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Learn to Knit: Long Tail Cast-On

25th May 2017 Cast-on 10 min read
Long Tail Cast-On | Stolen Stitches Knitting Tutorial

Learn to Knit: Long Tail Cast-On Tutorial

There are a couple of different ways to work the Long Tail Cast-On. I've got 2 videos showing the standard method and the Thumb Method.

The only difficulty knitters have with this cast-on is figuring out how long to leave the tail. A usefully little knitting hack if you have problems with this is to use the second end of your yarn skein instead of a tail so you can't run out!

Here's a video of the standard Long Tail Method in action:


The Thumb Method of the Long Tail Cast-On creates the very same result using a different technique.

Begin by leaving a long tail, typically three times the length of the cast-on you are working. This cast-on uses only one needle held in front of you.

  1. Create a slip knot and tighten it onto your needle. Keep your working yarn to your right and your yarn tail to your left.
  2. With your left hand using the yarn tail, bring your thumb from behind the yarn, scoop it up and slide the loop created onto the needle. Leave your thumb in position.
  3. With your right hand using the working yarn, bring the yarn under and around the needle and wrap it on top (as though to knit a stitch). Keep holding this yarn in position.
  4. With your left thumb (still in the first loop), lift this thumb over the end of the needle, scooping the initial loop you created over the second loop. Tighten both ends of the yarn until you are happy with the tension of the stitch.

Repeat steps 2-4 until you have the correct number of stitches on the needle.

Why not give this technique a try in one of the following patterns: 


Read more about knitting cast on methods.

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About the Author

Carol Feller

Carol trained as a structural engineer, and she brings that love of analysing structure into her knitting, creating complex patterns that are easy to understand, while her approach to process is all about testing and playing, and making mistakes along the way. That’s where the joy lies!

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