Popular Cast On Methods

There are lots of ways to cast on your knitting project. So how do you know which one to do? Well, that depends on the project.

Let's take a look at the top three most common cast on methods:

Longtail Cast On

Pros: Longtail is a fantastic, all-purpose cast on and is one of the most popular methods around. The edge is relatively stretchy, making it suitable for most projects and creates an even, smooth edge. Once you find your rhythm, it's really quick to do.

Cons: You have to guess how much yarn you'll need in advance and if you miscalculate, then you may have to pull it undone to start again.

Knit Cast On

Pros: Knit cast on is great for beginners because it's pretty much the same technique as doing knit stitches (except the old stitches aren't dropped off the needles. See video above). Like the Longtail method, it has stretch so it's great for most projects.

Cons: None

Backwards Loop Cast On

Pros: It's quick! It's also great for beginners and children because it's so easy to master.

Cons: The first row after casting on is tricky to knit. The stitches easily tighten, making them fiddly to get the needles into and it has a tendency to create an uneven or loose edge. This cast on is a compromise between ease of use and beauty. 

Provisional Cast On

Pros: Allows you to knit from both sides of the cast on for a seamless finish and is easy to master. Great for cardigan neckbands and saves you picking up stitches later.

Cons: More fiddly than a knit cast on and you need a crochet hook and scrap yarn (a contrast colour to your working yarn makes it easier to see later). If you're knitting in rib then the scrap yarn doesn't "unzip" easily so requires a small amount of patience to unravel. The cons are minor though and Provisional Cast On is a super handy technique to know.




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