Home‎ > ‎Tutorials‎ > ‎

Cast On's—Part 1

TOP To start—a list of cast on--Many have links to Videos or Tutorials. xxxx
The count keeps changing, as new casts are added as they are found.
The count was over 60 different methods of cast ons, (as of Feb. '15). and since then, more cast on methods have been added!  This list is incomplete —but it's all the cast ons I know. Every time I think I have them all, another  new ones pop up.  Many cast on's have multiple names--(and many names are used for 2 or more cast ons!)-- The cast on I call 'Long Tail Twisted' is commonly called Old Norwegian, Twisted Norwegian, and Twisted German-- and it might have other names. 

In addition, many cast ons have several ways to create them--most simplisticlly one major difference in methods is:  some cast on methods are easier for knitter that use a right hand yarn hold, and other methods are easier for knitters that use a left hand yarn hold—For example the Twisted Cast on and the Maine cast on are identical –but worked differently—The first is very comfortable for a left hand yarn holding knitter, the second, is more comfortable for a right hand yarn holding knitter, this is noted if it applies.  

Finally, none of these cast ons are “MINE” even the one I created isn't. Cast on methods all belong in the public domain, and the first time they are published, they become part of  public domain. Any one can use any of these cast ons, in any project, or in any pattern.  YOU do not have to acknowledge the source.  But it is a nice thing to do, so please consider it.    That said, please remember, while the cast ons are public domain, all of the videos are copy right protected!

Feel free to use any of these cast on, bind off or selvages in any of your design. Also feel free to link to this page (or acknowledge it as a reference). But remember the videos are copyright protected, as is this web site.  

My videos are always listed first, but I will often include other videos(with permission)  --and in some cases, the only video is by another knitter. As I learn new cast ons,  and find a video for them, I will add them.  They will be tagged (NEW) for the first 6 or so months.

NOTE: on my to do list, (and not yet done) some images of cast ons--This link takes you to Ungendered yarn's  tumblr page.

Invisible Cast Ons and Provisional Cast Ons 
Picot Cast Ons  (and Picot Edgings)NEW
Special Cast Ons for Special Techniques Including Garter Tab Cast Ons

Simple Cast On--also known as, script letter e cast on, or lace cast on.  Easy to do, but can be uneven, and requires attention to keep it even.
Simple as Purl cast on-- see simple link
Simple Alternate (knits and purls)--see simple link. Similar to Open closed (aka Estonian) Long tail cast on.
Simple as Twisted--(same base stitch as the twisted Long Tail)--NEW
Wrapped Cast on—(AKA as Winding Cast on. Eespecially good for ribbon yarn  
 This video treats it as a provisional cast on, but it can also be uses as a knit in round cast on (for say a toe up sock)

Knit Cast on   
Same worked as a Purl Cast on  
Same worked in ribbing (knits and purls) 
Knit Cast on with an extra chain stitch done as a crochet cast on (Scarlet Zebra's Video) 
Picot (Knit) Cast on With a Twist --this is an attractive variation of the knit cast on, with a stable stretchy edge.NEW
Knit Cast on with picot's (simple) 
Chinese Knob (or button) Cast On An attractive cast on with a knobby edge--but not very stretchy.It is a combination of knit and cable cast on.

Cable Cast on 
Cable cast on worked as a purl See the Cable cast on video-above
Cable cast on worked knits and purls--seed or 1 X 1 ribbing (OR  See the Cable Cast on Video-above)

Double Chain Cast Ons--These double chain cast ons are a good match to Double Chain bind off, (also to double chain selvage).
Double Chain Knit cast on  My version of this cast on.
Imitation I-cord cast on (another version of a double chain cast -totally new method!  Thanks, Dolly.)
Chinese Waitress Cast On(a third  method of working  the double chain cast on) 
Tilybuddy's version of the Chinese Waitress cast on --an EASIER to work method, with same results.
Skeincharmer's Crochet version of a double chain cast on. Text/still image An other easy to do version of this cast on: Ravelry link.

