This is one of the cast ons that you’ll turn to time and time again. And with good reason! It’s easy to work, easy to remember and it’s stretchy (AS LONG AS YOU FOLLOW OUR TIP).
Let’s make a Long-Tail Cast On
How to Work a-Long Tail Cast On
Step 1: Make a slip knot and put it on the needle.
Step 2: Hold the needle in your right hand. The tail of the yarn should be in the front. While it doesn’t matter where the yarn is, putting the tail in the front will use up less of that yarn. You’ll be less-likely to run out.
Step 3: Tighten the slip knot on the needle by widening the space between your thumb and index fingers and raising the knot up toward the needle. Don’t strangle the needle, but don’t leave any slack either.
Step 4: Hold the yarn in the “slingshot” orientation: Using your left hand, drape the yarn tail over your thumb and the ball yarn around your index finger. Allow both yarns to go down past your palm.
Step 5: Hold the slip knot with your right thumb so it doesn’t wind and twist around the needle. Put the needle down and in front of your thumb. The thumb yarn will create a loop around your thumb.
Step 6: Rotate the needle up and into the middle of the loop on your thumb.
Step 7: Grab the yarn on your index finger.
Step 8: Bring that yarn through the thumb loop.
Step 9: Release the yarn and tighten the SINGLE ADDITIONAL LOOP on the needle. One stitch has been cast on.
THIS IS IMPORTANT! Be sure NOT to put the loop in Step 9 very close to the stitch before it. I use my right index finger to make sure that I keep some space between each stitch.
Doing this makes it stretchier because the yarn BETWEEN each stitch is where the stretchiness comes from with this cast on.
A good and bad Long-Tail Cast On
Here’s the CORRECT way to put each stitch next to each other.
See how there’s some space between each stitch? This is what you want because it’ll be nice and stretchy.
Conversely, here’s what it looks like when each stitch is too close to the next. Right next to each other means NO STRETCH.
You DO NOT WANT THIS.
About the Instructor: Jody Richards
Jody is the founder and lead editor of Knotions. She loves poring over stitch dictionaries and trying out new stitches. And while she likes all things crafting (well ok, except that one thing), yarn crafts are her true love (and she has the stash to prove it).
She’s a serial starter-of-projects and has a serious problem with finishing things without a deadline.
And don’t get her talking about hand-dyed yarns. You’ve been warned.