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How to Long Tail Cast On Purlwise

Learn how to Long Tail Cast On Purlwise in 3 easy steps with my close-up photo and video tutorial. This knitting technique is also called the reverse long tail cast on. It is helpful when casting on in-pattern.

My easy-to-follow demonstration shares how to tie a slip knot, create the slingshot hold with your yarn, then finish by casting on your first stitches purlwise. Below find my video tutorials that include up-close demonstrations for both right and left-handed knitters.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Knitting needle with stitches cast on purlwise in white color yarn on a blue background.

Love Knitting Help? Visit my entire Cast On Knitting Techniques section for more great tips!

NEW: See my Longtail Cast On Purlwise Web Story for a quick overview of this technique.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CAST ON PURLWISE?

Unlike the classic knitwise long tail cast on, casting on purlwise creates the purl bumps on your cast on side, rather than the smooth knits. This technique is reversed and allows you to cast on in-pattern on stitch textures like ribbing.

Yes, it takes a bit of patience to learn this knitting technique, so please approach it with some patience and be gentle with yourself. Once you try it a couple of times, you’ll find yourself performing this technique automatically and without even thinking.

Knitting needle and yarn cast on both knitwise and purlwise.

3 STEPS TO LONG TAIL CAST ON PURLWISE

STEP 1: Create a Slip Knot with Yarn

Begin by learning how to tie a Slip Knot, then place your needle inside that loop.

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.

Slip Knot on knitting needle with white yarn.

STEP 2: Slingshot Method of Holding Yarn and Knitting Needle

Holding your knitting needle in your right hand, place the yarn ball on your right and yarn tail to your left.

Place these two yarn strands inside your palm, with the yarn attached to the needle over your index finger.

Demonstration of how to begin slingshot hold to cast on purlwise.

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With your thumb and index finger, go inside these yarn strands and scoop upward to create your slingshot hold.

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!

Slip Knot on knitting needle and slingshot hold with white yarn.

VIDEO TUTORIALS TO LONG TAIL CAST ON PURLWISE

How to Long Tail Cast On Purlwise for Right-Handed Knitters

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How to Long Tail Cast On for Left-Handed Knitters


STEP 3: Cast On Purlwise

Bring the tip of your knitting needle around the outside of your index finger and bring the yarn up through its loop.

Then go around to the outside of the yarn strand attached to the slip knot and your thumb and scoop it up, as well.

Picking up yarn to cast on purlwise with knitting needles.

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Move the needle tip through your index finger loop from front to back.

Release the loop on your index finger and cinch up your needle to create your first purlwise stitch.

Repeat these steps until you have the desired number of stitches on your needle.

Note: You may at any time cast on knitwise onto the same needle, if needed.

Finishing steps with hand to cast on purlwise with yarn and knitting needles.
Hands demonstrating How to Long Tail Cast On Purlwise with yarn and knitting needles.

Cast On Purlwise

Yield: Cast On Stitches Purlwise
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner

Learn how to Long Tail Cast On Purlwise in 3 easy steps.

Materials

  • Yarn - Any Gauge

Tools

  • Knitting Needles - Appropriate Size for Yarn

Instructions

3 STEPS TO LONG TAIL CAST ON PURLWISE

STEP 1: Create a Slip Knot with Yarn

Begin by tying a Slip Knot, then place your needle inside that loop.

Slip Knot on knitting needle with white yarn.

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STEP 2: Slingshot Method of Holding Yarn and Knitting Needle

Holding your knitting needle in your right hand, place the yarn ball on your right and yarn tail to your left.

Place these two yarn strands inside your palm, with the yarn attached to the needle over your index finger.

With your thumb and index finger, go inside these yarn strands and scoop upward to create your slingshot hold.

Slip Knot on knitting needle and slingshot hold with white yarn.

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STEP 3: Cast On Purlwise

Bring the tip of your knitting needle around the outside of your index finger and bring the yarn up through its loop.

Then go around to the outside of the yarn strand attached to the slip knot and your thumb and scoop it up, as well.

Move the needle tip through your index finger loop from front to back.

Release the loop on your index finger and cinch up your needle to create your first purlwise stitch.

Picking up yarn to cast on purlwise with knitting needles.

Finishing steps with hand to cast on purlwise with yarn and knitting needles.

Notes

Repeat these steps until you have the desired number of stitches on your needle.

You may at any time cast on knitwise onto the same needle, if needed.

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