Casting on is knitters jargon for how you get that long straight ball of yarn to stay on to those pointy needles!
Basically the cast on stitches are the foundation to your knitted piece, these are the stitches you will begin to knit (or purl) in to.
In a pattern casting on is often abbreviated as CO, and then followed by a number which indicated how many stitches (or loops of yarn) you need on your needle before you begin.
So if see this at the start of a pattern:
CO 10 in Green Yarn
Then your needles should look like this once your done.
There are a few different types of cast on, but as a beginner I suggest you begin with the Long tail cast on. A long Tail cast on is the simplest, easiest and quickest method which is perfect for your first project. This cast of isn't very pretty but it nice and stretchy which means its easier for you to knit into the stitches.
Check out my video on how to Long Tail Cast On
Once you have the hang of knitting basics and you feel comfortable with the steps, then you can advance onto other methods of casting on.
An extensive list of cast on methods can be viewed at KnittingHelp.com, a fantastic knitting resource for beginners.
Other Cast On methods include:
- Single Cast On (Backwards loop Cast On)
- Cable Cast on
- Knitting on
- German Twisted Cast on
- Invisible (provisional) cast on
- Alternate Cable Cast On
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