Double Knotted cast ons--4 different methods for producing the same stretchy cast on
Double knotted Cast on (a very simple, very stretchy cast on)
Buttonhole (another method to create same cast on as the double knotted cast on)
Guernsey Cast on (third method, a bit slow and tedious, I think,  to do Buttonhole/double knotted cast on)
Not to be confused with Channel Isle cast on (see Double yarn cast ons, below) 
Jeny's super stretchy (a fourth  version of the double knotted, aka buttonhole cast on)
All 4 versions have the same result--all are equally stretchy.
NOTE: the Emily Ocker cast on, is a version of the double knotted cast on, worked over a ring, (of yarn) instead of on a needle

Crocheted –(can be used as a provisional cast on)  
 --picked up from a chain (not recommend)
Loopy/Lacy Cast On (similar to Tily's cast on)
There are other cast ons that are often worked with a crochet hook (in the right hand) 
--See Knit cast on with extra chain above, and all four versions of double chain cast ons (above).

Back to LIST

Most of these cast ons are variations of a basic long tail cast.  Please note Long Tail is the common name for these styles of cast ons in US, and parts of Canada.  In other parts of the world, the same cast ons are sometimes called Double Yarn, or Double starts cast ons.  There are LOTS of different names for all of these cast ons.
Some versions of long tail cast ons are/have been traditionally worked with a double strand of yarn on the thumb. Almost all versions can be worked:
 AIn two colors/strands of yarn--(a contrasting yarn for thumb), OR B--with double (triple or more) strands of yarn for thumb. 
If you count these variations, the number of 2 strand cast on methods is equal to 20 or 30 cast ons! One version of a basic long tail features 4 yarns held together for the  thumb yarn--It looks very different but its really just a basic long tail.  
Long Tail and it's many variation There are several ways to work a long tail cast on--One is refered to as "sling shot" and uses the left hand to hold the yarn.  Another common long tail style uses both hands to hold the yarn, the tail of the yarn is held on thumb,(called thumb), less common, is to work the long tail cast ons with a KNIT ON method.
Estimating the length of tail needed for a Long Tail Cast On
There are several methods.  All the different methods, are based on the same thing: How much yarn is needed to wrap around the needle.
Since long tail cast ons all have a simple cast on at the base, (and each stitch is first wrapped around the needle) and then is followed by "Row Zero" (the second half of the long tail cast on.  

So--since each stitch is about equal to the circumference of needle, most methods use this (in various ways) as a basis.  
The simplest, (and a good estimate) is about 3 times the desired width.  Casting on 20 inches (check schematic)? You'll need about 60 inches of tail. 
Another method suggests you wrap yarn around the needle (10 times or so) and measure how much is needed to make 10 wraps.  then multiply this amount as many times as needed.. If 10 wraps =9 inches, and you need to cast on  40, then you need 5 times 9 to cast on 40 stitches. 
Similarly, a third suggestion is to cast on 10 stitches, and measure to see home much tail yarn is required for 10 stitches, (and again, multiply to apx. amount)
Finally, a fool proof method is to use 2 balls, (or both ends of a single ball).  Tie these yarns together in a slip knot, leaving a 6 inch or so tail.
Then cast on as many stitches as needed.  at the end of the cast on, cut the yarn that was used for the thumb.  This will leave 3 tails to weave in, (a disadvantage) but ensure your tail is long enough.  This is especially useful for large cast ons--(100 or more stitches to cast on) 

