on you choose, whatever needles and yarn you choose, just make sure that you have enough stitches to reach comfortably from point to point.

And next you need to know how to join to knit in the round which we'll show you in the next video.

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