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How to Long Tail Cast On Knitting Stitches

How to Long Tail Cast On Knitting Stitches

Learn how to Cast On Knitting Stitches for beginners in 3 easy steps with my close-up photo and video tutorial demonstrating the Long-Tail Cast On. This is the way most beginners prefer to place yarn onto your knitting needle in preparation for knitting.

You’ll love my easy to follow demonstration to cast on stitches to begin knitting. We will begin by tying a Slip Knot, then learn the Sling-Shot Method of holding your yarn, and finish by casting on your first stitches. Yes, this takes a bit of patience to learn. But once you master casting on, you will be ready to start the fun hobby of knitting.

How to CAST ON Yarn in the Absolute Beginner Knitting Series by Studio Knit

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Watch full video tutorial below

STEP 1: Create a Slip Knot with Yarn

Begin by learning to tie a Slip Knot, then place your needle inside that loop. It is a simple knot, which I have detailed in my previous post here.

A Slip Knot allows you to easily tighten by pulling on the working yarn and loosen it by pulling up from the loop. This helps the yarn fit securely onto your knitting needle.

Learn How to Make a SLIP KNOT in the Absolute Beginner Knitting Series by Studio Knit

STEP 2: Sling-Shot Method of Holding Yarn and Knitting Needle

  • Holding your knitting needle in your right hand.
  • Take your left hand and the yarn on the right side hold it between your two fingers.
  • Then take your other two fingers and hold the other yarn tail down next to your palm.
  • Scoop your thumb underneath that yarn and hold it upward.
  • And lastly, with your right hand, take your index finger and just hold it onto the stitch and that is going to help keep it in place while we’re casting on.

Once you have your yarn in your hands in this configuration, you are ready to continue on.

Again, my complete video tutorial below is really helpful, if these instructions are making your head spin, haha!

How to CAST ON Yarn in the Absolute Beginner Knitting Series by Studio Knit

STEP 3: Cast On Your First Knitting Stitch

  • Bring your knitting needle to the outside of the left side
  • Pick up that yarn
  • Goes right through
  • Then travels over to the right side to the outside of the right yarn
  • Picks up the yarn underneath
  • That bit of yarn goes through your thumb loop
  • With your left hand, let all of that go
  • Lightly cinch up your two strands of yarn

Hooray, you have cast on your knitting stitch!

Hands holding yarn in the slingshot method about to cast on stitches onto a straight knitting needle

Hands casting on white yarn onto knitting needles

A close up of a hand casting on knitting stitches onto a straight needle

Hands demonstrating casting on knitting stitches with white yarn onto a knitting needle


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I hope you are inspired to learn to cast on and begin knitting! If you’d like even more great knitting ideas, please make sure you join my mailing list. Subscribing to my YouTube channel Studio Knit is another easy way for us to stay connected and help support my work for free.

Kristen McDonnell Studio Knit

Happy Knitting to You!
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Absolute Beginner Knitting Series with straight knitting needle wrapped with cast-on stitches in white yarn on a green background

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