Long tail (sling shot)  
Long tail (thumb) 
Long Tail Twisted (sling shot version)
Twisted Long Tail Cast On Still photo tutorial from Kangath Knits
Long Tail Twisted, and worked in K's & P's --a combination of features. (Sling shot) NEW
Maine Cast On (AKA Long Tail Twisted) thumb method of  Twisted Long Tail Cast On
Long Tail Open --has a slightly different look (sling shot)
Long tail  Knit On--looks the same as the Open Long Tail cast on,(neither sling shot or thumb method
Long tail Cast on Indian style--looks the same as the knit on long tail and open tail cast on, but done differently
Twisted double chain --a variant of the knit on long tail--with a twist 
Long Tail Open and Closed (aka Estonian--see Nancy Bush's video)-A combination of Open and standard Long Tail (sling shot) 
The Alsace Long Tail--a long tail variation that creates a row of knit stitches on the right side of the work NEW
Double Needle Long Tail Cast On this is a new video--this cast also has a matching bind off. NEW 
--written, illustrated directions from: Principles of Knitting,  June Hemmon Hiatt. Ms Hiatt designed this cast .
--3 Variations: Double Needle Long Tail Cast On--3 versions;  one with 2 needles, two  with 1 needle, one a single twist, one a double twist NEW
Long Tail Austrian Style--Features index finger stitch (row 0) twisted--good for twisted ribbing)
--See Other Cast ons below, for an example of this cast on in combination with Chinese long tail
Craig's Long Tail--this long tail variation has a twisted base stitch, similar to the channel Island cast on 
Long tail 2 color simple 
Long Tail Braided (Long tail worked with from 2 to 5 strands of yarn--shown as a 3 color braid)
--This cast on worked with 2 strands of same color yarn creates an edge that is a close match to standard bind off
Stretchier 2 color Long Tail cast on. This cast on is a combination one.  It combines a standard long tail cast on, with a 2 color cast on, plus a sturdy long tail cast on, and results in a long tail cast on that, gives the effect of a Knit 1, Purl 1 cast on!  NEW
Stretchier 2 color Long Tail Edging. This second video show how the above cast on can be worked into a 2 color edging. NEW
Long Tail Cast on Sturdy-- similar to Knit Sturdy, with a Long Tail cast on Base. 
Chinese Long Tail Variation  Excellent for 1 X 1 ribbing, Looks like an invisible cast on, but is easier to work.
Other styles of cast ons that uses 2 strands of yarn, that are not Long tail cast ons.
Kihnu Double Braided Cast on--(origianally from Nancy Bush--AKA Chinese 2 color cast on)
Reversed Kihnu cast on--(easier!) This tutorial is on Ravelry--you must be a member to see it.
Channel Island  a classic cast on that creates a small picot on the edge.
EZ's Provisional  cast on (will be available 10/15/15)
Guernsey Cast On. 

Back to LIST
Eyelet (Noose)Cast Ons
These Cast on's, called eyelet, noose, pinhole, belly button and other names--are designed for casting on when knitting a flat disk in the round--as you might find in the center of a circular (or square) shawl, or at the crown of a hat. They can also be used for casting on a toe up sock--especially if you desire a round toe on the sock. 

Emily Ockers cast on is the best know, but not the easiest to do. There are also 2 disappearing loop methods, and what is, in effect a provisional method, called the belly button. In the end, all leave a small neat eyelet of knitting.
Emily Ocker --(she didn't claim to have invented it, but popularized it.) This cast on is a version of the double knotted cast on, worked on a disappearing ring... It's a little tricky, but worth the effort.

Emily Ocker Eyelet Elizabeth Zimmerman recommended this cast on for her famous Pi shawl--NEW
Emily Ocker Eyelet cast on (video by Crafty Andy)
Emily Ocker Eyelet --a set of still photo's--(on a single page) from Impeccable Knits blog NEW

Disappearing Loop Cast ons
Method 2 --A disappearing loop method--No knot
Method 2A--2 variations One from TechKnitter, one from Eunie Jang. The difference is very subtle. One starts with a YO, one ends with a YO. NEW
Method 3--A slip stitch method--this method uses a slip knot. It's the easiest method, but some knitters prefer not to have a knot in lace.
Belly Button method for an Eyelet cast on (Text/drawings)

Back to LIST

Invisible Cast Ons (aka Kitcherned Cast on's) are cast on's that have a neat rolled edge, and its almost impossible to tell where (or how!) the cast on was done.  There are a number of methods for creating these edges.

All of them are a bit tricky--and all of them are easy to work too tight (which spoils the cast on edge) Take some time--try out a few methods, until you find the method you like best.  I particularly like these cast on's for HATS and for top down sweaters--in both of these cases, the cast on edge hangs around your face--and its worth the effort to learn a cast on that make a perfect frame for your face.  All of these cast ons are perfectly matched to the Kitchener bind off (aka A Grafted bind off.) A matching selvage can be created by working a 2 stitch i-cord.  

