How to Cast-on Stitches
Long Tail Cast-on
For every cast-on you will need one inch of yarn, for the tail. In the
classroom and if making a scarf, cast-on 40 stitches (the slip knot is counted
as a stitch) -- so make the slip knot and cast on 39 stitches (this makes 40
cast-ons, in total).
Keep in mind, that the long-tail cast
on method does not begin near the
beginning of the ball of yarn. The
long-tail cast on method begins by forming a slip knot.
You have to start with a long-tail, and the stitches are formed using both the tail and the other side of the yarn are used to form the stitches.
Once you've measured out how long your long tail needs to be, form the slip knot.
So, hold the beginning of your yarn between your index finger and thumb with your dominant hand, out-stretch the arm holding the yarn. Use your other hand and hold to your nose
-- from your nose to your outstretch yarn should be approximately 40
At 40 inches make your slip knot.
Making the Slip Knot: at 40 inches lay your yarn over the palm of your hand, allowing your yarn tail (40 inches) to hang towards the floor and the yarn attached to the ball to hand off the other side of your hand.
Wrap the yarn tail around your hand again creating an "X". Look at the yarn and more importantly look at
the "X" where it crosses. Take the yarn, which is laying on your palm and
It may not look like a loop just yet, but pull of your hand the twist you just made, this is the makings of a slip-knot. Now pull on the loop and the two strands of yarn, in opposite directions to make the loops more defined. Now, pull the two strands of yarn apart, this will make the
slip-knot smaller. Now, put your knitting needle into the smaller loop. And, tighten the loop around the knitting needle. Not too tight, around the needle - you do not want to strangle the knitting needle, the loop should draw closed around needle somewhat loosely.
Now you are ready to make your Long-Tail Cast-ons.
After the slip knot is secured, hold the needle in your right hand. The slip knot, should be between one and three inches from the tip of the needle (this is so you do not stab yourself with your own knitting needles... Knitting is a friendly sport...
Hold your needle with the slip-knot, in your right hand. Take your index finger of your left hand and incert between the two strands of yarn (only your index finger, look at your yarn make certain no other fingers (at this point) are touching your yarn -- only the index finger of your left hand. That was step one. Now, step two: allow your middle, ring and small fingers to hold securely the two strands of yarn.
A recap -- your index finger of your left hand is incerted between the two strands of yarn -- this index finger does not move. next, with your middle, ring and small fingers grab
the yarn (this allows for tension).
Next, your thumb must be incerted in the same direction as your index finger. Next step, your thumb
and index finger must open in the "L" shape. Rotate your hand so the palm of your hand is now comfortably facing you.
Then, start what I call "outside, outside, thumb-loop". Take your other needle in your right hand
(before you start, look at your left hand, look at the yarn, this should look like "cats craddle", or heart shape (one of the two descriptives should assist you (if not, call me immediately. Seriously!) :-) I
mean really, call me!
With your right needle, take the
strand of yarn wrapped around your thumb, and pick up a single strand on the bottom left of your thumb, then continue to your right side and pick up a single strand of yarn wraped around your index finger and then zag back to your left and directly into the look which is around your thumb. This is why this is called, "outside, outside, thumb-loop). Please watch this video, this will aid
in accomplishing your goal with learning the Long-tail cast-on.
This video does not make a slip-knot. If it is easier to learn without the slip Knot, this is okay. If you make the slip knot, follow this video, except the very first step (the first slip knot). Otherwise, this is a good clear instructional.
This is an instructional video of the Knit Stitch Cast-on, also known as the French Cast-on: If the Long Tail Cast-on seems to illude you, no worries -- there are many altertive methods to casting on stitches, which create a similar effect.