31 comments on “Long-Tail Cast-On

  1. When I learned how to do a long tail cast on it was holding the yarn in the none needle hand like a V – but this works too. I just wondered how to gauge how much yarn to leave for the tail when making blankets and larger pieces.


    Love the videos!!

    • I do the cast- on this way because I learned the English or American way knitting (holding the yarn with the right hand). The only difference is I put the yarn (long tail) on the index finger. I do not do the slip knot. The way I do the first cast- on stitch is the slip knot. I did not see a video yet that demonstrate my way of doing the slip knot.

  2. Hi Jamie – the other way of doing the long-tail cast-on is the “slingshot” method…we just shot a video on that technique last week, so it will be up soon.

    To measure how much tail to leave for this cast on, simply wrap the yarn around the needle once for every CO stitch you need. One wrap of the yarn around the needle is enough to complete one CO stitch.

    S t a c i

  3. Very informative, i am making a mitred square rug for the first time.
    Looking at your instructions makes more sense than reading the instructions,
    Many Thanks.

  4. I do something similar except than when you put your thumb onto the yarn and flip I have the yarn on top of my thumb and flip the other way. I’ve always known it as the Thumb Method. Is your Long Tail Cast On the same as my Thumb Method or is there a difference?

  5. Di – If I’m understanding what you’re saying correctly, then yes – I think that your “thumb method” is a long-tail cast-on.

    S t a c i

  6. I am trying to teach myself to knit. When I try to do the long tail cast on my long tail and my working yarn end up together on the my left side. What am I doing wrong?

  7. Staci,
    Ok I tried watching the video again but when I go to the next step “knit stitch”. I notice that your tail yarn is on your left and your working yarn is on your right. Did you cast on differently to start the knit stitch?

  8. Staci,
    I did the knit stich I my row and it worked! Thanks so much, I thought I was doing something wrong and couldn’t figure out what it was. I usually crochet but I love the way kniting looks. I am going to try to do the Log Cabin blanket. It seems to be a good one to get the rhythem motion of kniting without being boring. Thanks again, it is so nice to get ansewers quickly. Mary

  9. I have thoroughly enjoyed all your videos. I am a beginner (and have been for years), but thanks to your videos and help, I am quickly advancing. This cast on has made a world of difference in the beginning edge of my work. It makes a lovely start!! You are truly an amazing knitter!! Thank you for your hard work to help those like me!

  10. Hi., Firstly, I love the site, it is very informative. I am a new knitter and I have to say a very bad new knitter. I keep losing stitches on my first knit row straight off from the cast-on, and then from the next rows, do you think I might be putting my needle through the wrong hole? can you help me please.

    The other thing is that I am from UK and I am having trouble finding your yarns and also, your needle sizes are different than ours so I am a little confused as to what size I should be using.

    I really want to learn how to knit, so please, please, can someone help me.

    All the very best
    Louise 🙂

  11. Hi Louise – let’s get right to your questions…

    Regarding “losing stitches” – you’re probably not pulling the stitches tightly enough, and your needle is falling out. I always start new knitters on wood or bamboo needles, since they grip the stitches better than metal. Less likely to lose stitches.

    If you’re following my videos on knitting and purling, they will help you make sure you’re putting the needle in correctly. All of my basic stitches can be found here:

    Yes, US/UK needle sizes are different. This chart will clear things up for you:

    Also UK/US yarn weights are named differently. A chart for that can be found here:

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  12. Hi Staci,

    Piddly detail question here: When I use long-tail cast-on for a project with a lot of stitches, say for a blanket, I find that as i work and swing the yarn round my thumb, the plys (plies?) in the tail yarn start to twist the wrong way and loosen, making it easier to split the yarn with my needle. This is especially true of the smooth bamboo yarn I’m using now where there’s very little fuzz to keep the plies clinging together. Is that a normal effect of casting on a ton of stitches?

    Thanks. And your YouTube case study was so charming, btw. Good for you!


  13. Hi Gillian – thank you for the note.

    Yes, the tail end un-twisting is the nature of the long-tail cast-on. The best thing to do is to drop the tail end every few stitches or so to let it naturally re-twist the plies, then keep going.

    Hope that helps!

    S t a c i

  14. hi think this is a better way for me to learn the basics by going on your webstite.

  15. I don’t know how to judge my what knitting level is.. Any suggestion on that subject so I know when I’m searching for a pattern I would know if the level is beyond my knitting skills?

  16. Hi Michele – different designers are going to set the skill levels differently. Most of my patterns/tutorials are appropriate if you are at least an “advanced beginner”. When I say “advanced beginner”, I mean comfortable and confident with casting-on, knitting, and purling. I demonstrate the skills beyond that in my tutorials.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  17. Hi staci I love your pattern it’s easy to understand and your tut urial help me a lot.Do you a pattern for poncho my sister love poncho and I won’t to make her one for her coming bday on nov.

  18. Visitng Germany this week from the US and I would like to purchase some German chunky knitting wool for your cowl pattern. Would also like some German thread for the cable cap. I have your merchants list but could you recommend a particular brand? Something native to the country? Thank you and I can’t wait to get into your videos. Susie

  19. Thank you so much for this video tutorial! I have been trying to learn to knit for some time and have had the devil of a time making anything. I have been looking for an easy to understand long tail cast on tut, and yours was perfect! Thank you!! 😉


  20. I love your videos, Staci!
    I cannot get one of them to be visible…. The LongTail CastOn. The page comes up, but no video.
    No problem with any of the others. Enjoyed seeing the LongTail SlingShot, but really wanted to see the other method.
    I thought perhaps you could check to see if there is a problem with it.

  21. Hi Staci, You have really taught me well. I learned long ago with the knitted on cast on, then the slingshot method, and now I’ll try your Long Tail Cast On. My questions are why do you prefer this to the Slingshot method, and do they look the same, and is one tighter or looser than the other. Thanks for all your all you do.

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