Quick Clips: Cast-ons and Bind-offs

Cast-ons and Bind-offs

Techniques on this page:

Cast-ons – 





Long-Tail Purl



Knitting the first round after a tubular cast-on

Using the long-tail cast-on as a provisional cast-on

Crochet cast-on (right & left-handed)

Stranded provisional cast-on

Knitting the first row after a stranded provisional CO

Knitting from the CO end of a stranded provisional CO

Judy’s Magic Cast-On

Knitting the first round after Judy’s Magic CO

Bind-offs –

Basic Bind-Off

Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy

K2Tog Stretchy




single crochet


Kitchener Stitch

Working with different needles –

Magic Loop

Knitting with DPNs (double-pointed needles)

Knitting on 2 circular needles


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E-Loop Cast-on – 

The e-loop (or backwards loop) cast-on is usually the first one we learn as knitters. Follow along:

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Knitted Cast-on

If you can make the knit stitch, you can work this cast-on. It’s that simple!

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Cable Cast-on

This technique is very similar to the knitted cast-on, but it gives a neater edge. The cable cast-on isn’t good for stretchy projects but it’s great for casting on in the process of knitting (such as after a one-row buttonhole or at the end of a row to add stitches).

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Long-tail Cast-on –

This cast-on is the go-to for many knitters, because it produces a neat edge that is both firm and elastic. It can also be used as an alternative to provisional cast-ons, as an added benefit. The one down side is that you have to estimate the length of yarn it will require ahead of time.

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Long-tail Purl Cast-on –

The long-tail cast-on isn’t just for knit stitches; if you master the original and this alternative, you can cast on in any combination of knits and purls for your projects.

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Center-out Cast-on –

This cast-on lets you work from the center out of a piece of knitting. You might use this technique for a top-down hat, blanket squares, or other shaped knitting.

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Tubular Cast-on

This cast-on is ideal for things like double knitting, where you have two layers of knitted fabric joined together. It can also make a neat edge for the brim of a hat or a top-down sock.

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Knitting the First Row after a Tubular Cast-on

Once you finish casting on, here’s how you begin to knit your project.

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Using Long-Tail as a Provisional Cast-on – 

Once you’ve mastered the long-tail cast-on, you can actually use it as a version of a provisional cast-on! We’ll show you how:

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Crochet Cast-on –

The crochet cast-on is a traditional provisional cast-on method. You can do this using your left or right hand; whichever you would normally use to crochet. We’ll show you both ways!



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Stranded Provisional Cast-on –

Use a spare length of yarn or an extra circular needle to create a provisional cast-on. Then you can come back to the beginning of your work and knit out in the other direction.

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Knitting the first row after a stranded provisional cast-on –

Once you complete the stranded provisional cast-on, you’ll need to do some maneuvering to work the first row of your knitting. Here’s how:

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Knitting from the stranded provisional cast-on

When it’s time to come back to your provisional cast-on, here’s how you begin to knit down the other side of it:

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Judy’s Magic Cast-On –

This technique is great for knitting toe-up socks, or other small circumference knitting.

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Knitting the first round after Judy’s Magic Cast-On – 

Once you complete the cast-on, we’ll show you how to neatly knit your first round of stitches.

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Basic Bind-Off

When you’re first learning to knit, it can be easy to forget how to bind off. Here’s a refresher on the basic process along with a few different options for making it suit your knitting.

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Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off –

This is a fantastic finish to any project where you want a lot of stretch along the bind-off edge, such as for toe-up socks or top-down hats.

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K2Tog Stretchy Bind-Off –

This technique is ideal if you want just a little more stretch than the typical bind-off provides:

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Sewn Bind-off

A favorite of Elizabeth Zimmermann, this bind-off creates an elastic edge that is great for necklines and cuffs. It has a bit of a ridged look to it, which can make for a neat finish:

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Tubular Bind-off –

This bind-off doesn’t really create an edge; rather, it seamlessly joins the front and back of a piece of knitting to make it appear as though they just meld together. This edge is invisible and very elastic, and it matches well with a tubular cast-on.

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Crochet Bind-Off

The crochet bind-off provides a firm edge to your knitting that is ideal if you plan to add a crochet border or if you simply don’t want your piece to stretch at the edges:

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Single Crochet Bind-off –

The single crochet bind-off requires completing single crochet stitches all along the bind-off edge (as the name implies). The result is a firm bind-off that is ready for crochet edgings or fringe to be added to it, and also stands alone as a lovely edging.

I-cord Bind-Off –

The i-cord bind-off provides an elastic edge that is neat and even decorative. It does require more yarn than a standard bind-off, but the clean finish can be well worth it.

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Kitchener Stitch

The Kitchener Stitch is a handy skill for any knitter – it’s not just for closing up the toe of a sock! Learn this technique for closing a tube of knitting with this video:

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Magic Loop 101 – 

We’ll show you how to cast on using the Magic Loop style, which involves using one long circular needle for small-circumference knitting in the round. We’ll also guide you through that first round; from there, it’s smooth sailing!

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DPNs 101 –

Gwen and Kellie both prefer DPNs for knitting small items in the round. Watch as we show you how to cast on to 3 or 4 needles and knit the first round.

Version 1 – Cast on straight, then split to the DPNs:

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Version 2 – Cast onto the needles individually:

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And finally – joining the DPNs to work in the round:

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Knitting on 2 Circulars 101 –

Some people prefer to knit on two separate circular needles to manage small-circumference knitting in the round. Here’s how you can keep all those circular needles straight:

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