Tubular AKA Invisible Cast on, (7 versions) which, in the end, all look identical, but are created very differently! Listed IN MY PREFERENCE order.
--Judy's magic Cast on --This cast on can be used for working in the round, or as a tubular cast on.
 --No waste yarn/Italian method --shown worked in 2 color (for ease in learning--once you master, work in single color)
--Crochet--Provisional cast on, R1 is alternate K1, YO's (this text only(not even a photograph)
 --Waste yarn/Similar to EZ's provisional cast on  R1 is worked K1, YO. In this photo tutorial, the cast on is worked in 2 colors. (see post 3)
--3 needle 
Long Tail based invisible cast on--This is very similar to a 3 needle cast on, worked with 3 circular needles.NEW
The Chinese Long Tail is not a perfectly invisible cast on, but in some cases, it can be substituted for one.

Other Invisible or Provisional Cast Ons
EZ's (Elisabeth Zimmerman) Provisional Cast on (Part 1 and Part 2) NEW 
NOTE: both the Figure 8 and Turkish cast on can also be used for Tubular Invisible cast ons, or for a simple provisional cast on

Edging and Novelty cast ons 
Lace –e.i., Knit hairpin style lace used for a Cast on (See Vogue Knitting)
(aka Chinese non-stretchy cast on with ridged border)
From a sewn edge ( blanket stitch or chain stitch edge or trim on fabric)
Interesting cast on edgings --Blog/Ezine post

Back to LIST 

Cast on's with matching bind off's(and selvages)
I suggest you swatch first--while some of these are a perfect match, some are just close matches. A swatch is also an important tool for learning the cast on and bind off. --See part 2 of this tutorial, and think about making yourself a cast on Sampler.
1--Any invisible/tubular cast on with a Kitchener (grafted) Bind off--also has a matching selvage
    There are at least 6 methods for making an tubular cast on--a list above--including some with video links 
2--I-cord cast on and I-cord Bind off. (also has a matching selvage)
3--Knit cast on with picots—Standard bind off with picots (also matching selvage)There are several of each.
4--Double Chain Knit Cast on to Double chain bind off—(also has a matching selvage)
4 a,b,c--Chinese waitress cast on, Tilybudy's double chain, and Skeincharmers Crochet double chain to the Double Chain bind off 
5--Dolly's Imitation I-cord cast on and bind off Both on one video, and perfect matches. These are also double chain cast on and bind off.
6--Loopy Lace Cast on, and the loopy bind off, the bind off is post 5 in the thread--photo tutorial
(also has a matching selvage)
7--Crochet Cast on to a Standard Bind off (and to many variations of the standard bind off)
8--Long Tail (standard—sling shot, or thumb and Open version) to EZ's sewn bind off.  There are several alternate videos see Bind off tutorial page
9--Estonian Long tail (aka Open/Closed long tail to a Sewn bind off (see Joyce Williams book Latvian Dreams)
10--Twisted Long Tail cast on to the Twisted Sewn Bind Off.. (EZ's sewn bind off, with an extra twist)
11--Double needle Long tail Cast on and the Out of Order bind off
12--A bobble edge (done after a long tail or other cast on)  and a bobble bind off 
13--The Kihnu 2 color cast on  and a Matching bind off.  (just learned about this, details and links to bind off coming soon)
14--A Eyelet Cast On and a DrawString bind off.  These are rarely used together---but fit the list
15--A Tubular Cast On, R1 worked as Linen Stitch, and a Tunisian Bind off--for linen stitch
16--Use any provisional cast on, and then bind off both edges in any cast on you desire.  A good idea is to make a small butterfly of yarn, and then start to knit.  When you undo the provisional cast on, use the butterfly of yarn to bind off the provisional stitches.

