Newbie Knitting | Backwards Loop Cast On

Newbie Knitting | Backwards Loop Cast On

Lesson One: The Backwards Loop Cast-On

Before you can knit, you need to Cast On. Casting On is how you get that first row of stitches onto your needle. The Backwards Loop Cast-On method (also called the Single Cast-On) is the easiest way to learn to cast on. There are several other methods of Casting On that are a bit more versatile but knowing the backwards loop method is useful to learn because it will also be used in more advanced projects to cast on additional stitches in the middle of a project. It will also get us knitting quickly since this is a method you can master in a matter of a few minutes. So we will start here… and later I will share how to Long Tail Cast-On and how to Cast on by Knitting.

Start with a slip knot.

You do not need a long tail with this method. Let 6-8 inches hang down.

Working with the live yarn side (ie the yarn attached to the skein), hold the needle in your right hand and the live yarn in your left.

Drape the yarn over your left thumb so that the live yarn hangs across the front of your thumb. You can hold the live yarn end in place with your fingers.

Place the tip of the needle under the front of the live yarn, creating a loop.

Drop your thumb out of the loop without letting go of the live yarn.

Pull down on the live yarn to tighten the loop on needle. Alright… you now have a second stitch on your needle. Let’s keep going. Do not let go of the live yarn.

Twist your thumb down and under the live yarn.

Twist your hand back and you are now set up to add you next stitch.

One more time, needle under the front of the live yarn.

Up through the loop and off your thumb.

Tighten, twist and go again.

By the way, you should note that Casting On is abbreviated in most patterns as simply CO.
This week’s assignment is to practice Casting On several times every day. Practice Casting On different numbers of stitches. Go back and count them then start all over. Use a scrap piece of yarn (4-5 yards) because the repetitive Casting On will unravel your yarn a bit.
DAY 1               DAY 2                DAY 3               DAY 4               DAY 5
CO 15sts         CO 10sts         CO 16sts         CO 12sts         CO 14sts
CO 30sts         CO 20sts         CO 32sts         CO 24sts         CO 28sts
CO 45sts         CO 30sts         CO 48sts         CO 36sts         CO 42sts

Michelle ~ Wee Folk Art


  1. YAY! Going out to get supplies NOW. Thanks, Michelle.

  2. Love the Newbie Knitting Series! This is the first Cast On I had ever learned many years ago as a young child from my Gramma Great. Brings back wonderful, warm memories….

  3. Double YAY! Great, great, great! Thank you!

  4. I have attempted knitting a few times by following directions in a book, but your slip knot and casting on tutorials are so much easier than the ones that I learned. Thank you!

  5. Michelle,

    You are doing an excellent job with this series! I am trying to get caught up on my blog reading and found this just today. You are giving newbies a valuable gift with your excellent quality tutorials. I look forward to following the whole series!

    Bravo you!

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