Long Tail Cast on for Knitting

When starting your next knitting project you will have a plethora of choices for how to start. There are so many different cast on methods at your finger tips. My go to method is the long tail cast on. It is my FAVORITE and I will use it every time if I have a choice. Not sure how to start with a long tail cast on? Let me teach you how.

Video Tutorial for the Long Tail Knit Cast on

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Selecting a Cast On Method:

Casting on might be one of the most important things that you know when knitting. A good cast on can determine how your project turns out.

Most times a pattern will let you choose which way you want to cast on the project. Every now and then a method will be stated. Designers do this because they feel that is the best method to get the results that you see in the photo of the pattern.

When learning to knit most people learn with the knit cast on or the long tail cast on. I prefer the look of the long tail cast on and it is what I use for all of my projects.

Looking to learn more about casting on for your next project? Be sure to check out the book Cast On, Bind Off by Cap Sease for a variety of options.

Video Tutorial for the Long Tail Cast on

Two Strand Long Tail Cast On:

One of the biggest struggles with the long tail cast on method is estimating how much yarn you will need to get all of your stitches.

There is nothing worse than getting to the last 5 stitches you need and not having enough of your tail yarn to finish. It is equally frustrating when you get to the end and you still have 3 feet of yarn left over. We don’t want to waste yarn!

In order to not have to estimate the amount of yarn you will need you can work with the two strand method. To do this you will need to balls of the yarn that you are using. NOTE: This will add two additional tails to weave in at the end.

6 Step Quick Guide for Two Strand Long Tail Cast On:

Working the two strand long tail cast on is the same as when you are just using one ball of yarn. The only difference is that you are working with two individual strands so that you don’t run out of yarn. Use the photo tutorial below to start your two strand cast on.

Still not sure how to do this? Check out the video for the long tail cast on below and work the same motions, but with two different strands as shown in step one below.

  1. Start by taking the strand of yarn from two balls. The bottom strand will go from the bottom over your thumb and down. The other strand will go from the bottom over your index finger and down. Both strands will start on the outside and end in the middle. NOTE: If you were really doing this they would both be the same color. I am using two so you can see the difference. You would also be starting with a slip knot if doing one color.
  2. Your needle will drop and scoop up the strand around your thumb.
  3. Next you will grab and pull down on the strand around your pointer finger.
  4. Drop the strand on your thumb and pull tight.
  5. You have just made your first stitch.
  6. Continue with this method until the number of stitches required for the pattern.

The start is a little fiddly to hold the yarn in place but once you get a stitch or two going then you will be right back into rhythm. Working with two strands is a great alternative allowing you to work with confidence that you won’t run out of yarn.

After you get your desired number of stitches cut the yarn from your second ball (the red ball) and continue working. You will need to weave in all of your ends at the end to keep your cast on secure.

Video Tutorial:

5 of my FAVORITE Knit Patterns:

  1. Beginner Garter Stitch Knit Shawl
  2. A Shawl for the Social Knitter
  3. Cute Fall Decorations
  4. This can be worn as a scarf or a cowl
  5. Knitting with friends

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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