Back to LIST

Knit cast on (worked as a knit and purl cast on) this method is suitable for 1 X 1 or any ribbing patterning--
Cable cast on This called the seed stitch cast, but it is a version of the cable cast on worked in both knits and purls and also suitable for ribbing, or seed stitch.
Forward and reverse Long tail cast on –another cast on that can be worked in any rib pattern
--This video was originally made to show how to make a cast on sampler, and the first few minutes of video reflect this.
All of the above cast ons are suitable for any ribbing variations, 1 X 1, 2 X 2, or uneven rib patterns  like 3 X 1, or 5 X 
The cast ons below, are better suited for 1 X 1, or 2 X 2 ribbing.
The Chinese Long tail cast on—which is already a hybrid cast on (using 1 long tail cast on stitch and one half stitch) can be readily adapted to 1 by 1 ribbing. This cast on sort of looks like a tubular cast on, but is MUCH easier to do.
The Open/Closed Cast on (aka Estonian cast on)--yet another version of long tail, that is suitable for 1 X 1, or 2 X 2 ribbing.  I suspect it would work with any multiple of 2 (4 X 2, 4 X 4, etc)--though I haven't tried them all out. It is not suitable for uneven ribbing patterns  like 3 X 1, or 5 X 1.
The tubular cast on(s) belongs on this list, too. I think this cast on is only suitable for 1 by 1 ribbing, but people have used it for 2 by 2. I don't like it for 2 by 2, and don't teach this. (It's MY web page and blog, and you get MY opinion!)
The Double Knot (aka button hole, aka Guersey, aka Jeny's) is excellent for ribbing: I think it looks best with 1 X 1--but that is just my opinion. 
TillyBudy's Cast On  A single yarn cast on, (best suited to knitters who hold the yarn in their right hand) is an excellent super stretchy cast one ideal for ribbing.

Other Cast ons can be created by combining elements of  other cast ons, to create unique variations. Both of these variations are good for ribbing. The Twisted long tail with a twisted base stitch is good for 1 X 1 ribbing, the 2 color Long Tail is show being worked for 1 X 1, but could be adaptd to 2 X1 or 2 X 2.  

Twisted long tail with a twisted basestitch--a cast on that combines elements of the Austrian (twisted stitch) long tail cast

image of the cast on

 on with elements of the Chinese Long Tail cast on.. This cast on will create ribbing from the cast on edge, and the ribbed stitches will be twisted.  NEW 

Stretchier 2 color Long Tail cast on. Another Cast on that is a combination of Long Tail Variations--This video presumes you know the long tail cast on, and does not include the basis for working this cast on. NEW

Back to LIST

Single Yarns Cast ons
Knit Cast on with an extra chain stitch done as a crochet cast on (Scarlet Zebra's Video) 
Imitation I-cord cast on (another version of a double chain cast -totally new method!  Thanks, Dolly.)
Chinese Waitress Cast On(an alternate method of doing the double chain cast on) 
The following 4 cast on all create the same result--all are equally stretchy, but each is worked slightly differently.
*Double knotted Cast on (a very simple, very stretchy cast on)
*Buttonhole (another method to create same cast on as the double knotted cast on)
*Guernsey Cast on (third method, a bit slow and tedious, I think,  to do Buttonhole/double knotted cast on)
*Jeny's super stretchy (a fourth  version of the double knotted, aka buttonhole cast on)

Double Yarn Cast Ons
All double yarn (LONG TAIL CAST ON for the most part, can be worked too tight, if you are not careful.
See this Video about Not snugging up the tail of a Long Tail cast on.
Long Tail Twisted (sling shot version) 
Long Tail Twisted (AKA Maine) thumb method 
Twisted double chain --(a variant of the knit on long tail--with a twist) 
Long Tail Open and Closed (aka Estonian--see Nancy Bush's video)-A combination of Open and standard Long Tail.   
Chinese Long Tail Variation(excellent for 1 X 1 ribbing.) 
Kihnu Double Braided Cast on--(origianally from Nancy Bush--AKA Chinese 2 color cast on) 
Channel Island  a classic cast on that creates a small picot on the edge.
Double Needle Long tail Cast On this is a new video--this cast also has a matching bind off. NEW 

Back to LIST

Picot Cast Ons (under construction) NEW
There are several--here are just a few that I know
Picot Hem-- Cast on an odd number.(any stretchy cast on will work) Using a needle I size smaller than called for, (for gauge) and work several rows of stocking knit.  (1/2 to 1 inch)Then work a "Turning row":  On the next knit row, K1, *YO, K2tog, (repeat this pattern across row).
CHANGE to needle size called for. Continue in stocking knit till length equals the depth of hem.  Then work in stitch pattern. Finish by sewing hem in place.

