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Knitting for Beginners; How To Cast On in Knitting

Updated on July 15, 2013

Easy Method of Casting On

Casting on is the first thing you must do in knitting. It is basically putting the very first stitches on your knitting needle. Thus, the term, "Casting on," is knitting terminology for simply putting your very first stitches on the knitting needle.

There are several ways of casting on, but the method demonstrated here is the simplest way to get you moving on to actually knitting stitches. This method is often referred to as the "sling-shot" method of single casting on.

This is done with one needle and one length of yarn. It forms a delicate selvage that is particularly good for a hem edge for lace. This is very easy cast on method, but somewhat difficult to work off the needle evenly in the first row. If you are a beginner and having trouble with this method, try the Double Cast-On method.

I am demonstrating this cast on method of knitting with very large needles to make it easier to follow.

Instructions for knitting, CLICK HERE

1. Place One Looped Knot Around Needle

Make a slipknot on one needle and hold the needle in the right hand.

Wrap yarn from the ball around left thumb and finger as in a sling shot, then drasp yarn firmly between the palm and back fingers.

Poke your needle up through the yarn in front of the thumb.

This yarn is going to be a stitch. Slowly release it.


Keep your right finger on the slip knot to keep the loop from slipping off the needle, and maintain tension on the new stitches being created with the left hand.


The new loop that has been created here is a stitch that you will knit into after finishing casting on all the stitches required to make a project.


As you can see, the slip knot is one stitch and the loop you just created counts as a new stitch.


On my large needles, after lightly tightening my yarn this is what my two cast on stitches look like.


After repeating steps 1-8 fourteen times, this is what I now have. Fourteen cast on stitches ready to knit into.

After casting on as many stitches as you need, begin adding knit stitches. Click here for instructions.

Once you have been knitting for some time, and have created a few projects, you can do variations of this method of single cast on or move onto more complex casting on methods. There is a variation of this particular cast on, but I wanted to make the casting on portion of beginners knitting as easy as possible. I truly believe that the best, and most painless way of introducing yourself to knitting is to get the casting on out of the way so that you can focus on knitting projects. The reason for this is because when you are new to knitting, the learning of casting on feels like another major part of knitting to conquer, and as I remember well; beginning kitting makes you feel like you are all thumbs and will never be able to learn this craft.

Sling shot Cast on With Two Rows of Knitting on Average Size Needles

The Single Cast Results

This is how the sling shot cast on looks on normal sized needles and after a few rows of knitting. Notice that it is very delicate and not at all bulky.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I've said on other sites, that it's taken me two months to try to figure this out and this is the first time I was able to cast on on the first try and it was perfect. Now, I just need to get those fat knitting needles, learn how to knit! and watch more videos and a decade or so, I'll be making my own videos!

      Thank you for giving me a start on my new project.

    • misslong123 profile image

      Michele Kelsey 

      6 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

      When I first learned how to knit, I taught myself. The most difficult things for me to learn how to do were to tie a slip knot and cast on. I read tons of books on how to cast on, but it really was still quite confusing to me. You did an exceptional job at showing newbies how to cast on stitches to begin their pattern. Keep knitting! :) Michele

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      Claudia Smaletz 

      6 years ago from East Coast

      Thank you for a good clear hub, I am new to knitting, but I find I am a bit more attracted to things made with knitting than crochet. Sorry crochet fans

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Wow, Skarlet, you are a woman with many hidden talents. Great job on demonstrating this technique. Very simple to follow.

    • Lee Tea profile image

      Lee Tea 

      7 years ago from Erie, PA

      Ah - thank you! I crochet often, but I have to look this up EVERY TIME I start a knitting project, I can never remember. Will be back here A LOT lol...and I'm going to bookmark this page. Voted up and useful. Thanks for writing!


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