The Long Tail Cast On

The long tail cast on method of casting on knitting stitches is perhaps the most common. It is sometimes referred to as the "thumb" method.

It produces a nice firm but somewhat stretchy effect and is suitable for most projects.

A challenge people have with this method is determining how long should the tail be. Too short and start over - too long and waste yarn. Hmmm...

Here are a few things you can try:

  • Cast on a 10 stitches. Then unravel and see how much yarn was used. If you want to cast on 100 stitches, you measure 9 more lengths of the first ten.
  • Wrap your yarn around the needle 10 times. Each wrap approximates the size of the cast on stitch. If you want to cast on 100 stitches, you measure 9 lengths more of the yarn used for the first ten wraps.
  • Use both ends of the ball of yarn and snip off the "tail" end when your cast on is finished.

The method demonstrated in this video is a favorite because you don't need to start with a slip knot.

This cast on produces the equivalent of a knitted row. When you turn to begin knitting, you have purl row facing you.

You can either begin knitting as if it were your first row or treat it as your second row.

It's knitter's choice! Some are more finicky than others. If you fit in the "finicky" category, try the reverse long tail.

Repeat the same process with the right hand instead of the left! It is totally awkward if you are used to the standard left handed method, but after a little bit, will seem just as natural.

Try it out and see what you like best.

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