How to do the Long Tail Cast On: Step by Step

2 min read

How to do the Long Tail Cast On: Step by Step

Hi knitters,

Have you mastered casting on with two needles? The next stage of progression is try casting on with one needle, also referred to as Long Tail Cast on.

This technique is a much faster cast-on method and sturdier too. It may take a while to practise but once you've had a go it's just like playing cats cradle! The reason why this method is called 'Long-Tail' is because it uses up the yarn from the tail strand. This requires you to estimate the amount of yarn usage for casting on - as a gauge, we usually say however wide your intended knitting piece is multiplied by four. So for example, if you're knitting a hat and it's 22 cm wide, then try casting on with an 88cm long tail.

Beginner’s guide - How to cast on with one needle

Step 1

Make a slip knot. See our blog over here to learn how to make your first stitch.

Step 2

Grab both strands of yarn in the palm of your left hand and place your index finger and thumb through the strands by making an L-shape.

Step 3

Bring the needle forward (1). Draw a loop through the strand of yarn on top of your thumb by going under and over (2) with the tip of your needle.

Step 4

Carrying that loop, draw another loop by going over and under the strand of yarn around your index finger (1). Bring the needle back under the yarn around your thumb (2) and let the loop fall off your thumb.

Step 5

Pull tight both ends of the yarn to tighten the stitch. You've made your stitch! Repeat steps 1-5 according to how many stitches you require.

Need more help? Why not watch our video instead on how to cast on with one needle!


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