Quick Clips: Cast-ons and Bind-offs
Cast-ons and Bind-offs
Techniques on this page:
Working with different needles –
The e-loop (or backwards loop) cast-on is usually the first one we learn as knitters. Follow along:
If you can make the knit stitch, you can work this cast-on. It’s that simple!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you finish casting on, here’s how you begin to knit your project.
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:
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!
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.
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:
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:
This technique is great for knitting toe-up socks, or other small circumference knitting.
Once you complete the cast-on, we’ll show you how to neatly knit your first round of stitches.
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.
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.
This technique is ideal if you want just a little more stretch than the typical bind-off provides:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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!
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:
Version 2 – Cast onto the needles individually:
And finally – joining the DPNs to work in the round:
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:
Do you love this library of knitting techniques? This is only the tip of the iceberg! Our regular weekly EduKnit content allows our knitters to really dig deep into their knitting, and take their skills to the next level. With our weekly posts we lead our members on an in-depth exploration of a knitting-related topic each month that goes way beyond “how to knit” and into the territory of learning why knitting works the way it does. If you’d like to level-up YOUR knitting, find out more about EduKnit today!