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Casting on, is the knitting term used to describe the method of creating the first row of stitches and there are a number of ways to do this.
How much yarn?
Before casting on using the single needle method, you are going to have to determine how much yarn will be needed for the first row of stitches.
As a general rule 1 cm = 1 stitch. However, a knitting pattern may give you this instruction but it is wise to allow more than you think you need.
Use the 1 cm = 1 stitch rules and then add half an arms length. It really does not matter if you have too much, because this can be used for stitching up with later. However, if you have too little, it is heartbreaking to cast on a row of 100 stitches and find you are only 4 or 5 short…the only option is to pull off your stitches and start again!
Pull enough yarn with your left hand from the ball or hank.
Regardless of which casting on technique you wish to use, the first stitch is always a slip stitch.
Single needle method
Using either the thumb or first finger – this is a good cast on method for beginners to learn, as it gives a very elastic and less noticeable edge.
Referred to as the Double cast, Continental or Long tail cast on method, we have selected one of the easiest versions using the index finger of the left hand and needle in the right hand.
This stitch provides a good even, stretchy foundation row for any type of stitch and tends to be my cast on method of choice for most applications.
Because the stitches are literally knitted into place, it is easy to knit the next row from and once mastered, is one of the fastest cast on methods.