Learn how to knit. Part 1: Casting on. (with pictures and video!)

Hello world!
It’s exciting to start a new blog, but even more exciting to use it for helping you achieve what I did myself: teaching yourself how to knit.
As a kid, I’d watch my aunts and grandmother crochet, and I knew knitting involved a sort of wooden sticks, but both crafts seemed too mysterious and intimidating to me. In 4th grade, knitting looms were briefly a fad in school, and girls would sit around with square blocks of wood with nails on them, making scarfs. I found it fun at first but quickly lost interest in only creating long rectangles of loose stitches. It wasn’t until years later that I decided to give it a go again, this time with the real needles. I went to a craft store and bought whatever yarn I could find and whatever needles I saw first. And armed with these tools and YouTube, very determined to learn, I started to look for videos, instructions, and anything that would tell me how to knit.
Most of those videos were very slow, weren’t shot in a helpful way to see what was going on or didn’t explain everything that they were doing. I am as stubborn as they come so I persevered. Today, almost 3 years since I decided to learn, I want to make it easy for others to teach themselves because knitting (and later crochet) have brought me so much happiness and a renewed feeling of accomplishment outside anything related to work or other parts of my life. Now, whenever I see a cool knit garment my first thought is not “I’ll buy that” but “I could totally make that”.
So come and join in this fun journey of trying and trying, repeating row after row, and finding the flow. I promise, you won’t regret it. Find the step by step tutorial with pictures below, and scroll down for a simple and easy to follow video tutorial.
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  • Straight knitting needles – I recommend starting with thicker ones 6 mm or US 10 or larger. You can find these nice ones from clover here.

  • Scissors
Cast on a project
To start a knitting project you must cast on your stitches onto your needles. Often by casting on you will determine the size of your project, or the size of your beginning point.

1. Start by leaving enough initial yarn for your cast on. The more stitches you need to cast, the longer the tail. For this example, we’re casting on 10 stitches and leaving about 2 feet of yarn


2.  Make a loop with your yarn and insert your index and thumb inside

3.  Use those fingers to bring the tail of the yarn through the loop and pull the two strands of yarn to tighten. This is called a slip knot.
4. Now you can insert your first needle inside the slip knot and tighten it.
5. Congrats! You have casted your first stitch. Now we need to cast 9 more.
6. Hold the two yarn tails between the index and thumb of the left hand, creating tension while the rest of the yarn is held by your other fingers, creating a triangle figure. Hold your needle with the first stitch with your right hand.
7. This is when things get tricky. Carefully move your needle to the yarn beneath the thumb, pulling it up using the needle.
8.  Still pulling on the yarn, bring your needle over the yarn being held by the index finger.
9.  Now pull this yarn through the first loop you had created under the thumb and tighten around the needle.
10. At this point you should have two stitches on your needle.
11. Repeat the steps 6 to 10 again 8 more times, until you have 10 stitches casted on your needle
Still confused? Check out this video tutorial explaining step by step how to cast on:

Once you have casted on your stitches it’s time to learn the fundamental stitch in knitting… the knit stitch!

Find the second part of these beginner tutorials here.

Happy knitting!

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Published by Magali

I'm a knitter, crocheter, maker, animator, wife. I live in a big messy city and making things has become a passion that brings me to explore it more, meet people who enjoy it too, and have something fun to do while I commute too! I love to share my designs and tutorials to make it easy for more people to join the craft(s).