Picot Hem--Option 2  USE a provisional cast on. Proceed as above.  Then, when front of knitting is equal to depth of hem, pick up the provisional stitches,  and bind the hem to main body of knitting as you go, in a process similar to a three needle bind off, (do not bind off, just knit both cast on and main body together.)  

Simple Picot 1 Using a crochet cast on, add picots for a cast on edge with open picots. This style of picot is an open loop.

Knit Cast on with Picots Start with a knitted cast on, and intermittantlly, bind off stitches, to create closed, knotted picots

Picot lace Cast On--This method knits a lace strip, that creates picots, Then stitches are picked up from the picots). Stitch a Day Video
Picot Lace Cast On 2--This method knits a lace strip, similar to a fine hair pin lace, then stitches are picked up from the picots.

Picot Lace Cast On EDGING (multiple rows are needed to create) Just as some picot bind offs are worked over several rows, created a picot edge, this Cast on, is worked over several rows, and created a deep lacy picot.  

Back to LIST

Special Cast Ons for Special Techniques--like Double Knitting, Brioche stitch, Twice Knit stitch, Garter Tab and others.
(this section is under construction)

The Knit Cast On, for single handed knitting.. This is a long, 19 minutes or so) video by Elizabeth Ward, an amputee who show how to cast on single handed. NEW
Double knitting:  There are several cast ons that are commonly used.
1--Judy's Magic Cast On --Used a provisional cast on, followed by a 3 to a dozen or more rows of stocking knit, to make a hem. A turning row of purls, or picots (k1, K2tog) can be added. 
After the hem, the 2 groups of stitches are joined onto one needle and double knitting begins.  
(other provisional/invisible cast ons can subbed for JMCO,  such as the figure 8 or turkish cast on.)
2--Forward and Reverse Long tail (worked in 2 colors of yarn.)
3--Long Tail, Braided, worked in two colors.
4--Double Yarn Long Tail cast on.
Brioche stitch cast on. (this link takes you to The Brioche Stitch web site)--there is a matching bind off, there too, or See Bind Offs for link.
Twice Knit Stitch (aka Herringbone stitch) Cast on
Twice Knit Stitch (aka Herringbone stitch) Bind off
Linen stitch  Cast on
Linen Stitch (bind off) 
Twisted stitches (aka Austrian style knitting) Cast on
Garter tab cast on --for Triangle shawl edges and other uses, in 2 parts, EZ's Provisional cast on, and Garter Tab
The Moebius Cast On--a variation of the Italian tubular cast on, used for starting Moebius cowls, etc. (Cat Bohdhi's video)
Garter Tab Cast on--a common style for shawls, but also useful for knitting in the round. NEW 

SEE this thread in RAVELRY for  technique for casting on in the round that ensures twist-less joins
Back to LIST

This list is focused on Cast ons, and not on edging, (Edging, by my definition, are 2 or 3 rows,or more) but there are some edging that are almost cast ons, like a twisted edging.  For Edging, (cast on, bind off or selvage edging) I recommend Nicky Epstein's book(s), Knitting on the Edge, Knitting Over the Edge, and Knitting Beyond the Edge
One edging  that blurs, is Bobble Edging:  cast on (Knit method) 10 stitches, (or some other number) 
turn work and work a bobble in stitch 10, (make bobble small or large) when the bobble is complete, turn the work back and  continue casting on, (cast on 10 more stitches and repeat bobble) 
The sturdy cast on --Cast on 2—(knit or long tail method). Bind off 1, (1 stitch cast on) Repeat.
This cast on is demo'd in a video for the simple cast on method only--but it can be used with long tail, too. The Long tail version is less stretchy.
Provisional cast ons can be finished with a standard bind off, (to have matching edges), with a fancy bind off (picot, or a simple hem, or a picot hem) or with knit on edgings-- either edges that are knit down, or  edgings that are knit across. 

Back to TOP of this page

Back to Home Page

Forward to Cast Ons Part 2